Michel Wuyts - "I am convinced that Remco had won this Giro d'Italia. I don't say 'could have won', but 'had won'"

Primoz Roglic is the 2023 Giro d'Italia winner. According to Belgian cycling analyst Michel Wuyts however, the Slovenian's victory will be tainted by the fact that Remco Evenepoel was forced to withdraw due to covid.

"I am convinced that Remco had won this Giro d'Italia. I don't say 'could have won', but 'had won'," says the ex-Sporza commentator. Taking the win on two of the first nine stages, Evenepoel was holding the Maglia Rosa heading into the first rest day. Sadly for the Soudal - Quick-Step leader however, he wouldn't return to the race after the day-off, being forced to withdraw due to a positive covid diagnosis.

"On the basis of his boundless talent, on the basis that he had prepared for it for six months and that he was ready to contest that Giro at its peak for the full three weeks," continues Wuyts, listing his reasons why Evenepoel was the Maglia Rosa in waiting.

“In terms of thrills, this Giro is definitely going to be at the top, but in terms of intrinsic value, it is way at the bottom. The eternal waiting, anxious stuff, passive driving, staying in the block and hoping that something will happen in the final kilometre. And that too often failed. We have not been hungry in this Giro."

Heading into the stage 20 time-trial, Geraint Thomas was the man in pink and Wuyts was confident he would hold onto the race lead. "I had faith in Geraint Thomas, he radiated strength," said the Belgian. Sadly for Thomas it wasn't to be as Primoz Roglic overturned his 26-second deficit and took the win. "When you saw that bad luck, Roglic was clearly the better one. He lost the Giro when Tao Geoghegan Hart drops out. If that doesn't happen, they can keep playing both pawns. That gives a different race."

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