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

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Many has been said in this topic, but I honestly have difficulties to understand some opinions.

First of all, Remco made a mistake. A stupid one.

There was a long straight before the sharp right hand curve, immediately followed by that left-hand turn to the bridge. There was NO pressuring by Nibali on that long straight just before the crash. It was a section of road where everybody could lower their heart rate and even drink. At the end of the section, before the curve, there is even a period of some seconds without pedalling, before riders are forced to brake from 70K/hr to around 35 K/hr. With that speed, they take the left hand turn to the bridge, and they only start pedalling once on the bridge, a full 110 seconds from the right hand curve to the bridge without pedalling, only steering and braking. Not exactly the situation that Remco would be cooked and seeing black spots in front of his eyes because of fatigue.

So crashing on that bridge was a bit silly and a bit stupid, because as seen from the footage, all riders except Remco were following wheels, there was no pedalling, speed was 'only' 35K/hr. I have taken uphill corners faster than that. The only reason Remco crashed was not taking the ideal line and he was clearly taken by surprise once he saw the bridge narrowed and he couldn't correct anymore. If there would be only some protection on the bridge where it got narrow, he would probably just have bumped into the bridge without falling over the edge.
 
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You say there was no pressure by Nibali, he only happened to set the fastest downhill time recorded, by accident. The section where, according to you, people can have a drink before taking that right hander... Is where De Plus crashed. So let's just assume circumstances were a bit less trivial than you are picturing them.
These barriers that are made for cars, are a deathtrap for cyclists and motorcyclists. Upon hitting them, you get catapuled over the edge.
 
and he was clearly taken by surprise once he saw the bridge narrowed and he couldn't correct anymore. If there would be only some protection on the bridge where it got narrow, he would probably just have bumped into the bridge without falling over the edge.
Yes, this is what could be done. Crash couldn't be prevented, rider mistake, but the result wouldn't have been as devastating.

P.S. The problem i guess is there are a lot of races and a lot of kilometers of road to cover. Still, on the long run i feel that there will need to be trucks of standard safety equipment available to organizers, roads cleared of gravel and holes filled with asphalt, better signaling, dangerous sprints not to be allowed ... for the race to get a green light. Riders will still crash, cycling will still be dangerous, BUT riders won't fall of the bridges anymore. Or to be thrown over the barriers, when sprinting.
 
Thing with Remco is, as far as one-day races and stages are concerned, he basically needs to arrive at the finish alone in order to win. Merckx aside from his other qualities also had a decent sprint, not great, but he could win from a group of riders if he had to.
actually Merckx had a more than decent sprint. he actually got a lot of time bonuses in sprints at the TDF in 1974. He went up against Sercu, Kaerstens, Esclassan and Van Linden. In fact he won his 8th stage that year by sprinting on the final velodrome (last time before the Champs were used). He was cut off by his old friend Sercu who was then disqualified. He was in yellow, by over 8 minutes and still sprinted for the final group sprint, nuts!

Now Merckx and Remco are not the same.

However, you could argue that Remco has done between the ages of 18-20 stuff that even Merckx wasn't capable of at that age... so it goes both ways.

We can only compare potential. To say Remco is or will be as good as Merckx is sort of silly at this point.

However, you can look at indications of potential. And I really do not see how Remco trails in that criteria... and that is what makes him so exciting.
 
You say there was no pressure by Nibali, he only happened to set the fastest downhill time recorded, by accident.
A 21-year old Bernal only did 4 seconds slower on that descent, two years ago. So Nibali wasn't exactly drilling it: the descent is too new to say anything about the current KOM. I guess even MvdP could have done a faster descent last week, but he isn't on strava so we don't know.
And Nibali was 2 seconds faster than Ciccone by playing an old strava trick: get up the climb 2 seconds later, make those seconds up in the descent, make sure you get to the bottom first or with the first and you have the KOM of your gruppo.
 
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A 21-year old Bernal only did 4 seconds slower on that descent, two years ago. So Nibali wasn't exactly drilling it: the descent is too new to say anything about the current KOM. I guess even MvdP could have done a faster descent last week, but he isn't on strava so we don't know.
And Nibali was 2 seconds faster than Ciccone by playing an old strava trick: get up the climb 2 seconds later, make those seconds up in the descent, make sure you get to the bottom first or with the first and you have the KOM of your gruppo.
Two years ago Bernal was drilling the descent in exactly the same manner as Nibs.
 
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Two years ago Bernal was drilling the descent in exactly the same manner as Nibs.
It shows that a 21-year old can go as fast as the super-descender Nibali. So that solves all the mystique around having to be old, experienced and named 'Nibali' to lay claim on being a super-descender.

