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

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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.
On the one hand I very much agree with you. But part of the Quickstep classics approach for winning is that they have multiple options - and one of them shall win. That increases the chances for the team, and, in the end, for the individual rider, to get results. But for this you have to be willing to accept that you may are not the only big option for your team. The other's are not necessarily working for you, like domestiques in a GT should do.
So for instance it might increase Sagans chances to win a race if for instance Schachmann goes with him as an equal option. Whoever is in the better position or form during the race takes his chances. But would Sagan want that? Not go to MSR as the sole leader of his team but as one option? I suppose not.

Coming back to Evenepoel I realized I start to make jokes with him as a kind of Chuck Norris.
 
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.
Might be true, but all I wanted to say is that talent alone does not always equal victories like some people before me tried to argue. Otherwise Stannard would not have won against 3 Quickstep riders or Rui Costa would not have become a World Champion. So in teamsports its always hard to argue single riders accomplishments over other riders simply because they had often very different circumstances. I think everybody would agree that Terpstra had it way easier to win 2 monuments in comparison to Sagan. So the whole "rider x is better than rider y because he won more races" is kinda stupid.
 
On the one hand I very much agree with you. But part of the Quickstep classics approach for winning is that they have multiple options - and one of them shall win. That increases the chances for the team, and, in the end, for the individual rider, to get results. But for this you have to be willing to accept that you may are not the only big option for your team. The other's are not necessarily working for you, like domestiques in a GT should do.
So for instance it might increase Sagans chances to win a race if for instance Schachmann goes with him as an equal option. Whoever is in the better position or form during the race takes his chances. But would Sagan want that? Not go to MSR as the sole leader of his team but as one option? I suppose not.

Coming back to Evenepoel I realized I start to make jokes with him as a kind of Chuck Norris.
That's true, and also might apply to van der Poel sticking to a small team where he has the freedom to do whatever, and be sole leader wherever he starts.

However, Remco, so far has only once or twice really won a race because of team tactics. You could consider he won like that, in San Sebastian, where Mas was looking excellent in the chasing group and where his presence might have made other riders think twice or hesitate. And his stage win in Algarve, where Almeida set the pace high. Other than that, his wins didn't come from any real "team tactics".
 
tobydawq said:

Sure, but this kid is next level.
DNP-Old said:

They all are, until they're not. Remember how Sagan come into the scene and he was lauded as someone who would win monuments at will?





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.
As I have seen more of Remco I haven't warmed as much to his personality as I though I might, that said since I followed his rise in the threads on this site I feel like I have an investment in him doing well.

As for Sagan (ifs will be following :) ) if Quicksteppers were a Specialized team and if Lefevre (sp) been in for Sagan and if he had extra money to sign him for his best years don't you think Sagan would have had better results with better support?
 
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As I have seen more of Remco I haven't warmed as much to his personality as I though I might, that said since I followed his rise in the threads on this site I feel like I have an investment in him doing well.

As for Sagan (ifs will be following :) ) if Quicksteppers were a Specialized team and if Lefevre (sp) been in for Sagan and if he had extra money to sign him for his best years don't you think Sagan would have had better results with better support?
Sandisfan, I'm always happy to see your posts, sometimes you seem like a phantom to me... ;)
 
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.
Haven't bothered to check but I'd guess Valverde has won in most if not all of those scenarios plus a couple other. Probably not at Remco's age, however.
 
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.
Laurent Jalabert
:-D
 
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.
Those aren't that distinctive, and they're hardly all super high level or special.

I'm fairly sure Alaphilippe also checks all these boxes.
 
Sandisfan said:


As I have seen more of Remco I haven't warmed as much to his personality as I though I might, that said since I followed his rise in the threads on this site I feel like I have an investment in him doing well.

As for Sagan (ifs will be following :) ) if Quicksteppers were a Specialized team and if Lefevre (sp) been in for Sagan and if he had extra money to sign him for his best years don't you think Sagan would have had better results with better support?


Sandisfan, I'm always happy to see your posts, sometimes you seem like a phantom to me... ;)
I have been on messages boards for 20 years or so with this User name originally from a NHL Hockey message board referring to Sandis Ozlinch(sp) and I am Usually a lurker taking and not giving back LOL but I do occasionally try to add to the conversation.

To be ontopic I am a watcher of Remco not yet a Fan like I am With Sagan.

P.S. At the site La Flamme Rouge where you can make your own cycling routes for imagined races I have made some routes there under my Sandisfan user name if you have been there. I have two interesting ones that I think if I was a billionaire it would make pretty good WRR championship routes one for the mens and one for the mens ITT if I mostly sponsored the Race. They have lost the access to the Google maps engine at that site last time I checked and I haven't been able to update my routes because of that. On the mens race I found a connecting road to the last climb not as steep as i would like, either climb, but if I had the money I think adding some medium cobbles might be enough and there is a good decent after Apple (don't remember if road or street or avenue) and if the finish would be short enough to stay away after the climb and short decent to make an exciting race. If you go to google maps and look up Jenner (tiny coast town) near Santa Rosa California on the coast about 10 miles away the finish to the ITT would be picturesque. Also during the time of the year that the Championships are usually held the weather would be amazingly good 85 to 90 percent during that time of time Year.
 
