"I told Mikel Landa that he could go" - Remco Evenepoel struggles but limits losses on difficult Dauphine day

Remco Evenepoel crashed yesterday at the Criterium du Dauphiné, however he didn't complain about the shoulder injuries. Nevertheless, the Belgian admitted that he did not feel his best today on the summit finish the Collet d'Allevard, and has lost the yellow jersey to Primoz Roglic.

"It was difficult, a tough day. In the valley towards the final climb I felt my legs getting heavy, so I knew already then that it was going to be difficult to follow the best," Evenepoel admitted in words after the stage. The day wasn't overly hard, but Lidl-Trek put on the pressure before the final climb. Evenepoel, winner of the time-trial, looked strong on that day but today couldn't show the form he hoped for. In the final climb the Belgian team raced conservatively, but with such difficulties, it was never going to be possible to hide the difference in level against the best.

"After four or five kilometres I said on the radio that I didn't feel fresh anymore and that I had to find my own rhythm. I told Mikel Landa that he could go for his chance, but he quickly dropped me and then rode me to the last kilometre," Evenepoel shares. Time was slowly lost to a group including second place in the GC Primoz Roglic, and the yellow jersey was slowly leaving his injured shoulders. "There I went all-out for a good two minutes to limit the loss of time."

The final effort was strong and he managed to drop the rest of his group, in a strong dash to the line that limited the losses. Nevertheless, it was 42 seconds lost to Roglic at the line - plus bonifications. "This is what we expected, that I wouldn't be at my best here yet. I need time to improve, although we are on the right track. Two weeks ago at altitude I couldn't show the figures that I achieved today for ten minutes."

Evenepoel now sits second in the GC, 19 seconds behind Primoz Roglic, but he is not unhappy with today's performance. "All in all it is a positive day, the loss of time is not the most important thing we have to get out of this day. I'm not going to blame my shoulder that I fell on on Thursday, this is just part of my way to the top level. We have time, no reason to panic," he assured.

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