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

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He didn't feel any sore or irritations after his training ride. He said he would have been limping just a couple of months ago, getting off the bike after a trainingride like that. You can hear his training buddy Siebe Roesems say "52" when they arrived back home. I assume that means they did 52km in those 90 minutes.

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Or maybe Remco was dropped 52 times?
 
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Google translated:

Remco Evenepoel: "I could see myself riding in Dennis' wheel on the way to Giro victory"

2020 consisted of many peaks (ups) and 1 big valley (down) for Remco Evenepoel: his fall in the Tour of Lombardy. Only now the fracture has healed enough to train again. Evenepoel looks back one more time in Sporza Home Match.

Remco Evenepoel was working on an impressive 2020, but his season was abruptly ended with a hair-raising crash in the Tour of Lombardy. "It was really close, because I took the blow with my shin", Evenepoel says about his fall.

"It was really crazy: you feel it, but you don't realize it well. I tried to grab myself on the wall. You know you're riding on a bridge, but you don't know how deep it is. " And Evenepoel realizes that he has been very lucky.

"I fell 10 to 12 meters deep, but a few meters further it was 30 or 40 meters. There were also boulders around, actually I fell in the best way, if you can put it that way. "

And then Evenepoel landed in a special place. "I don't know if you can see it well on my right shoulder, but I fell on a pheasant. It was already dead, I think. My shoulder really had a hole from its mouth."

"It's not that I can't descend"

After the fall, there was a lot of talk about Remco Evenepoel's bikehandling skills. "I was the rider at the front with the least experience", he also knows. "Every driver in the leading group had already made a mistake. Nibali also almost hit the wall."

"What I blame myself is that I did not have to drop a gap in that descent and I saw on my computer that we were almost at that bridge and I started to brake. Out of fear." That is the most dangerous point of the course here. I won't take any chances, "I thought."

"" If they fall in front of me, then I fall too ", I reasoned. That was a mistake and I discussed it with the psychologist. I learned that: my problem was that I did not trust the men before me. . "

"I panicked and the focus was not on the race but on things going wrong. And then it also goes wrong. It is not that I cannot descend. The first part of the descent I rode in front and then gaps appeared in the bunch as well. I can go down, but I need to have more confidence in someone's wheel. "

"Just after the fall, I had a lot of support from the 2 team leaders", Evenepoel continues. "I never let go of Geert's (Van Bondt, red) hand and" Brama "(Davide Bramati, red) relieved me of all my burdens: radio, helmet and all the food that was still in my pocket."

And that was precisely what caused a fuss: what had Bramati taken away? "Every rider knows that in the final there is a water bottle with sugars and a little caffeine. I think every rider who has to ride a final has something like that in his pocket."

The International Cycling Union (UCI) investigated the matter. Evenepoel: "Together with my parents I sent an email to chairman Lappartient. To say:" Is that really necessary? "I lie here in my hospital bed and then they come up with such a stupid story, to put me in a bad light. "

"I never got an apology and that's something ... the day I can use it, he will know. Too bad the riders and the UCI are not allies. Even now with those new safety rules. But now it's a thing of the past. . "

"There are times when you think you are on your own"

Like any athlete, Remco Evenepoel (21) had a hard time during his rehabilitation. "You don't feel lonely, because your family is around you. But there are times when you think you are on your own, not on a private level, but as a cyclist."

"In the end that is not the case: you have doctors, team mates, the psychologist of the team. With Fabio (Jakobsen, ed.) I regularly send a message and then we pull each other through. The psychologist has also helped me enormously.

"I've also started to read a lot in mindset books to make me stronger. You also start to appreciate things that you otherwise don't appreciate as a young guy."

"When I see how I lived as a rider before the injury: even when I came home, I was busy with the race. I completely abandoned that. On stage and at competitions the focus is on the race, but at home it is over and I do other things to calm the storm in your head. "

To make matters worse, Evenepoel did not properly estimate the pain during rehabilitation, so he had to take another break in December. "There were communication errors then from me to the doctor", he says about it in our vodcast, "but now we have discussed everything in detail so as not to make the same mistakes."

Was he unsure about a happy ending? "Sure, especially when we saw that the bone didn't really want to close up 2 months ago. After my rest period you saw on the scan that there are still mini-openings, but the outside is closed."

"Giro? I was ready and my form started to rise"

Due to his nasty fall, Remco Evenepoel also saw the Giro go up in smoke last year. "That was the most painful thing I had to miss, I was so looking forward to making my debut in a grand tour. I was really ready and my form started to rise."

"The first days I had a hard time watching, but then I was able to accept it. Why not watch and support the boys? And I have seen a super good team of us."

"The pink jersey was the big goal together with the Tour of Lombardy and they both literally fell into the ravine. I had explored that long time trial and that hard stage to Piancavallo. It took a lot of time, long in advance. in my head to let things explode there for the first time. "

With Tao Geoghegan Hart, the Giro got a very unexpected winner. "I respect what those men have done. You start to think afterwards, but you never know if I had a bad day. But with those 3 time trials I was already able to organize the Giro: that's the advantage of a good time trial. , you can just follow. "

"It was a shame to see, for example, that ride over the Stelvio when you see that Dennis tears everything apart. My heart rate went up when I saw that. I saw myself sitting in his wheel on my way to win the Giro, but the most dreams are false, right? "

Now, that's nice to know! Coz otherwise that would have been some seriously bad luck for that poor bird; just going around, minding its own birdy-business, and... WHOOOSH! Cyclist!
Getting a taste of their own medicine! Millennia has mankind had to watch for birds dropping out of the skies!
 
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How ridiculous is that story, though? "I was aiming to win my first monument, but I crashed over the wall of a bridge, fell 10 meters and landed on a dead pheasant whose beak drilled itself into my shoulder. I still have the scar." To tell your grand-children.
Those 1.5 seconds he was falling down, must have looked like an eternity for Evenepoel. He probably thought to himself "i'm not going home without a prize!" when he saw that pheasant in the distance.
 
So, after watching the entire interview, some things that didn't make the written article:

Clearly they expect or at least are wary that there might be some instances during the Giro where he will not be able to follow the GC guys with this preparation. The idea is to "pick a few days" to go all out, and see where it leads him. After the Giro he will take a break and go on altitude to prepare for the Olympics. Chances are he'll also go to the Vuelta, and that he'll be going for GC in Spain. The season is all about the Olympics, so it would make sense to include the Vuelta.

He'd like Almeida to go with him to the Giro, and maybe they can do something together. In case he cracks, he would like to work for João. (He brought this up himself, this wasn't a question from the interviewer). Taking into account the possibility that he'll have lost significant time in GC, he also draws inspiration from Froome's raid in 2018, winning the Giro from a lost position. He says he's seen that video more than a hundred times.

He currently weighs 63.5kg and expects to lose 3-3.5 kg by the time the Giro starts. He says he was a bit too skinny in the winter, and he was eating according to the training schedule, but they didn't take fully into account that his body was also still recovering physically from the crash. This also likely hampered his recovery.
 

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