Absolute glory awaits, but remember that Evenepoel escaped death just two years ago. His first cycling coach sympathizes with his former pupil, whatever he is going through.
In HLN Fred Vandervennet tells the story of how Evenepoel, as a little boy, made the choice between football and cycling. “I warned him: fall once and you can die. And I talked about money. A good football player can earn 5 million euros a year, easily. To earn that in the race, you have to be the absolute best in the world. But Remco’s thought was fixed. He wanted to cycle.”
OUT OF BACK ON RACING CIRCUIT
Remco’s first cycling coach dives into his arsenal with anecdotes. “When he just got his driver’s license, he was allowed to drive with the team on a race track with a BMW. Guess twice who was going out of the corner. I once put it on the passenger seat of my car before a descent, to show what the ideal line looks like.”
“You need time to learn that,” emphasizes Vandervennet. “That’s why I always said that he should never have skipped the promise category. He still had to learn how to move on a bike, in a peloton. But then, Quick.Step had come for him, and I had nothing more to say. He didn’t know how a race marched yet. It almost killed him.”
LIKE A SON WHO MARRIES
Fortunately, everything turned out well. Evenepoel fully recovered from his heavy fall in Lombardy and will probably achieve his big goal at the age of 22: to win a big round. “It looks like he is going to win the Vuelta a España. An indescribable feeling, also for me. Remco on that podium, that would feel like a son getting married. But I will never ask for his red jersey. It has to come from him do you understand?”