Patrick Bevin shines for Israel-Premier Tech but Tour de France is off his schedule

The New Zealander has won all but one of his team's victories so far in 2022.

Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

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VALBROYE, Switzerland (VN) — Patrick Bevin may have taken three-quarters of Israel-Premier Tech’s victories in 2022 but the Tour de France remains off the New Zealander’s race program. The 31-year-old won a stage and the overall at the Tour Turkey in early April but took his first WorldTour win in over three years with a sprint finish victory on stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie, on Friday, in Valbroye.

Israel-Premier Tech has struggled this year with illness and a lack of form for certain riders hampering its campaign. The team was forced to skip the Tour of Flanders entirely due to the fact that it was down to a skeleton crew, and Bevin himself had to come back from an early-season injury. He is now enjoying the best several years of his career. but according to the 31-year-old, he remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the Tour de France.

Also read: Israel-Premier Tech to skip Tour of Flanders

“Unfortunately the Tour is not on my program. The second half of the year is a bit up in the air at the moment, so we’ll wait and see how it plays out,” Bevin said during his post-stage press conference.

While the Tour surprisingly remains off Bevin’s schedule the New Zealander managed to bask in the Swiss sunshine in Valbroye after some excellent teamwork helped him take the win.

Krists Neilands made it into the day’s break and ensured that his team didn’t need to chase. Bevin then hung tight on the final two third category climbs when the GC riders began to attack each other, and with Michael Woods and Jakob Fuglsang to lean on in the finale Bevin had ample support before beating Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) to the line.

Bevin’s previous WorldTour win came at the 2019 Tour Down Under, a year before COVID shut down the world. The recent two years have been a struggle for the rider and he went through the most recent 24 months without taking a victory. According to Bevin, he went back to his roots in order to rediscover his best form.

“The last two years have been tough, COVID has been tough on a lot of riders and I definitely struggled. I came into this season wanting to ride my bike and for me, a big part of the turnaround has been about trying to get back to basics and being a bike racer. The team has allowed me to do that. Obviously, I started the season with an injury, and that’s not how you want to start a season, but I kept my head down and I worked with my coach and came back strong,” he said.

“I’d love that to continue as the season goes on. It’s been a while since I’ve won and now I’ve got three on the board in the space of two weeks. Sometimes you need a bit of a push in the right direction.”

Outside of Bevin, only Michael Woods has scored a win for Israel-Premier Tech this year. If the New Zealander continues this sort of form then the management might have to reconsider their stance.

“You do a lot of work and sometimes you don’t get the results but we persevered and we got the victory today,” Bevin said.

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