As you can see above, i saw the broadcast.No need to be passive-aggressive. You don't agree that in every appearance he comes across like a little *** without any sympathetic traits? He was sitting next to Wout van Aert in Vive le Velo this week, the two couldn't be any more different.
No, i don't agree. It seems like you are forgetting a few things. He's still only 19. He only started cycling when he was 17. In a period of 18 months, he took off like a rocket, has been the most talked about cyclist in Belgium and quite possibly the world (or not far off). Not a week goes by or he gets a camera pushed in his face. Furthermore, he comes from a football background which as a teamsport, is a lot more macho and egocentric (though you would think the opposite, that's not true). No other 19 year old in cycling has ever had to face the media like he has.
But the kid is basically just trying to stay real. But he's still a kid nevertheless. I agree he does and says some dumb stuff, but he is also quite refreshing to watch on many occasions. He says what he thinks, and he tries to be respectful, but sometimes testosterone takes over and you can see that he is too young and too new to cycling to put things into perspective. Like the Bettiol comment. I'm quite sure he only said what others (jokingly or not) said in the team. And now they ask him about it, and he says that next time they won't let him ride. So, does he say that because he's a douchebag or because he "thinks" it's what he should say to be a team player, trying to stick up for his team? Not realizing there is a difference between saying something like that at the breakfast table between teammates, or on live television.
He's also incredibly ambitious and he's a real winner. When things bother him, he gets irked and he hasn't learned to cope with that with camera's on him all the time. Making gestures towards the motorcycles in Lunigiana, at Skuijns for not fully committing in San Sebastian, saying things like that about Bettiol. And people are quick to judge a kid that is still trying to find his way. Blowing things out of proportion. Again, no other 19 year old has ever been in the spotlights like him. Most guys his age are lucky to get a decent result as a first year U23 rider, hoping to be on a picture in some race nobody heard of, while he wins San Sebastian, ECC ITT, and silver at the WCC ITT. He hasn't really had time to learn or adjust.
On the other hand, comparing him to van Aert, who is possibly one of the most likable guys in cycling, who has always been down to earth, humble, having had a tough time as a kid (when he was small and skinny compared to his competitors), who is always calm, focused and is 5 or 6 years older, isn't exactly fair either.