I believe that Merlier is riding the Giro - He's a chance to win a stage.
He's very quick, i think he might be faster than the best of the field, you name 'm. Bennett, Ewan, Groenewegen, Ackermann... but i don't know if he can do it in big races. I'm not talking about stress or fear, but about his engine/endurance. Merlier was a guy that initially made a name for himself as van Aert's CX domestique. He was always blazingly fast out of the gates, helped van Aert position himself well through the first 1 or 2 laps, and then he would get dropped like a brick.Very much so. I hope there’s a decent sprint field.
Merlier is very hard to assess as a sprinter because he rides a calendar consisting of MVDP’s leftovers on a team that itself, at least until this year, had quite a limited programme.
He’s had three wins already this year... but only had three in all of last year. He looked very good in those wins... but there were very few other real sprinters present. He compared very well to Pedersen today... but Pedersen is hard to rank himself.
My working assumption is that he’s as good as he looks, but he could just be spending the early season as an honorary French sprinter, bulking up on wins at the little race buffet. I want to see him against the big boys regularly.
Often a problem when a new Belgian appears with a name that features neither the letter V nor accents, especially if the forename offers no Flemish/French clues.One thing I've always wanted to ask a Belgian: Is it Tim Merlier, like an englisch -leer or more Merlyée?