If Nibali was really drilling it, you wouldn't see Mollema follwing that close, and you wouldn't see a group of 5 inNibali's wheel.

All I'm saying is, that it's strange Remco left that big of a gap because there wasn't any opportunity for someone drilling it to create that big of a gap just before that bridge. So either Remco left a gap willingly, or he completely misjudged the sequence of right and left curve leading to the bridge because of moves made by the riders in front or nonchalance.

Whatever reason, it's just strange and I am willing to find out, but I'm not simply taking all the supposed reasons why he crashed (age, inexperience, pressure,...) because they are nothing but rumors made up by people who want to confirm their prejudice.
 
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A 21-year old Bernal only did 4 seconds slower on that descent, two years ago. So Nibali wasn't exactly drilling it: the descent is too new to say anything about the current KOM. I guess even MvdP could have done a faster descent last week, but he isn't on strava so we don't know.
Would this be the same Bernal that lives in Colombia, has a background in MTB, and already finished a TDF at that point?
And van der Poel is definitely on Strava. But doesn't upload his race data, only training, iirc.
 
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Would this be the same Bernal that lives in Colombia, has a background in MTB, and already finished a TDF at that point?
And van der Poel is definitely on Strava. But doesn't upload his race data, only training, iirc.
Yes, that Bernal.

The sole purpose of mentioning Bernal was to finish the myth that Nibali is a super descender, and that you need 5 Tour of Lombardy races to be deemed experienced and ready to face guys like Nibali. You don't need all of that, and all those that say he is young and was schooled by Nibali are condescending if anything.

You just need the guts and the skills. Bernal obviously has those. He showed that in Lombardy and already many times in e.g. the Tour and other races.
And now Remco crashing... does that prove he doesn't have it with regards to descending? What can you say about Remco's descending skills? All I have seen from Remco up until this point indicates he has no problem following wheels during descents, and moreover, takes time out of opponents during descents. He dares to attack in descents as shown in Worlds in Innsbruck.
He hasn't done a grand tour so maybe he is a very bad descender, but we won't know until next year. For now, he made a mistake and that's it.
 
Did Bernal put that one on Strava?
https://www.strava.com/activities/1903320802/analysis/17658/17690

even with power in the file.
So what you see is that the Sormano is a 350-380 watt affair, and the whole descend is something like 250W with coasting + power bursts of around 7-800W after the curves.

The 30-35 seconds leading to the bridge where Remco crashed (around 198K in Bernal's file) is part with coasting and the occasional fast pedalling for some seconds on 53x11 at 115RPM in order to keep the 65-70K/hr pace. Bernal did that (those 35 seconds) with 140W average. So anyone (even me) would have dropped heart rate in that part with 10-15/minute.
Just to underline that Remco's crash didn't have anything to do with being cooked or being pressured. That leaves the question why he was that far just before the bridge, as the part before the bridge didn't have any indication of being difficult enough to get dropped.
 
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New update by his team:

"Additional examinations in the AZ Sint-Elisabeth hospital in Herentals have not revealed any new elements. As suggested earlier, Remco Evenepoel's fractures in the pelvis will be treated conservatively, meaning surgery is not necessary. Remco will need to rest as much as possible in the coming weeks to allow his fractures to heal."
Thanks for the update.

Hopefully he makes a full recovery and comes back next year as strong as ever :).
 
Didn't Remco tell Lefevere that he had to break, and that he broke too hard a couple of turns before the accident because of manoeuvres by the 2 riders in front of him?
Thats been reported.
Many people thought Remco was blaming the riders in front for the accident, but that doesn’t make sense since he was a bit behind when he lost control and crashed. It could however explain why he got dropped in the not so tricky part just before the bridge.
 
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I for one can't wait for Lefevre to watch the Giro and just go 'nah Remco woulda won this'
Sure. Maybe now we'll reach a tipping point. Instead of the whining that the big boys weren't around when Remco won, now we'll get to say, meh, Remco wasn't there.

Yes, that Bernal.

The sole purpose of mentioning Bernal was to finish the myth that Nibali is a super descender, and that you need 5 Tour of Lombardy races to be deemed experienced and ready to face guys like Nibali. You don't need all of that, and all those that say he is young and was schooled by Nibali are condescending if anything.

