"There was some concern about Remco Evenepoel's health during the Dauphine" - Covid fears infiltrated Soudal - Quick-Step's Tour de France warm up

Remco Evenepoel showed some bright moments at the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine, but his climbing legs still left something to be desired just a few weeks out from his Tour de France debut.

According to latest reports however, there may be a reason as to why the Soudal - Quick-Step leader dropped off so dramatically in the final few stages, having looked strong in the Maillot Jaune after his victory in the individual time-trial. "I had an interview with Patrick Lefevere a few days ago. He said that he could say it now, because the Dauphine had passed. But there was still some concern about Evenepoel's health during the Dauphine," explains Het Nieuwsblad journalist, Jan-Pieter De Vlieger on the Cafe Koers podcast.

In 2023, Evenepoel was forced to abandon the Giro d'Italia whilst in the Maglia Rosa due to contracting covid-19, and there were some fears that a similar experience may be on had at the most recent Dauphine. "On the one hand, he apparently suffers from pollen and dust mites, but there was also fear of a Giro scenario and therefore a Covid infection," De Vlieger continues. "He had a sore throat and riders had previously left the Dauphine with a Covid infection."

"They tested Evenepoel often, but he was always negative," De Vlieger insists however. "His throat was acting up. Apart from the pollen and his general fitness level, he was also not 100 percent health-wise. It is an extra element that puts his performance into perspective."

Although Soudal - Quick-Step and Patrick Lefevere remain confident in Evenepoel's Tour de France hopes, the general consensus of fans does seem to have shifted after the Belgian's performances at the Dauphine, as seen by the results of a recent poll on our website.

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By the way, you can still cast your vote in the above poll right here!

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