Baloise Belgium Tour 2021 (June 9-13)

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Herregodts is one of those surprises i was talking about. I actually forgot he was in the race.
Great time by Bouwman.
This Herregodts kid been doing pretty well.
Go Rune Herregodts!
If the Ruta del Sol had a TT, he would've been top 10 in the GC easily. If he didn't have an unfortunate flat in the final of yesterday's stage, he could've done a more than decent job in the general of this race too.

He's a nice talent in the big ones' shadow to keep an eye on. And he's a really friendly guy too.
 
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Ramco Aerobullet's prowess in all quantifiable areas of performance can't be questioned. Watts. Weight. Aero.

It's just that, for now, in any race that features cobbles / gravel / high mountains / tricky descents / difficult weather / 20 race days / world class opposing teams / world class climbers with a punch, his ability to translate his unequaled talents into unequaled success is seriously impaired.

I'm sure he'll win plenty more Tours of Poland and Tours of Belgium, though.
 
I'd really hate to guess how long a footballer would stay down for if they fell off their bike and got a few scratches.
Or maybe they'd try and blame someone else and ask the race director to show them the red card.
If cyclists were to play football they would behave like footballers. And vice versa.

The incentives are completely different.

Cyclists aren't blessed with a superior moral character. It's just that there's zero benefit in diving, feigning injury or waisting time, when the race will simply go on without you and you're only hurting your own chances.

Similarly, there's no benefit for footballers in continuing to play with a hurt ankle, when your team actually benefits from you either resting a bit, getting a FK, or subbing yourself for a fitter player.
 
Ramco Aerobullet's prowess in all quantifiable areas of performance can't be questioned. Watts. Weight. Aero.

It's just that, for now, in any race that features cobbles / gravel / high mountains / tricky descents / difficult weather / 20 race days / world class opposing teams / world class climbers with a punch, his ability to translate his unequaled talents into unequaled success is seriously impaired.

I'm sure he'll win plenty more Tours of Poland and Tours of Belgium, though.
This race features cobbles. It featured cobbles 2 years ago as well. He faced and beat worldclass climbers with a punch. He has not competed in high mountains or 3 weeks when in full health, he has ridiculed worldclass opposing teams. Haven't seen him struggling in bad weather any more than the next guy... But i do agree on all the other points in your post.
 
This race features cobbles. It featured cobbles 2 years ago as well. He faced and beat worldclass climbers with a punch. He has not competed in high mountains or 3 weeks when in full health, he has ridiculed worldclass opposing teams. Haven't seen him struggling in bad weather any more than the next guy... But i do agree on all the other points in your post.
I don't agree that he has translated his tremendous raw ability into equally tremendous success under conditions described above against world class opposition.

Now part of that is a lack of opportunity due to age and injury, but I believe he'll continue to have trouble beating the world cycling elite on their own terrain.

We're long past the stage where finishing before the Fuglsang's, Gilbert's, Kwiatkowski's, Mollema's, Matthews' and Van Avermaet's of this world means a whole lot anymore. They're fading relics of an era in cycling that's starting to look poorer every month.

I'm not asking Evenepoel to crush Ewan or Bennet in a bunch sprint. Or Alaphilipe or Woods on the Mur de Huy, or Van Aert or Asgreen in Roubaix, or Van der Poel in Strade or a cyclocross race, or Pidcock on a MTB.

But his job surely is to beat Pogacar, Roglic, Bernal, Carapaz, Pidcock (and whatever new 21yo world beaters will emerge the coming decade) in grand tours or hilly classics. Evenepoel's lack of sprinting prowess and his poor bike handling make me suspect he'll have a harder time doing so than some would like.
 
But his job surely is to beat Pogacar, Roglic, Bernal, Carapaz, Pidcock (and whatever new 21yo world beaters will emerge the coming decade) in grand tours or hilly classics. Evenepoel's lack of sprinting prowess and his poor bike handling make me suspect he'll have a harder time doing so than some would like.
He rode 2 hilly/mountainous classics in his life of which he won one and looked good on the other one until he dove in a ravine. He rode one GT in definite suboptimal conditions. So on one side your expectations are unfair because he hasn't been able to show more yet, and on the other side he already filled your expectations.

As a result he also barely had the opportunity to ride against the names you list, except if you count Bernal and Pogacar in San Sebastian. The only one of your list he has ridden against on a hilly terrain was Carapaz in Poland and we know how that turned out.
 
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He rode 2 hilly/mountainous classics in his life of which he won one and looked good on the other one until he dove in a ravine. He rode one GT in definite suboptimal conditions. So on one side your expectations are unfair because he hasn't been able to show more yet, and on the other side he already filled your expectations.

