Remco Evenepoel

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It's hard to say if Evenepoel is so strong or the others so weak. Probably both.

(The times look strong but then it's the new normal...)
Others are about the same as always ( Rogla, Mas); the guy in red just gained crazy amount of power in the last few months; same as the fisherman guy. Today he looked almost bored at the front. I think he is even stronger than fisherman, Pog will be fighting for podium in next Tour.
 
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Others are about the same as always ( Rogla, Mas); the guy in red just gained crazy amount of power in the last few months; same as the fisherman guy. Today he looked almost bored at the front. I think he is even stronger than fisherman, Pog will be fighting for podium in next Tour.
Roglic had a bad preparation and is clearly not in great form. Guys like Rodriguez and Ayuso are so young themselves. And Mas- people always tell me I underrate him...
all in all I find it hard to rate.
One really can't call me an Evenepoel fan, but it's not like this wasn't exactly what people expected from him when he's had a perfect GT preparation for once.
 
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Roglic had a bad preparation and is clearly not in great form. Guys like Rodriguez and Ayuso are so young themselves. And Mas- people always tell me I underrate him...
all in all I find it hard to rate.
One really can't call me an Evenepoel fan, but it's not like this wasn't exactly what people expected from him when he's had a perfect GT preparation for once.
Compare last years Rogla and Mas; about the same difference; also Rogla did a very good TT;
really, who expected this ? Going to the front on steep climbs and guys like Rogla droping or holding for dear life.Not once was he able to hold on the best on steep climbs before Vuelta
 
ultra specific peak for the Tour comes across as more egregious than being strong for several months, not that the latter is innocent either.
february: won the Drome Classic in France
march: second overall and in a couple of stages in Tirreno Adriatico
april: sixth overall in Pais Vasco
june: second overall and stage win in Dauphine

No races in may so no results there but ofc heavy work before TDF there. And it was kind of the same last year too with UAE Tour stage, second in Pais Vasco, overall win in Coppi e Bartali and a second place in a Dauphine stage.
 
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Others are about the same as always ( Rogla, Mas); the guy in red just gained crazy amount of power in the last few months; same as the fisherman guy. Today he looked almost bored at the front. I think he is even stronger than fisherman, Pog will be fighting for podium in next Tour.
This is the arms race. Next year no more Mr Chubby face: Pogi, looking like a skeleton, will skip all the classics and produce 7 w/kg at the Tour.
 
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I don't know a thing about Remco as they seem to have stopped showing highlights of the classics on FTA where I am. I take it he is some kind of rouler or puncheur diesel with a good history in ITT? If not then hats off to QS for making Alaphillipe and Remco destroy ITT specialists in GT ITTs. :(
 
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To be fair, this is the first time he's been able to prepare for a GT properly. Whatever that means, but it's the performance that was expected of him when he turned pro.
The climbing is what seems to be the outlier. This level of climbing is beyond anything I think anyone reasonably would have expected even at his best. We all knew he was the best TTer but now at a heavier weight he is toying with some of the best climbers in the world who are in good shape, 2 weeks into a GT.

It’s more believable than many other performances this year and frankly anything involving him is more believable because of his potential, but still firmly in enhanced territory imo.
 
The climbing is what seems to be the outlier. This level of climbing is beyond anything I think anyone reasonably would have expected even at his best. We all knew he was the best TTer but now at a heavier weight he is toying with some of the best climbers in the world who are in good shape, 2 weeks into a GT.

It’s more believable than many other performances this year and frankly anything involving him is more believable because of his potential, but still firmly in enhanced territory imo.
I think people exaggerate how "bad" a climber Evenepoel was. If you remember his first year as a pro he already showed glimpses of being a great climber. Dropped everyone in San Sebastian which is a climber's race and he also showed it in multiple other one week races.

This is literally the first GT he started with good form. If last year's Giro is supposed to be his "normal" level then I understand the surprise but he was in terrible shape back then. Also he weighs like 62 or 63 kg (if that), he's hardly heavy. Heavier than the skeleton he was in last year's Giro, sure. I guess he has big thighs but that doesn't mean you can't be a good climber. Take Pogacar for example.

As far as believable stories goes this is not at all weird compared to guys who suddenly become world beaters at the age of 25 (Vingegaard, Froome to name some easy examples).
 
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Unrelated to what is being taken, This is a continuation of his progress that should have happened in 2021 and was interupted by his crash.

In 2020, he won Burgos against guys who were riding really well after that. he was one of the strongest in Lombardië. While that doesn't mean you are the best climber, it is indication his climbing was never bad. Looking at san sebastian from his first pro year coming from a junior... seriously, fact he could climb and barely lose time to the peleton after his escape and driving hard should be more telling than anything.

