Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl star crashed out with slightly more than 60km remaining and left the Vuelta in an ambulance with his right arm wrapped in a brace.
“It is just a stupid loss, it is a pity that we lose the world champion because he was in very good shape,” Evenepoel said. “But I have confidence in my other teammates as well that they will do very well for the coming weeks.”
- Roglič on Evenepoel: ‘He’s on a different level’
- How long can the ‘Remco Rampage’ last?
- Evenepoel blitzes time trial win
Losing Alaphilippe at such a decisive moment is a blow to Evenepoel, who otherwise got through Wednesday’s transition stage without serious incident.
“I was right in front of him, I don’t know what happened,” Evenepoel said. “For sure Julian was doing very well the last days.”
With Pieter Serry leaving the Vuelta in stage 9 with COVID-19, Evenepoel has only five teammates left to defend his red leader’s jersey going into Thursday’s decisive climbing stage at Peñas Blancas.
- Vuelta a España: Julian Alaphilippe crashes out
- Thomas De Gendt: ‘What Remco is doing at Vuelta a España is not beyond expectations’
COVID-19 is also taking its collective toll, with GC challengers Simon Yates and Pavel Sivakov both leaving the Vuelta on Wednesday with infections.
Losing a rider of Alaphilippe’s caliber, however, is a blow no matter how the team tried to spin it.
“I think we are not the only team that is losing guys,” Evenepoel said. “It definitely makes it a less beautiful day than we expected. It is definitely a big loss for our team, especially on such a quiet stage.
“It is quite a pity,” he said. “I hope he does well and that he is not suffering too much. I wish all the best for ‘Lulu.'”