Stijn Devolder and his team Quick Step were shocked by his performance in the Tour de Suisse's mountain time trial on Saturday. The Belgian Champion finished 43rd, nearly six and a half minutes behind winner Roman Kreuziger of Team Liquigas.
"I had not reckoned with that," he said.
"I absolutely never found my tempo," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "When I heard my split times, I knew enough. I no longer tried to go for a good time. This is not pleasant but better it happens now than in the Tour."
His directeur sportif, Dirk Demol, told sporza, "I hope this was an off day," noting that the rider "was very disillusioned."
"We had expected more of him," Demol continued. "I quickly saw that he didn't have his rhythm, which he usually does. And when he was caught from behind, he lost courage and no longer pushed it."
Devolder will now have a quiet time before traveling to the Tour de France. He will ride the Belgian championship this coming weekend.(SW)