You just need the guts and the skills. Bernal obviously has those. He showed that in Lombardy and already many times in e.g. the Tour and other races.
And now Remco crashing... does that prove he doesn't have it with regards to descending? What can you say about Remco's descending skills? All I have seen from Remco up until this point indicates he has no problem following wheels during descents, and moreover, takes time out of opponents during descents. He dares to attack in descents as shown in Worlds in Innsbruck.
He hasn't done a grand tour so maybe he is a very bad descender, but we won't know until next year. For now, he made a mistake and that's it.
Because Bernal can't be a great descender as well? Like i said, i'm sure he's done some descending in Colombia on occasion once or twice, he did MTB back in the day and he had a lot of experience at an early age. It seems as you still don't quite grasp the lack of experience Remco has here. Remco didn't even ride Tour de l'Avenir, which already features more and longer climbs (and descents) than he has ever done in competition. Even if he turns out to be a gifted and natural descender down the line, he still needs to learn the ropes.
 
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For what is worth, a moto reporter on RAI broadcast was talking about Remco having troubles keeping up with the group on the descent just about a minute before Remco's crash.
Didn't Remco tell Lefevere that he had to break, and that he broke too hard a couple of turns before the accident because of manoeuvres by the 2 riders in front of him?
Thats been reported.
Many people thought Remco was blaming the riders in front for the accident, but that doesn’t make sense since he was a bit behind when he lost control and crashed. It could however explain why he got dropped in the not so tricky part just before the bridge.
It's in the interview with Lefevere outside the hospital. This was Lefevere's answer to the question if Remco realised how lucky he had been, or if he hadn't shared anything about the moment itself yet. Lefevere then literally said:
"Yeah.. no, he said there were two riders... He went to the back of the group deliberately. That the two riders in front of him started to panic and that he braked a bit too hard. And yeah... otherwise no..."


Like i said earlier, the way Lefevere tells it, it seems like the "braking too hard" was the cause of the crash, but from all the info we have, i believe it is the cause why he was gapped. And only then tried to close the gap.
 
I will have to rewatch to make sure, but I thought Nibs had created a bigger gap to his chasers not long after they started the descent, and by the time they reached the bridge the chasers (minus Remco) were almos back in contact. I remember that I got excited he might creat a significant gap and then a bit disappointed that they were closing him down. So without other evidence, it seems possible Remco lost contact well before the bridge and was pushing to close the gap in the section of road before the bridge.

And it's possible inexperience played a part, but the crash looks so eerily similar to Gilbert's flip over a retaining wall a few years ago (in fact both were completely upside down as they were over the top of the wall and both tried to grab hold of the wall as they somersaulted downward) and I hardly think anyone would put Gilbert's crash down to inexperience. There was a different outcome, though, because Remco fell a greater distance and because the slope Gilbert fell onto was slanted downward, which probably reduced the compression as his body hit the ground. As ski jumpers and skiers who catch big air can attest to, the impact is lessened when they land on a downward slope as opposed to a flat area.
 
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The difference in the Gilbert crash is that his crash was in a 'random' Tour descent of the Portet d'Aspet that many know is dangerous, but not one many riders know very well and can memorize every curve or would have reconned (and I guess certainly not someone like Gilbert) before the stage.
Remco already reconned the Sormano descent (according to what I read, several times), so it's strange he missed that turn, especially as the team should know very well to remind their riders of what happened to Laurens De Plus 3 years ago.

Nibali put pressure on his opponents in the hairpins before the longer straight leading to the bridge. So probably he dropped his companions temporarily just after those hairpins, and with Remco in last position and 1-2 riders in front taking some suboptimal turns, Remco probably was dropped a bit more in that stretched group and had to make up some more meters and wasn't yet making contact when they arrived at the bridge. So he probably pushed it a bit harder in those curves, and without seeing the line of riders in front, he was virtually on his own picking lines, at higher speed taking more risks.
 
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Sure. Maybe now we'll reach a tipping point. Instead of the whining that the big boys weren't around when Remco won, now we'll get to say, meh, Remco wasn't there.



Because Bernal can't be a great descender as well? Like i said, i'm sure he's done some descending in Colombia on occasion once or twice, he did MTB back in the day and he had a lot of experience at an early age. It seems as you still don't quite grasp the lack of experience Remco has here. Remco didn't even ride Tour de l'Avenir, which already features more and longer climbs (and descents) than he has ever done in competition. Even if he turns out to be a gifted and natural descender down the line, he still needs to learn the ropes.
Bernal is (imho) a great descender. I have been watching him closely in terms of how he handles the bike through the last couple of years and for me, he is a great bike handler.
Most likely, his MTB experience + his Colombia experience has enabled him to improve (on top of his talent).

I agree that with Remco, he doesn't have too much experience and there is a lot to learn in the coming years. I just don't like to see all kinds of presumptions, especially those made before it was even known what exactly happened.
 
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