It’s clear that Evenepoel’s impressive second season in the WorldTour is over. After securing four stage victories this season, the most recent of the Tour of Poland, he was due to lead Deceuninck-Quickstep at Tirreno-Adriatico before making his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia.
“What happens to his season? I don’t care, really not, ”Lefevere said. “I’m glad he’s still alive. He will have to watch a lot of television this season. He said “sorry” to me. I said, “You’re still alive. The farm ” . ”
The descent of Muro di Sormano where Evenepoel crashed is one of the most technical on the WorldTour circuit. In 2017, Lefevere saw another of his riders, Laurens de Plus, crash into the ravine at a different location. It was also reminiscent of the fall of another former Quickstep driver, Philippe Gilbert, during the 2018 Tour de France.
Lefevere wondered why the same dangerous sections continue to be used in the races.
“A little further and and things could have gone even worse,” said Lefevere. “I have told the union several times [UCI] and the organization that this kind of descent is not possible, but nothing changes. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. Crudely said, we could have had two deaths in a week with Fabio Jakobsen and Remco. You may think that running and winning are important. But when you see your riders flying in a barrier or a ravine, you don’t think about it anymore. So this is pure nonsense. ”
For the second time this week, the team is now organizing a private flight for an injured runner to return home. Jakobsen returned to the Netherlands this week – his condition was considered “a miracle” after suffering terrible trauma to his face and neck after breaking through the barricades in the Tour of Poland opening sprint.
Evenepoel was racing with Jakobsen and as he took the solo victory on Stage 4, he held Jakobsen’s race number as a tribute. Now he too will be brought home to recover.
“There will be a private jet ready to transfer it to Belgium. We don’t want to take any chances, so he will stay here for another 24 hours. There are still some x-ray tests to do, but we want to continue. rehabilitation in our country. ”
Team sporting director Davide Bramati has said he hopes the team’s bad luck will end. “Is this descent too dangerous?” I do not know. This descent has been used for years and there have been a lot of falls. On the other hand, falling is part of cycling. We had also explored the descent with Remco, we are doing what we need to do to prepare. “