Him being able to climb is not at all unexpected.. heck him not doing so well was stranger given his weight and power output. This is not like other who couldn't climb for their whole life and suddenly lost weight while maintaining power.
I think you only come in to contact with bigger longer climbs during U23 and in some WT stage races and GTs, it is not like Remco had many opportunities to train and practice climbing during his short period as a pro.

You can argue why he is able to be more stable now, but i think that has more to do with how the Vuelta is currently tackled with his knowledge from sweden and other races he did and the reason why he failed in those. (still barely two weeks in)

Now does that mean he is clean? surely not. and you can question the power to weight ratio all you want. But he was always deemed to be a good TTer, Rouleur and climber. (not punchy climber but a steady pace climber, which is being highlighted in the Vuelta up untill now).
 
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There remains hope that Remco will be human after today. He did seem to recover mid climb beautifully (like Pog can do) and was remarked on for being very fresh at the end. But hey, he lost lots of time in a way that jeopardises his Vuelta victory. I can't believe it was sandbagging.

His improvement nearer the top and unzipped top suggests he doesnt like the heat (also like Pog) so maybe that was a factor.
 
Least suspicious GT win of the year all things considered. Route suited him to a tee. Decent but not monstrous opposition. Was impressive early on in typical Remco fashion and then grinded out the rest. He's obviously on the Belgian chocolate sauce but at least this guy hasn't just come out of nowhere.
 
Least suspicious GT win of the year all things considered. Route suited him to a tee. Decent but not monstrous opposition. Was impressive early on in typical Remco fashion and then grinded out the rest. He's obviously on the Belgian chocolate sauce but at least this guy hasn't just come out of nowhere.
It helps when basically noone hit a good GT double. I think Mas is the best reference, who didn't get dropped once on the longer climbs.

I think Quick Step did very smart a few times with obliterating a small hill before the final climb with Evenepoel in good position, stretching everything out and abusing Evenepoels recovery from short bursts and low CdA.
 
It helps when basically noone hit a good GT double. I think Mas is the best reference, who didn't get dropped once on the longer climbs.

I think Quick Step did very smart a few times with obliterating a small hill before the final climb with Evenepoel in good position, stretching everything out and abusing Evenepoels recovery from short bursts and low CdA.
Evenepoel gained 29" on Mas in the TTT and 1'51" on Mas in the ITT, meaning over the mass start road stages Evenepoel was 15" behind Mas, however those times are affected by bonuses, of which Mas has 20" and Evenepoel 16", so the overall difference between them is 11". Given Roglič lost a bunch of time in week 1 on the mountains and lost far less to Evenepoel against the clock than Mas did, I think we can say that Mas was the strongest climber in this race, by an extremely narrow margin from Evenepoel; I think a case can be made that the best single performances in the mountains were either Vine in week 1 or Carapaz in week 3, but across the whole race it's Mas and Evenepoel.

So really, the jury has to still be out to at least some extent over just how high Remco's level is in the mountains across a three week race; there were no stages in this Vuelta that really compare to something like the Tour's queen stages with back to back HCs and high altitude; the nearest stage there was to that is where Remco lost the majority of the time that he has lost in this race, but he also had crashed shortly beforehand so we can't truly tell if that was a blip in form due to durability or due to the crash, given the final week he has been pretty strong, but there also weren't any stages as tough as those where he did lose time on the penultimate weekend in week 3.

However, at the same time, the fact he's been able to win a GT so convincingly with his advantages built entirely in the time trial given how much that discipline is marginalised nowadays in comparison to 20 years ago also speaks volumes to him answering the majority of those questions about his climbing and of course as to whether he could keep form for three weeks. Look at where Mas has been in GTs in the last 3 years or so, and extrapolate from that where Remco could theoretically be with the benefit of a couple of minutes per 30km of ITT, but also bearing in mind that Evenepoel is 22 while there we are looking at Mas' performances from age 24 through 27 so Evenepoel has - at least in theory, pending a Cunego of course - more room for improvement too. The one thing that remains as a question mark to his skillset for such races in future is the descending; the Vuelta has in recent years been heavy on MTFs and light on multi-climb stages with significant technical descending, and that has been a question mark around him since the Lombardia accident; however the only riders who were a threat to him in this race are not the type of riders who could pressure him in that department themselves.
 
It helps when basically noone hit a good GT double. I think Mas is the best reference, who didn't get dropped once on the longer climbs.

I think Quick Step did very smart a few times with obliterating a small hill before the final climb with Evenepoel in good position, stretching everything out and abusing Evenepoels recovery from short bursts and low CdA.
Sorry to nitpick but low CdA isn’t why. It’s his small frontal area. CdA (slipperyness through the air) is likely comparable to the others. But they are taller so have more air to push.
 
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