This is just REMCO-GT-WASHING.He didn't take up the GC battle where he left it, but I can see why he did so.
It was much easier (low hanging fruit) to win stages from the breakaway, than it was for him to win stages from the group of favourites.
Winning stages from the group of favourites would require
a team holding it together (although that was more or less guaranteed thanks to JV) and;
Remco beating those favourites. That's a lot harder than beating e.g. Bardet or Caruso in a one-on-one battle from further out.
I agree though that it's a bit sad / frustrating we didn't see him fighting it out at least on one stage, and both the mountain top finishes to Bejes and Angliru would have been perfect for this (with JV controlling, so no work for SQS), without compromising his much-desired blue balls shirt.
Notwithstanding his stage wins and other 2nd places what matters is that he didn't take up the GC battle because he realized that he would loose it and not take anything from it.
Some Remco fans see it a strategical choice that postpones the debate on the battle between him and the big boys.
The truth is that Remco just decided what to grab what he could and that it would be better than a 8-10th place. There cannot be any debate because Remco is not taylored as a GT rider with a proper course.