"If you fall, it's your own fault" - Remco Evenepoel only blames himself for Itzulia Basque Country time-trial crash

Itzulia Basque Country began with an explosive time-trial, Remco Evenepoel felt the consequences of the technical course and hit the deck, but still managed to gain time on the likes of Jonas Vingegaard and Juan Ayuso despite that.

“I just slipped away. In the images we see a grille, which makes it look as if my wheel is sliding away. But it happened so quickly. I don't think I took too many risks, but in ten kilometers you want to get through the bends as quickly as possible," Evenepoel shared with Sporza. "It's not a steering error, maybe I just threw myself a little too much in the corners and that's why my front wheel was gone. It wasn't too dangerous, no. There were other options, but I'm not the course designer. And you take risks yourself. If you fall, it's your own fault. It was my own fault. In such a time trial, winning is difficult if the top favorite does not make any mistakes.”

Evenepoel's effort was marked by the fall within the first seconds of racing. It was a visibly frustrating moment for the Soudal - Quick-Step rider who was the main favourite to win on the day. Still, even with his best performance and on an even field, he did not have better legs than Primoz Roglic on the day, who took 11 seconds out of the time-trial World Champion despite himself missing the final corner. Evenepoel rode to fourth on the hilly TT also behind Jay Vine and Mattias Skjelmose, but gained 4 seconds on the unscathed Vingegaard and 5 on Juan Ayuso who won the Tirreno-Adriatico time-trial.

“I looked at it: I stand still for 13 seconds and before you get back up to speed, you have lost 20 seconds. That's the difference between profit and loss. A win would have been possible, but that's easy to say in retrospect," he says. "I shouldn't have fallen if I wanted to win. In general I am very satisfied with the feeling. I could have dropped my head and I could have lost a minute, but I overtake Sepp Kuss and I ride a good time trial. On to tomorrow.”

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