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The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

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26 Oct 2018 17:02

They all knew Axeon was going to be a 1 year deal at best anyway, and merely a stepping stone towards QuickStep. Eddy knew this, Axel knew this. Situations change, and when big teams came after Evenepoel, Lefevre didn't want to risk waiting. If they can't understand that, and need to act childish in the press, that's on them. Sure Evenepoel's management should have communicated this, but especially QuickStep (Lefevre) should have, imo. But it was always a 3 party deal, where Axeon was not at the center of.

But again, it might all be up to reporters trying to stirr up a hornets' nest.
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Re:

27 Oct 2018 07:30

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:They all knew Axeon was going to be a 1 year deal at best anyway, and merely a stepping stone towards QuickStep. Eddy knew this, Axel knew this. Situations change, and when big teams came after Evenepoel, Lefevre didn't want to risk waiting. If they can't understand that, and need to act childish in the press, that's on them. Sure Evenepoel's management should have communicated this, but especially QuickStep (Lefevre) should have, imo. But it was always a 3 party deal, where Axeon was not at the center of.

But again, it might all be up to reporters trying to stirr up a hornets' nest.
For sure. I'm rather partial to Lefevere and would have done the same if I were him and signed Evenepoel asap, verbal agreement with Axeon or no, but I don't think it was a particularly classy move by Remco's father to go along with it. Would that one year have killed his son's career ... I think not. But what's done is done.
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Re: The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

06 Nov 2018 09:19

"I start in the Tour of San Juan (20-27 / 01), followed in principle by the Tour of the Algarve (20-24 / 02), the Tour of Catalonia (25-31 / 03) and the Tour of Turkey (16-21 / 04)."
https://www.hln.be/sport/wielrennen/eerste-profseizoen-van-toptalent-remco-evenepoel-telt-55-koersdagen~aad7152c/?referer=http%3A%2F%2Fcommunity.cyclingfever.com%2Fchat.html
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Re: The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

06 Nov 2018 11:16

Tim Booth wrote:"I start in the Tour of San Juan (20-27 / 01), followed in principle by the Tour of the Algarve (20-24 / 02), the Tour of Catalonia (25-31 / 03) and the Tour of Turkey (16-21 / 04)."
https://www.hln.be/sport/wielrennen/eerste-profseizoen-van-toptalent-remco-evenepoel-telt-55-koersdagen~aad7152c/?referer=http%3A%2F%2Fcommunity.cyclingfever.com%2Fchat.html


1 a month - makes sense. Don't want to burn the kid out. (Tour of Turkey moved to April from October, I see)
Anything about Fran Millar goes in The Clinic.
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07 Nov 2018 13:24

https://sporza.be/nl/2018/11/06/koen-pelgrim-over-remco-evenepoel/
semi google-translated.

Trainer about program Evenepoel: "Races where he finds a challenge".
Remco Evenepoel will become pro january first.

Remco Evenepoel (18) knows where he will take his first steps in the professional peloton. Trainer Koen Pelgrim has drawn up a limited program. "Results are of secondary importance", says the Dutchman of Quick-Step.

"He can do his thing, but the program is not too taxing"

The Tour of San Juan, the Tour of the Algarve, the Tour of Catalonia and the Tour of Turkey may welcome Remco Evenepoel next spring, confirmed the 18-year-old neoprof in Het Laatste Nieuws.

"We have given him a program that suits him, in which he sees challenges and where he can do his thing, but at the same time is not too taxing," explains Quick-Step coach Koen Pelgrim to Sporza.

"We have drawn up a provisional program that includes some time trials and some climbing, which are the elements in which he excells and in which he wants to develop further in the coming years, but the races are not always of the highest level. so he can develop calmly. "

"At that age you have to build up step by step"

The new team of Remco Evenepoel wants to be extra sparing with its talent. "He comes from races of 120 to 140 kilometers and stage races of up to 5 days."

"Now he will sometimes have to do 200-kilometer stages for several days in a row, and at a higher level, where he will not always be able to conserve his energy, that's a much heavier load and that's the step by step build up."

"We are trying to forge a program with sufficient rest between race days, and if he gets exhausted, he can calmly recover and start a new race well rested."

