"I wanted to participate at the end, but I had a flat" - Remco Evenepoel again absent from stage finale at the Criterium du Dauphine

Although pre-race Remco Evenepoel was very clear that his goals for the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine did not include a general classification challenge, the Belgian's quietness over the opening stage continued on stage 3.

“I had a good day,” said the Belgian champion in his post-stage 3 interview, having rolled across the line in 26th position as Derek Gee took the win and moved into the leader's Maillot Jaune in the process. Although Evenepoel may have always intended to be quiet on the opening two stages, this time around it was an enforced choice due to a bit of bad luck.

As it turns out, in the finale Evenepoel was plagued by a flat tyre, hampering any hopes he may have had of contesting for the win. "I felt okay and wanted to participate at the end, but I had a flat tyre in the last three kilometres," the Soudal - Quick-Step explains of the situation and his struggles to stay in the wheels. "It was a lot of suffering on a flat tyre.”

“I felt good and was always well positioned. I had a good run-in and felt like getting involved at the end," Evenepoel continues his recapping of the punchy stage 3 finale. "I was on the right wheel, Primoz Roglic's, but I just felt the pressure leaving my tyre.”

After three quiet stages, there will no place for Evenepoel to hide on stage 4. In the individual time-trial, we will now more about whether or not the ITT world champion will be able to contest for the Maillot Jaune at end of the Dauphine. “The time trial will be important to see how the shoulder is doing," Evenepoel concludes warily. "It's a 45-minute effort, so you can learn something from that. I hope everything functions and runs well.”

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