Flat stage in Tirreno.
Hilly ITT in Tour
Flat ITT in San Juan some year
MTF sprint in some Dauphine
MTF solo in some ToC
Hilly classic in FW, or many times
Hilly stage in Tour.

Really you don't need to make arbitrary list to hype the kid that only makes it seem desperate.
MTF at the ToC... seriously?

Try winning in all these ways as a consistent GC candidate.

You think Ala - as a GC threat - is going to attack all the other GC candidates from 50+ kms out and win solo? You kidding me?

Ala also has had many years. Remco did it all in the space of 4 consecutive short stage races while riding for GC in each one of them.

has froome done it? no.
did contador do it? no.
has bernal even come close? no.
could shleck do it? no.
quintana? no.
indurain? no.
pantani? puhleeeeze.

not a single rider in the last three decades could win in the many ways Remco has done in simply four consecutive races (holy crap, and as a twenty year old on top of it!) while riding and being marked as a GC man.

honestly, the last guy would be hinault (perhaps LeMond).

i am not "hyping" this kid. i am putting him in historical context, that's all.

And nothing compares... sorry.

And fellow pros are gaga -- look at recent comments by his opponents. Warbasse on the recent Cycling Podcast was stunned by what he did and said it was simply unheard of in modern cycling.
 
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Speaking of Vdb, I'm curious as to how @Logic-is-your-friend feels about this. Do you think Remco will ever surpass Frank in terms of popularity?
I was never such a big fan of him personally. I was initially hyped before he became a pro, reading an article in HUMO, from someone else (another top rider, but i can't remember who) saying he'd never seen anything like it, going uphill like a moped. I was 14 then. But it soon became clear that he wasn't going to be a GC rider, and we didn't really have any shortage of classics riders in Belgium, so at that time i didn't care that much anymore because i had hoped he would become a GT rider (which we were sorely lacking). And to be frank (haha!) i never had the impression that in Flanders, he reached the level of popularity of Museeuw or Boonen (later). I'm not sure how much he was liked in Wallonia back then. Not unlike Remco, he was a polarizing individual, a bit cocky, but gutsy as well.

So to answer your question, i think Remco has already surpassed VDB in terms of popularity in Flanders, not sure about Wallonia, but given that he speaks perfect French as well, he might not be far off there either. The fact that he is/seems to be a legitimate threat for future GT's, is probably the main reason. And i have the distinct impression, that in Belgium a lot of people are looking back upon FVDB through tinted glasses and in a very romantic way (probably because he died so young, as a true rock & roll character). At the time, i never experienced it like that. There was a lot of buzz when and how he beat Boogert in LBL, because Boogert was a 'proven' TDF rider. But, honestly, looking back at what Remco has already done to actual GT winners, that doesn't look that impressive anymore. I need to say, that in the haydays of VDB, i was off to college, there was no real internet to speak of, i didn't have a tv in the "student house" where i was studying, so that was a period that i couldn't really follow cycling as well as before and after.
 
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While cruel to say, Frank's early death did help his reputation, I think. He has almost become a myth. The stories, the anecdotes, from Avila to La Redoute. I, unfortunately, was too young to really live Vdb, but I've become obsessed with him. Every race, every book, every documentary, I've seen it all, but it's hard to really put his popularity in perspective after the fact. What helps Vdb, I think, is the extreme cocky attitude in combination with being perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing rider ever. He was made to ride bikes.
 
MTF at the ToC... seriously?

Try winning in all these ways as a consistent GC candidate.

You think Ala -- as a GC threat is going to attack all the other GC candidates from 50+ kms out and win solo? You kidding me?

Ala also has had many years. Remco did it all in the space of 4 consecutive short stage races while riding for GC in each one of them.

not a single rider in the last three decades could win in the many ways Remco has done in simply four consecutive races (holy crap, and as a twenty year old on top of it!) while riding and being marked as a GC man.
Here you (had to) change your original claim to answer the counterpoints.
 
While cruel to say, Frank's early death did help his reputation, I think. He has almost become a myth. The stories, the anecdotes, from Avila to La Redoute. I, unfortunately, was too young to really live Vdb, but I've become obsessed with him. Every race, every book, every documentary, I've seen it all, but it's hard to really put his popularity in perspective after the fact. What helps Vdb, I think, is the extreme cocky attitude in combination with being perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing rider ever. He was made to ride bikes.
I edited my post a bit after you posted, added some more context.

Agreed about him dying young, feeding the myth.
 
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Here you (had to) change your original claim to answer the counterpoints.
absolutely, fair enough. i did. i own that completely.

i "changed" it only because i thought that was fairly understood in my initial post. I am sorry if it wasn't.

i am comparing Remco with the greats -- with the GT winners, the so-called complete riders. I am not comparing him with opportunistic riders who are winning stages partly because they are not perceived as overall threats -- that would be pointless.

I thought that was pretty obvious. I am sorry it wasn't.

For instance, De Gent might check almost all of those boxes, but not riding as a GC favorite...

And that is precisely my point -- why Remco is so exciting. Because as a GC rider he brings unpredictability to the race in terms of when GC riders may attack or gain time. Away from the waiting through many boring stages just so that mountain trains can deliver their climber 2kms from the summit of the an MTF.
 
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