"The boy is 20 years old": Florian Vermeersch urges critics to give Arnaud de Lie time to develop

Arnaud de Lie had an astonishing start to the season scoring wins and top results in Spain, France, and Belgium before going to his first world tour stage race ever, Paris-Nice. De Lie came short of the expectations and received some critics, which his teammate Florian Vermeersch seriously condemns.

"Riders are too often and too quickly praised to the skies. Racing is not an exact science. Arnaud De Lie won in Valencia and also two stages in the Etoile de Bessèges. He came second in Almeria and the Omloop het Nieuwsblad. The boy is 20 years old, give Arnaud time to mature and things will work out", said Vermeersch to Het Niewsblad.

Vermeersch himself is no stranger to this type of pressure since the Lotto-Dstny rider finished 2nd in Paris-Roubaix in 2021 his first ever professional year and knows well that the young riders need to be developed and don't put much responsibility on them.

"It creates an ever-increasing pattern of expectations, but I don't let that get me down. I have the advantage of my youth", he concluded. The Lotto Dstny rider is set to target more wins throughout this spring, and his results from the past year suggest he will be a main favourite for some despite the strong competition.

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