"Results are of little importance"

With the Tour of Catalonia, his first WorldTour stage race will normally take place at the end of March. "We want to let him try the level of such a race," says Koen Pelgrim, who will be one of Evenepoel's monitors.

"He does not drive to perform, but to try a different type of race, and he can compare himself to the best, because that race is usually a sort of benchmark where stage racers want to show themselves a first time. Remco doesn't have to compete with those men yet, but that way he can get an idea of their level. "

Doesn't Evenepoel have to perform anywhere? "That's not a requirement, we'll see how it goes. He's allowed to perform, of course, but the idea is to improve him step by step, the results in the first months are of secondary importance. "

Tim Booth wrote:"I start in the Tour of San Juan (20-27 / 01), followed in principle by the Tour of the Algarve (20-24 / 02), the Tour of Catalonia (25-31 / 03) and the Tour of Turkey (16-21 / 04)."

From the same article:
  • 55 race days in 2019
  • likely to race the Hammer Series Limburg as well
  • Belgian Championship TT and road too
  • wants to be ready for Argentina
  • will take a break mid-season
Last edited by Logic-is-your-friend on 07 Nov 2018 13:31, edited 2 times in total.
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07 Nov 2018 13:24

https://sporza.be/nl/2018/11/06/koen-pelgrim-over-remco-evenepoel/

one race a month, so he can recover after each race, they don't expect results from him at all,first Wt race at Catalonia where he can discover how such a race happens to be ridden

they let him ride races where he can climb and TT so he can develop that...
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09 Nov 2018 13:13

Remco is already training at El Teide mountain in the blue QS kit....

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20181108_03925105
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Re:

09 Nov 2018 18:02

Lexman wrote:https://sporza.be/nl/2018/11/06/koen-pelgrim-over-remco-evenepoel/

one race a month, so he can recover after each race, they don't expect results from him at all,first Wt race at Catalonia where he can discover how such a race happens to be ridden

they let him ride races where he can climb and TT so he can develop that...

The TT are probably best considering the distance and stages with short distances with MTF. They will also be good for progression comparison
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09 Nov 2018 18:08

Last time there were ITTs in Catalunya and Turkey Armstrong was still an active rider.
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21 Nov 2018 23:20

https://wielerverhaal.com/2018/11/20/wielerverhaal-podcast-editie-1-remco-evenepoel-over-zijn-transfer-naar-deceuninck-quickstep/

Long (30 minute) interview with Evenepoel & his former team manager where he also talks about the offers of Sky and Mitchelton Scott. Sky offered him a "football contract" (in terms of budget). But he's happy with his deal at Deceuninck-Quick Step, because Sky offered him a 5 year deal, and he didn't want to risk being "stuck" for 5 years. He also gave his word to Lefevre and wanted to honor that.

The only goal he didn't reach, was winning Paris Roubaix, but this was due to a mechanical.

He doesn't fear the duration or distance of pro races, but doesn't know how he will cope with the accellerations.
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Re:

24 Nov 2018 11:14

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:https://wielerverhaal.com/2018/11/20/wielerverhaal-podcast-editie-1-remco-evenepoel-over-zijn-transfer-naar-deceuninck-quickstep/

Long (30 minute) interview with Evenepoel & his former team manager where he also talks about the offers of Sky and Mitchelton Scott. Sky offered him a "football contract" (in terms of budget). But he's happy with his deal at Deceuninck-Quick Step, because Sky offered him a 5 year deal, and he didn't want to risk being "stuck" for 5 years. He also gave his word to Lefevre and wanted to honor that.

The only goal he didn't reach, was winning Paris Roubaix, but this was due to a mechanical.

He doesn't fear the duration or distance of pro races, but doesn't know how he will cope with the accellerations.


For every cyclist with whatever contract, there are hundreds of football players who earn the exact amount of money. Guy sure knows how to talk a lot of crap.
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24 Nov 2018 11:23

Lol what? Everybody know what he means.
"Es el mejor con y sin" - someone very bright on Valverde.
Purito, Valv and Conta <3
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Re:

24 Nov 2018 11:37

Der Effe wrote:This junior legend makes sure he wastes no time in his race to the top. Hope he sells adult sizes as well! https://www.rev1703.com/index.php

Edit: I have been told all profits go to a children’s hospital. The merch is freakin’ expensive, but a heartwarming gesture.


