Remco Evenepoel still a step below the competition according to Cyrille Guimard: "He cannot race with Pogacar and Vingegaard"

Remco Evenepoel aims for the Tour de France this year, regardless of what may come out of it. The goal is experience, but naturally to battle the likes of Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard who have been at the top over the past three years. French analyst Cyrille Guimard believes the Belgian is still a level below however.

"Does he believe it? He answered this question by saying that he hoped to finish in the top 5. Would he have become the Belgian Gaudu?" Guimard jokes in an analysis for Cyclism'Actu. "I'm sorry but Remco Evenepoel has no right to talk like that. It was well formatted or he understood a certain number of things. Today, and this calls into question what I said two, three or four years ago, he doesn't really give himself the means to win a Grand Tour. I find it a little thick. As I saw him in the Vuelta a España last year, he cannot race with Pogacar and Vingegaard."

The Belgian is an expert on hilly and mountainous one-day races, which has earned him world titles, monuments and other high-level classics at all levels. This is something that someone likes Jonas Vingegaard for example is very far from achieving. However, Evenepoel aims to become a Grand Tour specialist as the Dane is. Having won the Vuelta a España in 2022, he has shown the potential to win the Tour de France as well, but when it comes to the high mountains questions arise if he can match the two riders who have overwhelmingly dominated the competition in France in recent years.

Guimard also comments on Evenepoel's teammate Julian Alaphilippe, who is starting the season at the Tour Down Under and has confirmed that he will not be aiming at the Tour, but instead at the Giro d'Italia this year. "It is not because you act like a rock singer during a swimsuit presentation that it demonstrates that you have, deep within yourself, rediscovered the desire, the motivation and the entourage who will help you," he says of the former World Champion, who has been on several of the team's social media videos over the past few days in seemingly good mood in Australia.

"We will judge on the evidence, but I am not sure that Julian will return to his level of three years ago. When we see how he raced on the Tour last year, he accepted having become a second-rate rider, and that's not pejorative because there are only around fifteen of the big guys. He went down to the second curtain and his results are also there to prove it."

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