"There were guys who were in much worse shape" - Remco Evenepoel confirms that he escaped Dauphine crash injury-free

Remco Evenepoel escaped unscathed during the fifth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The yellow jersey wearer was involved in the massive crash, and it immediately seemed like he would be heading straight back to the hospital. But luckily it seems that the Belgian took more of a mental blow and that he'll be able to continue the race.

"At the time itself I had a very gloomy feeling," says Evenepoel in conversation with Het Nieuwsblad. "I sat there for a while because I couldn't move my knee right away, and I thought: should that happen again, after my long way back, and especially after my good feeling yesterday? I had all kinds of things going on in my head."

"But the neutralization allowed me to take the time to let everything sink in and, fortunately, once the adrenaline subsided, I quickly felt that everything was moving normally. There were guys who were in much worse shape, where you immediately realized they had injured their collarbone. It was a battlefield."

"My helmet saved me," said Evenepoel, who emphasized the importance of wearing it. According to the Belgian champion, the risk peloton took on the descent was inappropriate, knowing the roads were slippery in previous parts of the stage. "It was the last dangerous point of the day. And we knew that there had already been falls on the previous descent, so we might have been able to approach it a bit more peacefully."

Evenepoel was also asked whether he still enjoys cycling, now that major falls occur so often. "I still love my job, but my job is to win races like the time trial and not lie on the ground. At times like this you start to think a little more negatively about it. Why all the forward pressure when we enter the descents? Why does everyone want faster bikes with faster tires and less grip? There are many 'whys', but no answers."

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