What is the significance of 1703? His birthday is reported as 25th January, so its not that...
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Re: Re:

24 Nov 2018 12:27

Der Effe wrote:For every cyclist with whatever contract, there are hundreds of football players who earn the exact amount of money. Guy sure knows how to talk a lot of crap.


Hahaha, let the hate flow through you. Give in to the dark side.

Seriously man, you would do yourself a favor not responding. That is EXACTLY what he means. In football, the contracts are much higher than in Cycling. A "normal" contract by football standards, is a "big" contract by cycling standards. The only guy talking a lot of crap here, is you. Not for the first time. Funny that you are the guy accusing others of ulterior motives, yet every post you have placed in this and some other topics, reeks of bias.

Armchair cyclist wrote:What is the significance of 1703? His birthday is reported as 25th January, so its not that...


It's the postal code for his home town. Also, the entire project is an initiative from his official fanclub, supported by him. It is not HIS project. All profits are donated to a childrens hospital in his hometown.
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Re:

25 Nov 2018 15:19

Valv.Piti wrote:Lol what? Everybody know what he means.


That he rejected a contract from Sky, something he has to mention about twice a week.
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Re: Re:

25 Nov 2018 15:45

Der Effe wrote:
Valv.Piti wrote:Lol what? Everybody know what he means.


That he rejected a contract from Sky, something he has to mention about twice a week.

It's not like he's the one writing the news stories about himself.
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Re: The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

02 Dec 2018 00:49

https://www.hln.be/sport/wielrennen/tom-boonen-leidt-supertalent-remco-evenepoel-symbolisch-het-profpeloton-binnen-ge-gaat-verschieten~afd7a066

Interview with Evenepoel and Boonen in "Het Laatste Nieuws", translated by googletranslate with some edits to remove the slapstick translations. Still took me long enough, so i hope you enjoy. (PS: Made some small edits)

Tom Boonen symbolically introduces super talent Remco Evenepoel into the professional peloton: "You won't know what hit you."

He could be his son. So, four-time Crystal Bike winner Tom Boonen (38) let the super talented and 'Junior of the Year' Remco Evenepoel (18) train peacefully first. "I'm taking care of you, aren't i, shorty." And so the short one invited the tall one for a coffee at Le Pain Quotidien in Wemmel. For a double interview, in which the name Mer ... - oops - wasn't mentioned once.

Have you met each other before?


Boonen:
«Twice. Once sober and once drunk. »(Laughs)

Evenepoel: "Speak for yourself. Almost lights out. "

Boonen: «As was the case for 95% of those present, on the "silver sponsor jubilee" of Latexco. "Parteeey!" Our first conversation dates back to the end of June, during a cycling trip in the context of the International Cycling Trophy in Oetingen, organized by a mate of mine, a Volvo concessionaire. "

Evenepoel: «It immediately clicked. As if we had known each other for ten years. I went to the juniors with Tom's nephew, Davide Bomboi. That was ideal to break the ice. "

You were five, Remco, when Tom won his first of three "Ronde van Vlaanderen" in 2005 and became world champion in Madrid. Did that preoccupy a starting football player at RSC Anderlecht?


Evenepoel: «Certainly. I was playing purely for pleasure, at that stage there was no intentional career planning. Dad gave me the cycling bug, being a former cyclist. I enjoyed following cycling. Saturday football, and sunday watching a race on TV. That's what an average weekend looked like. In the newspaper I always looked at the cycling results first, before i'd check football results. I knew perfectly well who Tom was. "

Boonen: (surprised) «At that age sports were totally not on my mind. It wasn't a hot topic at home either. Sven (his brother, ed.) And I were always outside romping. Building camps, burning things and stuff like that. When I was 11, when I won the School Championship, it occurred to me for the first time that I might be able to become a cyclist. It was only during the juniors that I really started to love it. "

After that world title, suddenly the whole country loved you. Belgium was going crazy.

