Remco Evenepoel was the GC rider who lost the most time in stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia. The young Belgian lost more than 24 minutes to stage winner Egan Bernal in the shortened stage to Cortina d’Ampezzo and dropped to 19th place.
“It was simply an off-day,” he said afterwards. “My feeling was not very good if I lost more than 20 minutes”.
“It was an off day, but we knew this could happen. I only trained for two months towards this Giro. That is nothing, and not enough to be 100% ready for competition. But that’s life. We still have a week to go and today we did a good stage with Joao Almeida. That’s really important.”
“We are now going to enjoy the rest day, and make the best of the last week,” said Evenepoel, who would like to make it to Milano. “I have never said that I am going to leave the Giro. I only do that if I don’t feel like I can make it to the end. But I just want to finish this Giro.”
“I had no expectations for myself, you were always dreaming,” he told the press. “Today it was just completely gone when it had to be done. It’s part of the learning process and I’m taking it into next year. It’s just an accumulation of efforts over the past week. They may have been a bit too much for my body at the moment. We knew it could happen. You don’t hope for it, but if it is there, it is there. ”
“Now Almeida is in the top 10. He has worked for me and I will be happy to take on that role too. We knew that the Giro could go in all directions, with me and with Joao. I had a total offday and that’s no shame. I now look ahead and try to bring this Giro to a successful conclusion.”