'You should realise your mistake': Remco Evenepoel shouts at Gianni Vermeersch after opening stage of Benelux Tour 2021

The young Belgian had a very long wait for his front wheel to be changed by neutral service

Remco Evenepoel at stage one of the Benelux Tour 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images )

Remco Evenepoel cut an extremely frustrated figure at the side of the road with a broken front wheel during stage one of the Benelux Tour 2021.

The situation for the Deceuninck - Quick-Step man was not helped by the fact that the Shimano neutral service car took a very long time over the wheel change, first bringing the wrong wheel and then taking substantial time with the drill on Evenepoel's disc brake wheels.

It was made clear by the 21-year-old after the 169.6km route from Surhuisterveen to Dokkum, that was plagued with strong cross-winds, that he blamed Alpecin-Fenix rider Gianni Vermeersch for cutting across him and breaking his spokes.

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After the stage he was filmed shouting in Dutch: "We're just riding normally in the group and you just come diagonally into me. No need to run away, you should realise your mistake."

Evenepoel went from the leading group of riders to the third group on the road which, fortunately for him, made it back to group two and finished under a minute to the leaders with him coming to the line 57 seconds down alongside riders such as Gertaint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r-Citroën).

When things had settled down after the day's racing, Evenepoel Tweeted: "Crazy first stage of the Benelux Tour, and in all the action emotions can run high... Tomorrow's a new day and a time trial! Let's go for it."

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All is not lost for Deceuninck - Quick-Step though as the Belgian WorldTour team has their other leader and Tour of Flanders winner, Kasper Asgreen, made it to the front group along with team-mates, Álvaro Hodeg and Stijn Steels.

Evenepoel's chances of overall glory aren't done yet, either, as stage two sees an 11.1km individual time trial. However, with riders like Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) both making the front group, it could be difficult to gain time.

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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.