Vuelta a España: Remco Evenepoel shows signs of pressure after crash
Race leader vents at race commissaire after sliding out on corner.
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Race leader Remco Evenepoel showed signs of pressure on Thursday’s stage 12 of the Vuelta a España, complaining to a race commissaire after crashing out on a corner on a descent.
The Belgian rider hit the inside on the final 60 kilometers of the stage, sliding out on a sweeping right hand bend while on the wheel of several teammates. His crash was very reminiscent of that of his teammate Julian Alaphilippe on Wednesday, who went down in a similar way.
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Alaphilippe wasn’t badly hurt, with small cuts and a large tear to his shorts the only visible signs of the fall. However he appeared agitated after the crash, speaking animatedly to a team official when changing bikes and then, while chasing back on, appearing to remonstrate with a race commissaire for several seconds.
It was not clear as to the source of his irritation. No other teams were close to him at the time.
😥Las heridas de @EvenepoelRemco – @qst_alphavinyl tras la caída.
The GC leader Remco Evenepoel rides on through the pain after a Stage 12 crash leaves him with visible cuts and bruises. #LaVuelta22 pic.twitter.com/E6aZPxJtB4
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) September 1, 2022
However in a post-race interview he gave a clue as to what may have been bugging him. “It was a super-slippery corner. The motorbikes were slipping as well and slowing down. That is why actually I wanted to cut the corner, but it was a bit too much.
“Sorry for my words, but shit happens.”
There had been suggestions on social media that he may have been frustrated with the motorbikes.
Evenepoel’s rivals — who are left still searching for weaknesses — may hope that the pressure of the red jersey is starting to bear on him. He is just 22-years-old, riding the second grand tour of his career and is wearing the leader’s jersey in a three week race for the first time.
The Belgian appeared relieved at the finish, and shrugged things off when asked about damage.
“Just my leg, but it is fine,” he said. “My bike is much worse than myself.
“Now I am just going to heal the wounds and try to recover tomorrow, as it will be a sprint stage.”