Teams & Riders The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

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VDP senior said in an interview today that Lombardia is going to be too "specific" this year. If even he doesn't believe it in, I think it's fair to say that he won't compete for the win next week.
Last month he was saying there was no reason why Mathieu couldn't win Lombardia. If he thinks it's too specific this year, i wonder what he'll say next year, when half the contenders that are now missing and riding the Dauphiné, will actually be riding Lombardia too. A bit strange.


MVDP has been getting a lot of flack lately. Maybe his fans expected too much.
There was a time, you would get laughed at if you were only to utter the possibility that van Aert was "almost in the same league" as him, and that CX results meant nothing on the road (considering CX is indeed very specific and caters to his strengths as a rider, technical, recovery, short bursts, punchy..., while van Aert was heavier, more of a diesel, less punchy, more clumsy). It seems that a lot of he people that were so extreme in their belief, are now among the first to talk crap about him. He turns out to be human, what a loser. I expect something similar will happen to Evenepoel if he blows up in the Giro, or indeed proves to be "only" a worldclass timetrialer and classics/1 week GC rider.
 
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I think Meintjes or Tejay has a bigger chance of winning the Tour than that happening.
If that did happen though, I would be very disappointed. And certainly Logic is right, there would be significant backlash and mocking towards Evenepoel if doesn't become a multiple GT winner probably, just look at Quintana (who actually has a great palmares even).
 
Of course I remember. Still, Evenepoel is something else. And no, they all are not that.
I meant amongst super talents. A year ago Egan Bernal was next in line for absolute TDF domination, and people were talking about the start of a dynasty. Now I've seen people and journalists stating he's already behind Pogchamp. It's happened before (Ullrich, Vdb, Sagan and so on) and it'll happen again. People like to hype the now, but ultimately, everyone has a limit and will hit a wall. Being so talented can be a down fall as well.

That said, something else to Sagan? I'd doubt that. Sagan has done some incredible things in his time as well.
 
That said, something else to Sagan? I'd doubt that. Sagan has done some incredible things in his time as well.
Sagan was good as a 20-year-old and winning races, yes, but Remco is obliterating his opponents time and time again in a fashion we have never really seen in the modern era, and there are only three WorldTour riders who are younger than him.
 
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And I still have not seen him race a single race:)
You only watch GT's and spring classics?

You are missing out. Big time. He doesn't win in a way that has been considered the norm the past 30 years. That raid in Germany would have been the coolest thing had the peloton not been paced by camera bikes in the last 20k. He went from 105k from the finish, lol. The pace in the peloton was so high that Ackermann and Alaphilippe got blown out the back. They caught him with 7k to go.

Head over to TIZ/youtube when you've got some time or are feeling bored and watch San Sebastian (final 30k), stage (4 i think) in Adriatica Ionica (final 30k), stage 3 and 5 of Burgos (final 10k), stage 4 of Pologne (final 53k), ECC ITT, WC ITT, hell, he even made Hammer Limburg entertaining.

This thread seems almost bipolar in creating insane amounts of hype while trying to temper expectations at the same time.

I think there's a few ways Evenepoel can legit fail af the Giro (don't think that's likely), but that doesn't mean not winning automatically equals failing.
I get what you mean, but there is a difference between hyping what has been proven, by achieved results or strong efforts on one hand, and on the other extrapolating that by assumption into an area of wishful thinking or speculation. For me personally, there is a big difference. It's why you won't see me claiming he's going to boss the Giro. It's why i'm not assuming Pogacar to be on the podium of the TDF, or that van der Poel will do to road classics (or cycling in general) what he did to cyclocross.

Also, to compare it with the backlash van der Poel is already getting in moderate amounts, Mathieu also didn't "fail" in San Remo, he was sprinting for 3rd and finished at the back of the group with a lot of big names. At this moment, "not winning" for Evenepoel will be enough for some people to play the "see, i told you so" card, or for others (who expected more) to start sulking and badmouthing him because he didn't live up to their (insane?) expectations.

Personally, i just think he's shown enough already do be raving about, even if he never wins a GT (which i don't expect will happen, but i refuse to take it for granted). I find it hard to imagine him not taking at least a stagewin in the Giro, based on what we know, but i could totally see him crack in one or two stages and drop out of the top 10, hell even top 20. Not expecting that, but not ruling it out either.
 
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Well, we also should not forget for which team Sagan rode... when exactly did he have domestiques in his career?! He chose to ride for a team that did little to nothing to support him. He could have won a lot more races if he was riding for another team. A team that would put together a squad that can actually support him. Quickstep on the other hand is currently doing right by Evenepoel to bring in riders like Almeida, Bagioli, Vansevenant, extending Knox, etc. They try to put a roster together that can grow with Remco. Almeida was huge so far this season for Evenepoel in Algarve and Burgos.

For the longest time (until 2011) the squad was basically known as Boonen, Bettini and friends. Then they got money from Mr. Bakala and invested in classics riders and sprinters. Sure, they had the occasional climber but never really put a team around any of them. Not even for Uran who got two 2nd places at the Giro back in the day. But this time they make an effort for Evenepoel to surround him with talented riders. And when you dont have Ineos type of money that is the correct move. Build a team that gets better with higher challenges ahead. And for now they are pretty cheap. Cycling teams were struggling already but Corono might make it even worse. So who can actually build a team from scratch right now and pay a GT favorite and 7 seasoned veterans to support him?

