Romain Bardet: Sitting on Remco Evenepoel’s wheel felt like riding into a headwind

After his shock collapse on the Tourmalet stage, the Belgian struck back in typically brilliant fashion for a solo win

Victory for Evenepoel on the Belagua
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Twenty-four hours on from his shock capitulation on the Tourmalet stage of the Vuelta a España, the race’s defending champion Remco Evenepoel bounced back in his typical brilliant and ebullient style with an astonishing show of breakaway riding that began almost when the start flag dropped and ended with him finishing solo on the Puerto de Belagua, tears running down his cheeks as he crossed the line.

‘Yesterday was a very difficult day in a lot of ways. I had a lot of negative thoughts in my head and then I woke up and thought to myself, just think of something else,’ said the Soudal-QuickStep team leader following his victory. ‘I did a recon of this stage because I knew it would be important for the GC so I knew the climbs perfectly and that it was a super tough stage. It’s super nice to take a second stage win.’

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