Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck–QuickStep) says he ripped out his earpiece on Stage 11 at the Giro d’Italia because it was not working properly, dismissing claims he was frustrated with his team or teammate Joao Almeida.
The 21-year-old showed the first signs of cracks on the white gravel of Tuscany and was distanced, with Almeida initially not dropping back to help the team’s leader.
Almeida did eventually slow to help Evenepoel, but not until the visibly frustrated Belgian had pulled out his communication device.
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“We were in a region where the communication with the radio wasn’t great,” claimed Evenepoel before Stage 12.
“And he [Almeida] heard it too late and I got dropped. In that moment I shouted and said it was hard for me to follow and they didn’t see that in the car either. So a lot of bad luck.”

‘What on earth is he playing at?’ – Evenepoel rips out earpiece after being abandoned by team

However Almeida, who looks set to leave Deceuninck at the end of the season, told Portuguese publication A Bola that he had hoped to ride for himself.
“I felt good. I had the chance to race with the best, but I had to follow orders from the support car to wait for Remco,” he said.
“Do I feel disappointed? I'd rather be silent than saying what I think. Cycling is a collective sport and the sporting directors are the ones who are in charge.”
Evenepoel fell 2:22 behind Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) in the race for the maglia rosa, dropping from second to seventh in GC, with Almeida 7:04 back in 17th.
“That’s not exactly toeing the party line,” said Rob Hatch on Eurosport commentary after Evenepoel's interview was aired. “There’s three different answers from three different sources.
"We had Joao Almeida saying he preferred not to speak, doing his best Jose Mourinho impression. We had Evenepoel saying it was bad luck and the radio wasn’t working. And we had Davide Bramati, the boss, not mentioning that at all and just saying it was a bad moment.”
Adam Blythe was not having Evenepoel’s explanation either:
Ah come on, radio wasn’t working? Why did he take it out then? Flipping heck. What a terrible excuse.
Almeida arrived in Italy as co-leader with Evenepoel but leaked time in the first week as the Belgian was promoted to sole frontrunner for Deceuninck.

‘It’s not nice to say I’m dropped’ – What happened with Evenepoel and Almeida?

‘Evenepoel lost his head’

Evenepoel “threw his toys out the pram” and “lost his head a bit”, according to Eurosport expert Sean Kelly, who also sympathised with the wonderkid.
“It’s a difficult one to read. I don’t know what was going on there,” Kelly said on The Breakaway on Wednesday.
“He [Almeida] needs to stay behind and not go in front of him because on those sorts of roads on a normal descent is difficult but when you’re on gravel roads it’s impossible to keep looking around.
“We saw Evenepoel pull out his earpiece, he really was throwing his toys out the pram.
He lost his head a bit but I’m not surprised. A young rider like that… Almeida should never have been that far in front of him.

‘Throwing his toys out the pram – he lost his head!’ – Kelly on Evenepoel drama

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