Now lets look at Sagan: Liquigas in 2010 had the dream climbing squad of Basso, Nibali, Kreuziger, Pelizotti, Szmyd, Zaugg and Kiserlovski (just looking at that line up is still mind boggling how they got them all on the same team). Surely they would not go out of their way to support Sagan. Over the following years the climbers left but did Liquigas get support for Sagan? Except Oss not really. Then in 2015 Sagan chose to rejoin his old friends Basso, Kreuziger, Zaugg and Kiserlovski, who supported him so well at Liquigas. Oh wait ... the same silly cycle started anew. And now at Bora they not only got him Daniel Oss, but also Burghardt, wow. Sagan is one of the most talented riders of his generation but probably also the one who got the least support from his teams. I dont know how much you can blame him for that but he chose a team 3 times in a row that did not put together a squad for the races that suit him. Put Sagan on Quickstep instead of Stybar or Terpstra during the last decade and he would have more than 5 monuments instead of "just" 2. And if Viviani becomes a world beater with the leadout of Quickstep, Sagan would also have more stage wins at the Tour and not the massive amount of 2nd and 3rd places.
 
You only watch GT's and spring classics?

You are missing out. Big time. He doesn't win in a way that has been considered the norm the past 30 years. That raid in Germany would have been the coolest thing had the peloton not been paced by camera bikes in the last 20k. He went from 105k from the finish, lol. The pace in the peloton was so high that Ackermann and Alaphilippe got blown out the back. They caught him with 7k to go.

Head over to TIZ/youtube when you've got some time or are feeling bored and watch San Sebastian (final 30k), stage (4 i think) in Adriatica Ionica (final 30k), stage 3 and 5 of Burgos (final 10k), stage 4 of Pologne (final 53k), ECC ITT, WC ITT, hell, he even made Hammer Limburg entertaining.


I get what you mean, but there is a difference between hyping what has been proven, by achieved results or strong efforts on one hand, and on the other extrapolating that by assumption into an area of wishful thinking or speculation. For me personally, there is a big difference. It's why you won't see me claiming he's going to boss the Giro. It's why i'm not assuming Pogacar to be on the podium of the TDF, or that van der Poel will do to road classics (or cycling in general) what he did to cyclocross.

Also, to compare it with the backlash van der Poel is already getting in moderate amounts, Mathieu also didn't "fail" in San Remo, he was sprinting for 3rd and finished at the back of the group with a lot of big names. At this moment, "not winning" for Evenepoel will be enough for some people to play the "see, i told you so" card, or for others (who expected more) to start sulking and badmouthing him because he didn't live up to their (insane?) expectations.

Personally, i just think he's shown enough already do be raving about, even if he never wins a GT (which i don't expect will happen, but i refuse to take it for granted). I find it hard to imagine him not taking at least a stagewin in the Giro, based on what we know, but i could totally see him crack in one or two stages and drop out of the top 10, hell even top 20. Not expecting that, but not ruling it out either.
I cannot agree with this assessment more.

Simply based on observation and having followed cycling since 1972, I have never seen anything like this. Does it mean that there will be no "failures" or misses? Of course not.

However, I am just thrilled that cycling now has all these really young champions that are not only competitive, but living up to immense potential they showed in the earlier ranks. And that is something to celebrate for sure. I have not been so in to cycling since 1990...
 
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Sorry for the offtopic, but I have a feeling Sagan, when he looks back at his career will think that things worked out just fine for him. He's not a cannibal, I think for him being a pro athlete is just as much about having a good time and freedom as it's about winning the absolute maximum amount of races. I think Contador was somewhat similar too in that regard.

Evenepoel I think is different. He's still so young, but I think he's more cutthroat.
 
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Sorry for the offtopic, but I have a feeling Sagan, when he looks back at his career will think that things worked out just fine for him. He's not a cannibal, I think for him being a pro athlete is just as much about having a good time and freedom as it's about winning the absolute maximum amount of races. I think Contador was somewhat similar too in that regard.

Evenepoel I think is different. He's still so young, but I think he's more cutthroat.
I don't mean to offend anybody, but for me, Evenepoel on and off the bike, seem two different people. Off the bike he's a very confident, but cheerful guy, very talkative and open. On the bike, he seems to go into a state of trance. The way he reacts to things, how he looks (as in him looking at his adversaries), it's almost as if he's autistic. When something or someone takes him out of his trance, he gets cranky. You don't want to get him cranky.
 
Being a cannibal would sure also fit with the New Merckx moniker.
imagine the confidence in himself to attack 51 kms from the finish. he looked around and saw that everyone was pretty cooked and so attacked earlier than planned. while Fulsgang briefly ate into the advantage at one point, Remco continued to steadily pull away (particularly on climbs) and some of the biggest differences were made on the last 2km climb to the finish (after 50kms on his own!!).

i have a feeling he knows how much better he is than most others by this point (he also knows his numbers in training and what he is doing to team-mates). Something is fueling this confidence (other than just the wins), because he ain't just winning.

No other cyclist today (or in recent decades for that matter) could win a flat ITT (Algarve), a hilly ITT (San Juan), a hilly stage (Poland), a hilly classic (San Sebastian), alone on a mountain (Burgos), sprinting from a group on a mountain (Algarve) , and a flat stage (Beloise Belgium Tour)...

so refreshing.

so exciting.
 
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