"I surprise myself with this" - Remco Evenepoel sparkles in Criterium du Dauphine time-trial

There were some questions about Remco Evenepoel's level heading into the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine, with the Belgian returning to action for the first time since a crash earlier in the year. In the stage 4 individual time-trial however, Evenepoel put those concerns firmly to bed.

“It went better than expected,” says Evenepoel in his post-stage interview. “I had good legs, but it wasn't great yet because I had a bad moment halfway through. This result is good for confidence and the future. I am extremely happy with my performance today. I haven't been training for very long. So I surprise myself with this achievement. I still have a lot of work to do, but this gives a good feeling for the Tour de France.”

Taking the win ahead of European champion Joshua Tarling, Evenepoel put considerable time into all his general classification rivals and in the process moved into the Maillot Jaune as the new race leader. “I did have doubts about the second intermediate point. I knew I was two seconds ahead after the first time check. But one second behind in the second," Evenepoel recaps. "I thought: Wow, Tarling goes fast. I also had few reserves left, but I was still able to accelerate towards the final. Those last kilometres were also in my favor. That was an important decisive factor in being able to win today.”

“It remains to be seen what the legs say in the final stages. These are particularly difficult stages. I am satisfied with today, but this performance says nothing about the weekend. I have to keep working now," concludes the Soudal - Quick-Step leader, who had been wearing a new helmet for this time-trial effort. "A nice gift from Specialized. We try to perfect all our material. It's not just about the legs. The material also has to be top notch.”

In the general classification, Evenepoel now holds a 33 second lead over BORA - hansgrohe's Primoz Roglic, with Team Visma | Lease a Bike's Matteo Jorgenson in third at 1:04.

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