Remco Evenepoel and Sonny Colbrelli dived into the final phase of the European Championship together on Sunday. Spurred on by the fading pace of the Belgians, the duo was left alone, with a lead of 1’40” over the first pursuers.
Since Colbrelli is the better sprinter, it was expected that Evenepoel would push the Italian head on. But that didn’t happen.
“The ABC of cycling says in this situation: don’t ride anymore. Evenepoel has also said it by the national coach”, José De Cauwer knows. “Sven Vanthourenhout drove next to Evenepoel and explicitly asked. But 2 minutes later he was leading again.”
“Remco himself thinks it made no difference. What’s the point of not driving? But if you don’t try, you never know. He should have made Colbrelli nervous and stuck in his wheel. The win would still be difficult, but maybe Remco could have taken the lead in the last corner.”
Remco used the tactic of suffocation. Could he have jumped away on the last climb?
De Cauwer: “He could have put it on board differently by placing an ultimate gear above. But that scenario also entailed the risk that it would play into Colbrelli’s hands. In the end, the power of attorney did work for Cosnefroy and just not at Colbrelli. Unfortunate.”
“Without comparing the 2, but with Thibau Nys it was completely different. Nys has ridden 500 meters: 300 meters on top of the climb and 200 meters in the sprint. You need the acceleration that cyclocross riders develop. That was ideal , because Thibau Nys had no surplus. Everyone has to do it their way.”
“Tactical racing still has to grow in Remco’s head. He has driven everyone his whole life with gas. That has to come and that will come. He will race against Bernal and Pogacar in the big rounds. Then you have to do every part of the ABC of cycling. This may only be done once.”
In the meantime, Wout van Aert won the Tour of Britain in a clever way. Does this confirm his leadership for the World Cup?
“He is the leader with 6 stars, there is no one at 4 and 5 stars. The next series only starts at 3 stars. But that certainly does not mean that we will win. The other teams are going to put everything in the basket of the Belgians
explain what an unpleasant situation can become.”
“If there is a hard race, then we have all the trumps to participate on that course. But if it becomes a bad race and you have to chase due to circumstances, then it becomes something different.”
“I also don’t know if we should control the whole race from the start. We will have to try to take advantage of the race situation and turn the story around. Let the other countries race behind us.”
“Suppose you have an escape with Stuyven and he is with you and he is not driving? That is playing servant. Playing servant is being strongly present, not racing yourself and letting everyone behind you race.”
And what should we think of Mathieu van der Poel? He won quite smoothly in the Antwerp Port Epic on Sunday and seems to be back.
“I wouldn’t know, but it’s Mathieu and that can be paralyzing. He will never be as great as Wout van Aert, whose preparation has been meticulous.”
“But it remains Mathieu who can provide a surprise. Even at 90% he is among the better. And he will only participate if he thinks it is worth it.”