Boonen: «The term 'hype' was invented back then. It was a different era, but you felt that they were gradually changing. Loud Internet forums, rise of social media. Especially from that angle the pressure increased. I was also one of the first riders to be asked anywhere outside the race. Did you know that I even had a poster in the "Joepie" (immensely popular Belgian music magazine from the period 1973-2015, ed.)? »

Evenepoel: (full of disbelief) «No ... Really? Goh. "

Boonen: "That's when you know you made it in life, no? (laughs) It was indeed crazy. "

I have a feeling that the hype surrounding you has already started, Remco. Everywhere in the country, fan clubs are popping up.

Evenepoel: «Myeah ...»

Boonen: (cuts in immediately) «True. Do you know how i can tell? People who know nothing about the sport start to mention you. "Tell me, that Remco Evenepoel, he's something else, right?" That's how it starts. "

Evenepoel: «For the time being without extremes, though. They do not set up camp in our garden, do not call for a photo or signature. And I still can, like any normal person, go to the butcher around the corner. I notice that people do recognize me more quickly. Recently I went shopping with Oumi (Oumaïma Rayane, his girlfriend, ed.) on the Antwerp Meir. 'Hey', someone suddenly shouted. We turned around. "Aren't you the world champion?" Euh ... yes. (grins) It comes with the territory, surely? I try to not let it go to my head. We are now more than two months after the World Championships in Innsbruck. It's time for things to go back to normal. There are other, more important things. "

"Let him breathe," you advise, Tom. But does he get enough space?

Boonen: "Everyone wants something from you. Be very selective. Then it will be fine."

Evenepoel: «I have already discussed it extensively with Patrick (Lefevere, ed.). They learned a lot from your period, Tom, at Deceuninck-Quick.Step. Back then, 'yes' was being said too easily. »

Boonen: «Especially the first years. Which was normal. Suddenly you explode, nobody had experience with it. You will now end up in a team that has already endured such storms. "

Evenepoel:
(nods) «They know how to deal with such a situation.»

Stay away from that media training, Remco. And be your fresh, spontaneous self. As Tom has been.

Boonen: (played outraged) «What? Not anymore you mean? »

Sure. But you have to admit: you have gradually become more cautious.

Boonen: «Because some people took advantage of it. After the Museeuw / Van Petegem era, in which every word was carefully considered and weighed, someone finally dared to say something that differed from the usual discourse. It worked refreshingly. But at the same time, it was dangerous. You will learn, Remco: don't be too candid, without losing spontaneity. »

The fact is: he's quickly winning hearts.

Boonen: "It's a pleasure to watch him."

Evenepoel: «What I do, I do with full enthusiasm and pleasure. Otherwise it can never be good. That's how i see it. "

Do you recognize yourself in this boy, Tom? The way he tackles life? That hyperactivity ...?

Boonen: "Is that so?"

Evenepoel: «I can not sit still.»

Boonen: "Oops, neither can I." (laughs)

Evenepoel: "In the evening I really have to stop doing 'something' and go to sleep. If i don't... I'll just keep busy. Then I am already looking forward to the next morning and the moment I can get up, have breakfast and cycle. "

Boonen: "Good that you can channel that turmoil onto your bike."

Evenepoel: «Everything must also be punctual. Oh dear, if something unexpected pops up, my schedule is turned upside down and I can not do what I had in mind. Then I am lost. Something i need to work on. »

Boonen: "Yes, because you also have to learn how to deal with that."

Evenepoel: "The World Cup was, for that matter, a great test. Plan A did not succeed because of that fall. Just when we wanted to start with the team. "Okay, can happen. Then plan B or C. '»

Ha, there was also a plan C?

Evenepoel: (laughs) «The sprint, heh.»

Boonen: «His plan was merely to blast everyone out of his wheel.»

273,897 people watched that World championship. Market share: 49.9%. Gigantic for a junior race on a weekday Thursday.

Evenepoel:
«The arrival was around 18 o'clock, when people are home from work. And I had already helped advertising with the time trial. "

Boonen: "I did not start watching the race until the last hour myself. When you had already deployed your comeback. Pure madness! Just when I thought: 'Ai, he is still having trouble with that German in his wheel', you accelerated. Game over. Rarely seen. "

Evenepoel: «There was a short even steeper part in that climb, where I kept the same cadence and suddenly went from 420 to 650 watts. That short burst of no more than ten seconds finished Mayrhofer off. "

That is what he is up to, Tom.