As a result he also barely had the opportunity to ride against the names you list, except if you count Bernal and Pogacar in San Sebastian. The only one of your list he has ridden against on a hilly terrain was Carapaz in Poland and we know how that turned out.
Carapaz got pummeled in Burgos a week earlier as well, as did Landa, Yates, Kuss, Gaudu, Chaves, Kämna, Majka, Mas, Almeida... but apparently, those are the Van Avermaets of this world, hehehe.
 
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I'm not asking Evenepoel to crush Ewan or Bennet in a bunch sprint. Or Alaphilipe or Woods on the Mur de Huy, or Van Aert or Asgreen in Roubaix, or Van der Poel in Strade or a cyclocross race, or Pidcock on a MTB.

But his job surely is to beat Pogacar, Roglic, Bernal, Carapaz, Pidcock (and whatever new 21yo world beaters will emerge the coming decade) in grand tours or hilly classics. Evenepoel's lack of sprinting prowess and his poor bike handling make me suspect he'll have a harder time doing so than some would like.
I’m enjoying this bit of semi-trolling because your underlying point is undeniably correct: he hasn’t won anything really important against anybody really good.

But it is semi-trolling because of the context: he’s 21, spent 9 months of his short career so far injured and despite that has already won a truck load of races, some of which are reasonably significant and some of which involved notable competition.
 
"races like tour of pologne"
well maybe if that guy watched the Tour of Pologne and realized Evenepoel degraded opponents as Carapaz, Fuglsang and Simon Yates to 3rd degree amateurs there... he'd take that race a bit more serious.

Yes we don't know what Evenepoel is worth in GT's and multiple mountain stages yet because of one Giro he was hardly prepared for after long inactivity and short preparation. And yes he has shown weakness in positioning, cornering and downhills. But most other arguments can be thrown out of the window
 
"races like tour of pologne"
well maybe if that guy watched the Tour of Pologne and realized Evenepoel degraded opponents as Carapaz, Fuglsang and Simon Yates to 3rd degree amateurs there... he'd take that race a bit more serious.

Yes we don't know what Evenepoel is worth in GT's and multiple mountain stages yet because of one Giro he was hardly prepared for after long inactivity and short preparation. And yes he has shown weakness in positioning, cornering and downhills. But most other arguments can be thrown out of the window
They were in total prep race mode. Especially Yates and Carapaz had their targets months away and were also nowhere in Burgos. He took almost all the time on the flats and nobody is denying he's a better rouleur than those guys.

Van der Poel did a similar thing on a harder parcours against a much tougher field on a stage in Tirreno, yet nobody is desperate to proclaim him a future GT winner.
 
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Van der Poel did a similar thing on a harder parcours against a much tougher field on a stage in Tirreno, yet nobody is desperate to proclaim him a future GT winner.
Well actually, I've been saying this for a few years now.
If he loses some weight, he could be a serious GT contender. It would obviously cost him some punch to become a better climber.

I'm not alone in this, his grandfather Poulidor considered him a potential TdF winner.
 
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They were in total prep race mode. Especially Yates and Carapaz had their targets months away and were also nowhere in Burgos. He took almost all the time on the flats and nobody is denying he's a better rouleur than those guys.

Van der Poel did a similar thing on a harder parcours against a much tougher field on a stage in Tirreno, yet nobody is desperate to proclaim him a future GT winner.
Ok this time i'm reporting you for trolling. You keep repeating this ***, even though you have been told the facts before. Evenepoel took 40 seconds on Fuglsang (who was being chased down by Yates and Majka) on the final climb. You also don't seem to be familiar with the concept of pacing, when you are in a 52km solo break. In order to have enough in the tank to ride away further on the flat, and not lose time on the climb, you need to be a better climber than the guys chasing you, or you will blow yourself up. Him being a better rouleur doesn't grant him magical powers or unlimited energy to burn through the climbs without affecting him on the flat or vice versa.

Targets months away? Lombardia was the next week :laughing:. It was a compressed season, we were already halfway august. Carapaz, Kelderman, Fuglsang, Majka, Konrad... all rode Poland and Lombardia. Evenepoel was also building up towards the Giro.

Van der Poel was no threat for GC, and was given the freedom to build up an advantage to 3m40s before Pogacar and van Aert started chasing with 17.5k to go, and yet they nearly caught him on the line! Evenepoel was chased after the initial 5 seconds where they didn't respond, and still finished nearly 2 minutes ahead of Fuglsang, who took another half minute out of Yates and Majka. So your little comparison makes no sense for two crucial facts: van der Poel was no threat in GC, Evenepoel was. Van der Poel was gifted minutes without anybody committing to the chase, and lost most of them when they started chasing. With Evenepoel, they committed to the chase from nearly the very start, and he simply rode further away.
 
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