Belgian cyclist, Tim Merlier, winner of a stage at Tour de France, will be absent from the screen in Tour de France of 2022. The 29 year old rider who has been a part of the UCI cycling team Alpecin-Fenix, alongside Mathieu van der Poel, will not be seen reappearing, as the team decided to send Jasper Philipsen accompanied by Van der Poel to the upcoming tour.
Nonetheless, Merlier seemed hopeful while waiting to hear from the team and said:
I’ll get ready, you never know someone might drop out. I hope that I will be selected for the Vuelta. But I haven’t heard from the team yet.
However, the news that the 29-year-old star is joining hands with Quickstep-Alpha Vinyl has not been yet confirmed by him. It is speculated that he will make the switch in August 2023, when the transfer windows open. He won stages at Nokere Koerse, Brugge-De Panne Classic and at the Tirreno-Adriatico, giving a heady start to the season.
Sadly, Tim Merlier withstood an injury at the Paris-Roubaix. The crash left him with a gaping wound to his elbow. The injury necessitated a surgery due to which he could not race at Giro d’Italia as originally planned.
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Tim felt sorrowful as he could not be a part of the race and it pained him to see his fellow teammates racing. The pain of watching the coverage, which he thought he would be a part of, pushed him to set new goals. He explained:
It hurt when I saw my teammates on TV, but I quickly set new goals. I didn’t watch too much either, only the last kilometers.
Although he was hurtful for missing out on the race, he was extremely happy for his teammates and was all cheers for their wins.
I am happy with the three stage wins from the team.
The opening stage and the first maglia rosa was won by Mathieu van der Poel. Whereas, Stefano Oldani and Dries De Bondt also had their first wins in the Grand Tour. Merlier looked happy and proud for his teammates as he said:
Some riders were down when it became clear that I had to forfeit but they have done brilliantly. You also saw that the atmosphere was fantastic, thanks in part to Mathieu van der Poel.
Spain’s island Tenerife has been proven perfect in terms of weather, for healing the elbow injury faced by Tim. He has to still watch out for infections in order to make a full recovery. The dry weather has been ideal to keep dirt out of the wound and to keep it clean.
The stage 3 winner of 2022 Tour de France expressed his likeness for training at the climbs in Tenerife but he looked somewhat gloomy at the absence of having company.
And training on the climbs here is fun if you can ride at your own pace, that is. Riders like Jasper Stuyven, Dylan van Baarle and Filippo Ganna were also here, but I trained alone the whole time. One day Kenneth Vandendriessche drove along. He won the Ironman of Lanzarote last week and came here to rest. But he had brought his bike and wanted to keep me company for a few hours.
He was a title winner in 2019 but the COVID-19 pandemic limited the number of the glorious days Tour of Slovenia, He will be seen returning to the season at Brussels Cycling Classic. He will also be present at Ronde van Limburg before making his way to Tour of Slovenia. Furthermore, he has said that his main goal is the race of Belgian Championships, which is to begin later on June 26.
Tim promises to make up for the days missed due to the pandemic and says he will live up to the expectations of his jersey and fans. He seemed quite hopeful when he said:
I want to make up for that
While we are hopeful for the future of Merlier, we wish him all the luck in his upcoming endeavors.
Featured Image Via YouTube/ Cycling Pro Net