Boonen:
«All of them, nowadays. There are no more youth categories. They're all pros now. "

Evenepoel: «Cycling in 2018 is all about wattages. Coaches draw up training schedules based on them and use them as a value indicator. »

Boonen: "In 1999 I trained as one of the first Belgian riders with an SRM meter. But there have also been years when I just did without it. »

Evenepoel: "For long endurance rides I leave it aside. I train especially on high cadence. That is my trademark. "

You have seen quite a lot of quality yourself, Tom. How do you rate this?

Boonen: «In my junior years, you had two German super talents: Eric Baumann and Torsten Hiekmann. Hors catégorie. Hiekmann, world champion time trial in 1997, was the best of the two. Baumann was more the classic type. They turned pros for a while, including at T-Mobile. But in the end they both faded away. You do not have conclusive guarantees for a top career as a junior. There are so many factors that can influence that: your own growth and development, but also your family situation, teams that go bankrupt, physical misery ... Not to mention the mental aspect. I just saw many of those guys give give up mentally. Too weak, too frail. Class in abundance, but no drive or resilience. With aging, I get a better understanding of what makes people tick. I can pick them out easily, those of which you can predict: this won't amount to anything! »

Do a prediction for Remco.

Boonen: «If he can extend his evolution ...»

Evenepoel: "My test values ​​are what they are. They do not lie. But as Tom says: it can be completely different for the pros. I realize that I will soon face men with so much more strength and experience. Who are three, four levels above me. A level that I want to achieve on a certain beautiful day. I'm going to work hard for this, together with the people of the team. I focus on the margin of growth that I still believe to have. And don't want to compare with examples from the past. "

Boonen: "It shouldn't be your concern. With that attitude you'll come a long way. I myself was not the most talented of my class. And certainly not of your caliber, Remco. I was very slender, and only really grew at the U23. I won seventeen races as a junior, but also got spanked 36 times by Gert Steegmans. »

Another rider about who you might say: 'darn, there was more potential present.'

Boonen: "Physically at least my equal. With a sprint that might even be better than mine. But ... mentally as delicate as a flower. "

Will you have to learn to lose again, Remco?

Evenepoel: «I can handle it well. Legacy of my previous life. »(Grins)

Boonen: «Huh? Football is still a team sport, no? »

Evenepoel: "Yes, but as captain of that team and extension of the coach along the sidelines, I still held a certain responsibility. And so I could feel bad after a lost top match against Club Brugge or Standard that we had to win to win the championship. I will take those experiences and strengthen myself when processing new setbacks. "

Boonen: «Pff. I also couldn't stand losing as a young rider. It even made me physically sick. Especially when I lost due to someone else's fault. I would have chopped off their head. "

Evenepoel: (smile) «I know the feeling. It gnaws inside, heh. "

Boonen: "Later, as a professional, I could put it behind me a lot easier. But there have been moments when I could have trashed the place. The Omloop of 2015, for example. When Ian Stannard had us three, Terpstra, Vandenbergh and I, looking like fools in a leading group of four. I had predicted it and that's what happened. Dude ... I could 've smacked Niki. (laughs) But ...! That 's fifteen minutes of namecalling and yelling at each other and then you say: 'Okay, tomorrow we will get back at it again in Kuurne.' Niki himself is also of the same principle. You can recognize the great ones by it. The fire will sometimes blaze. "

Evenepoel: «Totally agree.»

Remco dreams of riding the three grand tours...

Boonen: "I did that too."

... by which we mean: a classic type like you, Tom, can only give him so much advice.

Boonen: "On the contrary. My first GT, the Vuelta 2003, was also the fastest ever. In full epo-era, with Spain being the odd one out. There you raced against thirty mopeds every day. Not normal. 22, I was. I thought I would die. Gradually I have seen it change, evolve. But the period in which US Postal and T-Mobile battled against each other in the Tour remained uncomfortable. Even though I did not chase a classification myself. The morning of my stage victory on the Champs-Élysées, in 2004, I stood up in the morning with a hematocrit of ... 35.6. I almost could not start. I was so broken. But I won. So it is possible. "

Evenepoel: «Now young guys can also rival uphill. Enric Mas is a good example of this. You did not see that ten years ago. "

Boonen: «No way. Whether you weighed 40, 60 or 80 kilos, you hit a natural limit that ... thirty others were pushing. You could have trained as much as you wanted or taken care of yourself: forget it. Glad I never had to make that choice. And that I could do my own thing in the classics. "

We have been waiting for a new (Belgian) grand tour winner for 40 years. It's a daunting task.

