"I’m on the right track for the Tour de France" - Mikel Landa proves stronger than Remco Evenepoel on stage 7 finale of Criterium du Dauphine

Whilst Remco Evenepoel was disappointingly dropped with 7km to go on the summit finish of stage 7 at the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine. Rather than wait for his leader however, Mikel Landa was given the freedom to ride for himself in the closing kilometres.

In the end, the Basque rider took 10th place on the day, losing 33 seconds to stage winner and overall race leader Primoz Roglic, but notably crossing the line 1:13 ahead of Evenepoel. In the process, Landa has also risen in the general classification to 10th, whilst Evenepoel has dropped from 2nd at the start of the day to 6th.

“We agreed before the stage that if I would feel better then I will try to go as far as possible and see how things go," explained the vastly experienced, 34-year-old Basque in a post-stage interview with the Soudal - Quick-Step team's official website. "I still miss a bit after that injury, which was obvious in the closing kilometre, but I’m on the right track for the Tour de France. I am quite happy with this result and I hope to have the same good legs also on Sunday.”

With the Tour de France hotly approaching, Evenepoel insists there is no need to panic just yet. “I need this race to improve and build my shape, so that’s why I’m here. It’s good for my form and for my head to suffer and to face these kinds of challenges," the Belgian told his team's official website post-stage. "I knew before the climb that I would get dropped there and lose some positions in the standings, so it is how it is. I am glad for Mikel, he rode a strong race and gained some places on the general classification. I will see how I feel on Sunday and what we can do.”

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