Remco Evenepoel 'couldn't eat anything until one hour before the time trial' at Benelux Tour as he considers abandoning

The former European time trial champion finished almost 40 seconds down on stage winner Stefan Bissegger

Remco Evenepoel riding the time trial on stage two of the Benelux Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel has said that he is looking at possibly leaving the Benelux Tour as he is struggling with eating due to stomach issues.

The Belgian rider looked to be in good shape on stage one of the race before he stopped due to a broken front wheel which saw him shout at Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) at the stage finish.

But he seemed to be in bad shape for the time trial on stage two which he spoke about after the stage, as reported by Wielerflits. 

"I couldn't eat anything until one hour before the time trial," Evenepoel said.

>>> Stefan Bissegger storms to impressive victory in Benelux Tour stage two time trial

"I was able to hold on for the first three to four kilometres, but after that my legs ran empty because I had not absorbed enough energy. We hoped for an improvement before the time trial, but that was not the case."

Evenepoel finished 39 seconds down on stage winner and new leader of the race, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) in a good ride, all things considered.

The 21-year-old and was recently announced as the Belgian team leader at the upcoming European Championships in Trento, Italy with the time trial on September 9 and the road race on September 12. He will be hoping he can recover sufficiently in time those events after suffering through the Benelux time trial.

"We are now looking at it day by day," Evenepoel said. "If the situation continues to deteriorate, there is no point in continuing [the race]. We'll see if I can keep down more food later. If that doesn't work, I better get sick and recover towards next week.

"The loss of time is not that bad, given the situation. It's just never fun, since I had hoped to take back time today. That might still work for some guys, but the differences won't be as big as hoped."

Evenepoel sits in 37th place overall at 1-36 but does have co-leader Kasper Asgreen in second place overall at 19 seconds behind Bissegger going into the next five stages. Meaning Evenepoel won't be leaving the team without hope in the GC.

The third stage of the Benelux Tour is a largely flat day over 168.3m from Essen to Hoogerheide leaving chance to recover if the wind is kind to the riders.

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