Boonen: «He's got the potential. The will too. A lot is possible then. Only ... So far you were the norm, Remco. You determined the how far you would take it yourself. Now you have to push those boundaries against men who are ten or twenty percent better. They will force you out of your comfort zone. Only then will you know where you stand. And what you can really achieve. "

Evenepoel: «I 'm capable of riding a strong time trial, I can climb well and recuperate quickly. The three conditions to be able to grow into a grand tour contender. 'If you really want to go for it, do it right now, with full surrender', Lucien Van Impe recently said on the phone. »

Boonen: «You are in for a rude awakening, you know. But Lucien is right: focus fully on what you excel at. Real top riders can win the Tour at 22, 23 years. It often comes very quickly. And then it might fade away again. So try to score as quickly as possible. You never know what will happen afterwards. "

"We have to take care of this boy," says Walter Planckaert. He is right.

Boonen: "I would say: just leave him alone."

Evenepoel: "It is mainly me who has to do it. Together with Patrick (Lefevere, ed.) And the entire team. Us. I couldn't be better surrounded than at Deceuninck-Quick.Step. A team with a winner's mentality. I perfectly fit that profile. "

Boonen: «With his program (maximum 55 race days, mainly smaller stage races, ed.), there is nothing wrong. Ease into it in Argentina, far away from everything and everyone. "

Evenepoel: «I look forward to it tremendously. To start a new chapter, to discover a new world. And only to focus on my bike. Doing what you have to do. And if you like doing that: that's the best thing there is, right? "

Boonen: "Being a pro cyclists: ooh man, really blissful. Able to sit in the couch in the after noon without having to feel ashamed. "Yes, that is the job for me." Now that's no longer allowed. (laughs) "What are you doing here? Slacker! "

Can we conclude with an ode to the 'silent but hard-working force' in this whole story? Because that's what junior coach Carlo Bomans deserves.

Evenepoel: "Absolutely. Carlo is the man who led me to success. With all his advice and useful tips. Behind the scenes, never in public. "

Boonen: "That's Carlo. Not after attention. "

Evenepoel: "At the World Championships, he held a personal conversation with each of us, every day. 'How do you feel? Everything okay? "He has made us a close team. It's not easy, with young guys who occasionally can be stubborn and opinionated. For me Carlo is the 'manager of the Year'. "
Last edited by Logic-is-your-friend on 02 Dec 2018 18:23, edited 1 time in total.
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02 Dec 2018 01:26

Thanks a lot for the trouble. :)
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02 Dec 2018 03:46

Nice fun interview. Thanks.
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Re: The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

07 Dec 2018 23:13

https://www.rtbf.be/sport/cyclisme/detail_remco-evenepoel-l-espoir-belge-sur-les-grands-tours-pas-avant-2021?id=10090132

As usual, google translated with a fair share of edits. An article from Belgian (French speaking part) broadcast network RTBF. Enjoy (for those interested).

Remco Evenepoel, the Belgian hope for Grand Tours? - Not before 2021

In recent years, Thomas De Gendt (Giro 2012) and Jurgen Van den Broeck (Tour de France 2010, after the disqualification of Alberto Contador and Denis Menchov) have finished on the podium of two Grand Tours. Belgium no longer has a candidate for the Grand Tours, unlike the neighboring countries, Luxembourg (Bob Jungels), France (Romain Bardet, Warren Barguil, Thibaut Pinot) and the Netherlands (Steven Kruijswijk, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin, Sam Oomen).

Will Remco Evenepoel mark the turnaround? "We must not put pressure on him during the first two seasons," warns Jean-Pierre Dubois, coach of the Espoirs (U23) for twelve years (2006-2017) who saw a lot of talent during his career: Jan Bakelants, Tim Wellens. ..

