Remco Evenepoel said on Wednesday he regretted “the brutal manner” with which he attacked his former teammate at Soudal-Quick Step, Tim Declercq, the day before at the end of the Paris-Nice team time trial. .

“Frustrated” by his team’s fourth place, long in advance before seeing his efforts ruined by a downpour in the final, the Belgian castigated the behavior of his compatriot, now with Lidl-Trek, whom he accused of having obstructed in a deliberate and “nasty” manner on the course in Auxerre.

Evenepoel apologized in the evening on social networks after an exchange of messages with Declercq, who had very little appreciated the criticism of his former leader for whom he had so often sacrificed himself in the past.

“I don’t regret what I said but the brutal way in which I said it. Tim knows he was in the way and apologized for it. It was nothing personal, if it had been another rider, it would have been the same thing,” assured Evenepoel on Wednesday at the start of the 4th stage in Chalon-sur-Saône.

“I know Tim didn’t do it on purpose. We exchanged messages last night and we will have a discussion in the peloton today to definitively turn the page,” added the 2022 world champion.

Known for his outbursts and outspokenness, Evenepoel admitted that he often reacted hotly after races and that this did not always reflect 100% how I really feel. “But I don’t think you should want to change your character at all costs. That’s how I am,” he added.