"I finished only ten seconds behind Primoz Roglic. This means that he also has difficult moments" - Remco Evenepoel positive after Dauphine's final stage

Remco Evenepoel was very clear pre-race that he wasn't riding for the general classification at the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine and so it turned out too, as the Belgian finished 7th overall, 2:25 down on the eventual race winner, Primoz Roglic.

Although there was some more time loss for the Soudal - Quick-Step leader on the final stage, the Belgian national champion looked a lot bright than the previous mountain stage, as he confirmed himself in a post-stage interview. “I generally felt much better than on Saturday," Evenepoel explains. “That is very positive. Saturday was also the second day after my crash on Thursday and then I often have a bad day. I had a good night's sleep that night and recovered well.”

On the final climb of the day, Evenepoel even showed his face at the very front of the race for a short while, although he soon left that folly for another day. “I may have puffed myself up a bit by trying to follow De Plus, but that was just to see what would happen as I was feeling good," he recalls. "After that I chose my own pace. But this was a positive ending.”

With this being his first race back since crashing out of the Itzulia Basque Country with a broken collarbone, Evenepoel's main target is yet to come this summer, as the former Vuelta a Espana winner makes his much-anticipated Tour de France debut.

“Especially after Saturday, when I was really struggling, it was important to be able to end today with a good feeling and fortunately we succeeded. I was able to maintain my position in the general classification, so that is very positive. And today I finished only ten seconds behind Primoz Roglic. This means that he also has difficult moments," concludes Evenepoel optimistically. "We have to be positive: I am not yet 100% at the moment. Maybe 85, maximum 90%. So there is still some work to be done, but the fact that I can end this week like this is very positive. I think I will come out of this Dauphiné in better condition than when I started it."

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