Jasper Stuyven has his say on Belgian storm after World Championships

'All of a sudden we’re so stupid' says Stuyven after his fourth place in Leuven

Jasper Stuyven finishing fourth at the World Championships in hometown of Leuven
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jasper Stuyven has spoken out about his thoughts on how the press has dealt with himself and the rest of the Belgian team's tactics at the recent World Championships.

In a pre-race press conference for Paris-Roubaix, it was inevitable that Stuyven would be asked about his opinion on what happened at the race and the fallout from that.

Since the race finished - with Stuyven finishing fourth in his hometown of Leuven and the next best-placed Belgian being pre-race favourite Wout van Aert in 11th place - Van Aert has had a back and forth with team-mate Remco Evenepoel who sacrificed his chances for the two leaders.

>>> 'I think it would be quite cool if it rains': Mathieu van der Poel ready to take on the challenge at debut Paris-Roubaix

Stuyven said: "I’ve seen a lot of articles how we should have race before the race happened and how the guys were meant to race for Wout and how it should have gone and I think that’s exactly how we wanted to race. 

“We did that, and now all of a sudden we’re so stupid and like idiots so if you don’t win. It’s really hard to give credit and I think that’s exactly what’s happening."

Evenepoel spoke out against the team tactics when they failed to bring the win home after he did so much work on the front of the peloton. Evenepoel also said he believed he had the ability to take victory in the 268.3km road race, which was eventually won by Julian Alaphilippe (France).

Van Aert however has since said Evenepoel knew what he signed up to and agreed to the tactics in the pre-race team meeting.

“Like I’ve said before, if we don’t win you guys [the media] are going to make out as if we failed," continued Stuyven. 

"I’m still proud of how we raced and left everything out there and we were all going for the goal, Belgium in general was going for that but if you don’t win it’s enough to put you down and that’s actually, for me, quite annoying to see they had to go that way."

Stuyven is now focussing on Paris-Roubaix as he comes into the race alongside Mads Pedersen as a two-pronged attack for victory with a strong Trek-Segafredo line-up to support them.

Paris-Roubaix takes place on Sunday, October 3 with the women's edition happening for the first time the day before the men's to make a weekend of brutal cobbled riding.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.