Though Belgium occasionally hosts one of the three Grand Tours (the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in Brussels in 2019), it remains primarily the country of two of the five monuments of one day cycling, the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Liège -Bastogne-Liège, not to mention the semi-classics, Nieuwsblad, E3, Ghent-Wevelgem and Flèche Wallonne. Therefore, the attraction for these events is quite strong.

"When a young talent goes pro, he dreams of participating in these great races. We have the same thing with the Espoirs. I remember the ZLM Tour, a race for curb specialists, which took place the same day as Liège-Bastogne -Liège Espoirs: Some U23 riders don't have the potential to ride top 10 at La Doyenne, still want to go there to the detriment of the ZLM, a race of the Nations Cup. In addition, I notice that the teams are starting them more and more quickly in these events. They need to allow them to grow on their own terms. Let's hope for a Laurens De Plus that he doesn't fall into the trap of one day races. It would be a pity to pidgeonhole him. "

British example

Unlike Belgium, Britain does not have this anchorage in the monuments. A factor that despite its importance does not explain the success of this country on the Grands Tours. As a reminder, in 2018, Great Britain won three Grand Tours with three different riders, Froome in the Giro, Thomas in the Tour and Yates in the Vuelta.

"It is clear that Britain has financial means that Belgium does not have. The British federation worked on a project with a closed group of track specialists and then turned them into high-performance riders on the road. Geraint Thomas is the perfect example. The track, like the mountain bike, increases resistance to effort and high endurance. These are two disciplines that must be encouraged. This does not necessarily have to be done in competition but it must be part of a training schedule. "

Test the youth on a climb hors catégorie

If Britain exploits the track, Belgium is betting on its project "Climbers". This structure exists since 2009 (created by Carlo Bomans) in order to help the future Belgian climbers. First of all, you have to evaluate some tests. The riders are evaluated on several events: a test on the Côte de Wanne over 500 meters with a standing start and the ascent of Col du Rosier, a 10-12 minute effort. Both of these tests yielded results that could be used to detect climbing skills.

The best of them are then invited to the Grand Ballon d'Alsace, a climb of 25 minutes. "It was on this Ballon d'Alsace that we discovered Remco Evenepoel, who was a first year Junior. His time was almost equal to that of Bjorg Lambrecht, a second year Espoir (U23), one of the best of his generation," said Juniors coach Carlo Bomans.

According to Jean-Pierre Dubois, we must go further in this project for climbers. "The Ballon d'Alsace remains rolling where you do not have to look for the 39x25 or 36x28 gear. This is a second class climb in the Tour de France. These are good indicators but what if we shift to a higher gear? Why not imagine a test on a real climb hors catégorie, like Alpe d'Huez? At the Juniors, we can discover the best at the Tour du Valromey. But it's late. Or even worse the Tour du Val Aosta for the Espoirs (U23). It is necessary to follow the riders from October 15th when the season ends. In my opinion, it is necessary to work with a group from the second year Juniors and send them in mountain training regularly. But you have to have the budget to do so, of course, I'm aware of that. "

Remco Evenepoel must plan his career

Belgium is therefore waiting for its next specialist in Grand Tours. What if we were greeted by Remco Evenepoel? Already compared to the biggest in history, the young man from Brussels will make his professional debut at Quick Step Floors in 2019 with an adapted program. 55 days of racing spread over several stages.

"He made the right choice, he has a long-term contract and the team will be smart enough to preserve it." No doubt the Junior World Champion will be followed closely. "He shouldn't listen to the journalists and the average Joe. At the Juniors, he took matters into his own hands. He will have to control his temperament. There is a significant psychological support needed in the winter. It's not a season that needs to be planned, but a career. "

As a result, Remco Evenepoel's results will not matter next season. "He does not have to ride for result but to progress, the 2019 and 2020 results do not count, and with his physical qualities he can already finish top ten in one day races or help a leader for a long time in a classic, but this is not the goal. He must not ride a Grand Tour before 2021. He must refine his abilities. It must prepare him to become the rider that Belgium awaits. For the first two seasons let's allow him to do one-week races to get better. He has to learn all the facets to become a complete rider. Not before 2021 will he be able to set goals in a Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico which is a springboard for the Tour de France. "
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