Remco Evenepoel apologized for a high-profile incident of him shoving Ineos Grenadiers rider Ben Turner during Wednesday’s Brabantse Pijl, but that wasn’t enough to stop from being cited by the race jury.
TV cameras caught Evenepoel shoving Ineos rider Turner out of his line as he was rolling through the breakaway with about 70km to go. Evenepoel took his right hand off the handlebar and pushed Turner’s back to move him out of his way.
It wasn’t a violent push and Turner did not crash, but the strong-arm tactic was strong enough for Evenepoel to be cited in the post-race jury report.
The Belgian star was quick to apologize, and later posted a message on social media.
“It shouldn’t have happened. I immediately apologized afterwards,” Evenepoel told Sporza. “They played the team game and that is of course not fun for the riders who want to ride full, but that is race. I shouldn’t have done it. It was also forgotten pretty quickly. Again my apologies for that. ”
There was no immediate reaction from Turner, who was seen staring hard at Evenepoel after the incident. Eventual winner Magnus Sheffield was also spotted shaking his head after watching the Belgian shove his teammate.
There was some strong reaction on social media, however, with GCN sportscaster Adam Blythe calling out Evenepoel for not respecting his rivals.
“What a spoiled little brat,” the ex-pro Blythe said. “I am sorry for saying that, but at the same time, he doesn’t treat riders with respect. Why does he fully push him out of the way? If someone did that in a sprint, they would be disqualified. To me that is no different from pushing someone out of the way in a bunch sprint. Keep your hands on the bars. There’s no need to do it.”
” ! He doesn’t treat riders with respect!”
— Eurosport (@eurosport) April 13, 2022
It was a rough day in the saddle both on and off the bike for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in Wednesday’s Brabantse Pijl.
Not only was the team swarmed by rival Ineos Grenadiers and missed out on victory, one of the team’s sport directors was fined after provoking a crash that took down Julian Alaphilippe in a freak crash.
It was hardly the way the Belgian powerhouse wanted the race to go.
Evenepoel could muster no better than sixth in the tactical finale when Magnus Sheffield powered away for victory after his line was crossed at the finish, leading to Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) to being relegated.
“I knew it would be difficult with three men from Ineos in the leading group,” Evenepoel said of his Brabantse debut. “One of them was always stuck on my wheel.”
Evenepoel vowed to take a full rest day and will prepare for his next races at Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Remco Evenepoel just pushing Ben Turner off Victor Campenaerts wheel for no particular reason… fortunately Turner saw the funny side, I think pic.twitter.com/wC1fXvhbt6
— adam becket (@adambecket) April 13, 2022