Jasper Stuyven has his say on Belgian storm after World Championships
Jasper Stuyven shared his thoughts on how the press handled himself and the rest of the Belgian squad’s tactics at the recent World Championships.
At a pre-race press conference for Paris-Roubaix, it was inevitable that Stuyven would be asked about his opinion on what happened during the race and the fallout from it.
Since the end of the race – with Stuyven finishing fourth in his hometown of Leuven and the next best-placed Belgian being pre-race favorite Wout van Aert in 11th place – Van Aert has been back and forth with his teammate Remco Evenepoel who sacrificed his chances for the two leaders.
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Stuyven said: “I saw a lot of articles on how we should have run before the race and how guys were supposed to run for Wout and how it should have been and I think that’s exactly how we wanted to run.
“We did, and now all of a sudden we’re so dumb and like idiots, so if you don’t win.” It’s really hard to give credit and I think that’s exactly what’s happening. “
Evenepoel spoke out against the team’s tactics when they failed to secure the victory after working so hard at the front of the field. Evenepoel also said he believed he had the ability to win the 268.3km road race, which was ultimately won by Julian Alaphilippe (France).
Van Aert has since said, however, that Evenepoel knew what he was committed to and agreed to the tactic at the pre-race team meeting.
“Like I said before if we don’t win you guys [the media] let’s pretend we’ve failed, âStuyven continued.
“I’m always proud of the way we ran and left everything there and we were all going for the goal, Belgium in general was aiming for it, but if you don’t win it’s enough to put you down and that ‘ is actually, for me, quite annoying that they had to go that way. “
Stuyven is now focused on Paris-Roubaix as he enters the race alongside Mads Pedersen as a two-pronged attack for victory with a solid Trek-Segafredo formation to back them up.
Paris-Roubaix takes place on Sunday October 3 with the women’s edition taking place for the first time the day before the men’s edition to make a weekend of brutal cobblestone riding.