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

Page 162 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Yeah, one has won loads, and the other nothing of consequence just for starters.
Aw, that's cute. I guess winning multiple pro stage races, becoming the European TT champion, getting 2nd in the Worlds TT, and winning San Sebastian in one's first attempt at a classic is "nothing of consequence". Remind me where Froome was at age 21? I forget with all the great stories, was he a miner? Working on a farm? Never heard of bikes? Recovering from one of his many bouts of Bilharzia?
 
Aw, that's cute. I guess winning multiple pro stage races, becoming the European TT champion, getting 2nd in the Worlds TT, and winning San Sebastian in one's first attempt at a classic is "nothing of consequence". Remind me where Froome was at age 21? I forget with all the great stories, was he a miner? Working on a farm? Never heard of bikes? Recovering from one of his many bouts of Bilharzia?
Not here to pick at the underlying sentiment of your message here, but I will use it as a launch pad for a tangential comment based on a lot of the discussion I've seen on these boards. The reason people debate Bernal vs. Quintana at age 22, Pogacar vs. Remco at age 21, etc., is, presumably, because they think early results are good predictors of future results. However, in modern cycling, we have seen as many late bloomers (Froome, Roglic, Wiggins, GT, Valverde, etc.) as early bloomers (Contador, Pogacar, Quintana, Bernal, etc.) and few (none?) of those early bloomers maintained that pace of achievement through their 30s. This is not scientific, but generally it seems like riders get 5-7 years on top before they decline - even if that decline is still high-achieving (see: Nibali).

My point being, where someone was at 21 is an OK predictor of their palmares, but likely a very high p-value. Results >>>> potential results. Overall results >>>> age group results. Having said that, would love to see Remco ignite his legend with a Giro victory. But even if he does, I'll take "under" on him winning more GTs than Froome.
 
My point being, where someone was at 21 is an OK predictor of their palmares, but likely a very high p-value. Results >>>> potential results. Overall results >>>> age group results. Having said that, would love to see Remco ignite his legend with a Giro victory. But even if he does, I'll take "under" on him winning more GTs than Froome.
What you are forgetting also in this discussion is, that many of the "old bloomers", are considered questionable characters. Not only is early success a predictor of later success, some also view it as a return to past ages where people like Merckx, Fignon, Hinault, Vlaminck, Moser, Argentin, and many many more, already had significant wins in their early 20s, whereas later on at least it felt like that had become rare.

How scientific any of that is, I have no idea.
 
However, in modern cycling, we have seen as many late bloomers (Froome, Roglic, Wiggins, GT, Valverde, etc.)
Mostly bad examples:

Wiggins was an Olympic Champion in cycling at the age of 24, he clearly had the engine but used in on track.
Thomas also was an Olympic Champion at the age of 22 (team event but still it counts).
Valverde was winning multiple stages and podiumed at La Vuelta GC at the age of 23.
Roglic is a late bloomer only because he took up cycling late but his big talent and rapid progress have always been easy to notice.
 
Meanwhile Remco is continuing his altitude camp at the Sierra Nevada (Centro de Alto Rendimiento). He will return on the 21st of April, and a few days later he has a time trial test day at the Eddy Merckx Cycling Track in Ghent. Also attending will be Belgian national coach Sven Vanthourenthout, to finetune his position for the Olympics.
Good that Vanthourenhout will be there. If something smells funny, he should be alerted. There's a lot at stake for both WCC and Olympics, if Campenaerts needs to be on standby, best he knows well in advance.
 
Mostly bad examples:

Wiggins was an Olympic Champion in cycling at the age of 24, he clearly had the engine but used in on track.
Thomas also was an Olympic Champion at the age of 22 (team event but still it counts).
Valverde was winning multiple stages and podiumed at La Vuelta GC at the age of 23.
Roglic is a late bloomer only because he took up cycling late but his big talent and rapid progress have always been easy to notice.
Valverde was a joke

I'm just curious, since I didn't take a scientific approach, if you looked at the top 20 riders in terms of hype in their early 20s over the past 20 years, and you looked at the top 20 riders in terms of GT palmares over the last 20 years, how much overlap do you think there would be? I think it's easy to forget the ones who don't pan out.

Also, the point stands that, Valverde aside, whether riders caught fire at 21 or 27, I can't recall anyone maintaining top GT favorite level for more than 5 or 6 years. And before you trot out Nibali, he had a true peak from, what, 2013 to 2016, and has been a step below since.

Not here to hate on Remco, just more that I am in the camp that hopes he does legendary things but would not assume that he will have 10 GT victories just because he is good at 21. It wasn't worked out that way for anyone in several decades.
 
Valverde was a joke

I'm just curious, since I didn't take a scientific approach, if you looked at the top 20 riders in terms of hype in their early 20s over the past 20 years, and you looked at the top 20 riders in terms of GT palmares over the last 20 years, how much overlap do you think there would be? I think it's easy to forget the ones who don't pan out.

Also, the point stands that, Valverde aside, whether riders caught fire at 21 or 27, I can't recall anyone maintaining top GT favorite level for more than 5 or 6 years. And before you trot out Nibali, he had a true peak from, what, 2013 to 2016, and has been a step below since.

