Wout van Aert has revealed he wants to hold clear-the-air talks with Remco Evenepoel after being left unhappy following the UCI Road World Championships.
Evenepoel was critical of team tactics in the road race as Belgium failed to put a rider on the podium, having started among the favourites.
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Van Aert has now expressed his frustration with these claims.
“First of all, they were statements that we should have discussed internally,” he told cycling podcast De Tribune. “There was room for that within the team, because we were together for a while after the race.
“Or Remco could have done it later, but I don’t think a TV studio is the right place. And substantively I thought it was a bit strange that he knew what the tactics were, but that afterwards he claimed that it was not all that clear and that he still wanted to ride for himself. However, the national coach had been very clear when he selected Remco.”
Evenepoel made several attacks early in the race but ran out of steam as he came home in 62nd, while Van Aert finished in 11th.
Van Aert added: “It was absolutely not the tactics of the team or the national coach to use Remco so early. He himself chose to attack so early, while that was earlier for [Yves] Lampaert or [Victor] Campenaerts. Because Remco was at the front, they were never able to carry out their task.”
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Despite his annoyance, Van Aert says that he is open to rebuilding his relationship with Evenepoel.
“It’s important that we talk about this again. We will still be in selections together.
“Remco contacted me, but that was quite short. No major steps have been taken to clear it up, but that will come. Communication is important in every relationship and Remco still has to take steps in that regard.
“What happened at the World Championships will linger, but as a person you have to be forgiving. Otherwise you will make life very difficult. For me, this does not stand in the way of racing together later.”
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