Not here to hate on Remco, just more that I am in the camp that hopes he does legendary things but would not assume that he will have 10 GT victories just because he is good at 21. It wasn't worked out that way for anyone in several decades.
Well, Contador was a top GT contender for 8 years (from 2007 to 2015, except 2013) and won 9 out of 13 GTs he entered in this period.
As for wasted talents in cycling, sure there have been some and nothing is guaranteed. But performances of these guys (Remco, Tadej) are unlike anything we've seen in modern cycling from such young guys. The hype is justified (albeit nothing is certain, as always).
 
Well, Contador was a top GT contender for 8 years (from 2007 to 2015, except 2013) and won 9 out of 13 GTs he entered in this period.
As for wasted talents in cycling, sure there have been some and nothing is guaranteed. But performances of these guys (Remco, Tadej) are unlike anything we've seen in modern cycling from such young guys. The hype is justified (albeit nothing is certain, as always).
Agreed - the hype is justified for Remco and Tadej. 8 years seems like a stretch for Contador
 
Aw, that's cute. I guess winning multiple pro stage races, becoming the European TT champion, getting 2nd in the Worlds TT, and winning San Sebastian in one's first attempt at a classic is "nothing of consequence". Remind me where Froome was at age 21? I forget with all the great stories, was he a miner? Working on a farm? Never heard of bikes? Recovering from one of his many bouts of Bilharzia?
Wrong, very wrong. Froomey was crushing his rivals in the most prestigious race: the Tour*

*of Mauritius
 
Last edited:
Feb 27, 2021
173
173
530
Aw, that's cute. I guess winning multiple pro stage races, becoming the European TT champion, getting 2nd in the Worlds TT, and winning San Sebastian in one's first attempt at a classic is "nothing of consequence". Remind me where Froome was at age 21? I forget with all the great stories, was he a miner? Working on a farm? Never heard of bikes? Recovering from one of his many bouts of Bilharzia?
He was the farmer from the dell.
 
Not here to pick at the underlying sentiment of your message here, but I will use it as a launch pad for a tangential comment based on a lot of the discussion I've seen on these boards. The reason people debate Bernal vs. Quintana at age 22, Pogacar vs. Remco at age 21, etc., is, presumably, because they think early results are good predictors of future results. However, in modern cycling, we have seen as many late bloomers (Froome, Roglic, Wiggins, GT, Valverde, etc.) as early bloomers (Contador, Pogacar, Quintana, Bernal, etc.) and few (none?) of those early bloomers maintained that pace of achievement through their 30s. This is not scientific, but generally it seems like riders get 5-7 years on top before they decline - even if that decline is still high-achieving (see: Nibali).

My point being, where someone was at 21 is an OK predictor of their palmares, but likely a very high p-value. Results >>>> potential results. Overall results >>>> age group results. Having said that, would love to see Remco ignite his legend with a Giro victory. But even if he does, I'll take "under" on him winning more GTs than Froome.
I appreciate you noting this is tangential to any points I was making above, thank you. On your tangent, I don't think it's about predictors with these three. We talk about and compare them because they're already winning at a crazy clip. Bernal and Pogačar are already Tour winners (and more), and I mentioned Evenepoels amazing palmares above. He's already done things that Bilharzia Boy never did. I don't think he's another promising young talent, he's already an accomplished rider who could looked set to win a monument in his first attempt minus a minor bike-handling error. :p

We'll see how many GT's he wins with Pogačar and Bernal around (and everyone else) but he's an obvious and legitimate talent. What he does in his 30's, I'm not sure I see what relevance that has. He might retire by then. Who knows?
 
In terms of the TdF then 2007-2010/11 was his peak but he was still winning Giro and Vuelta up to 2015 so 8 years is fair with that proviso. Of course he entered the 2014 Tour on super form only to crash out so might well have won there.
Don't want to invade the Remco thread too much with this, but quick response. First of all, I am a massive Contador fan, so not slighting the man, but that just makes me all the more attuned to the fact that he was not as good 2012-2017. 2014 of course was the year that got away (although that is a disservice to that epic Vuelta win over Chris Froome), but he was not the dominant force 2012-2017 that he was in 2008-2011. 2012 he won the Vuelta through an audacious move, not because he was the strongest rider. 2013 he got crushed. 2015 he barely beat Aru and Landa in the Giro and ended the Giro weaker than he started. Of course, crashes always played a role in his later career.
 
Meanwhile Remco is continuing his altitude camp at the Sierra Nevada (Centro de Alto Rendimiento). He will return on the 21st of April, and a few days later he has a time trial test day at the Eddy Merckx Cycling Track in Ghent. Also attending will be Belgian national coach Sven Vanthourenthout, to finetune his position for the Olympics.
But.... why?
What can Sven Vanthourenhout possibly teach him?

I don't really like Vanthourenhout as national coach anyway. What credentials does he have in road racing? But ok, maybe he's a tactical mastermind or something.
But hows he going to help Evenepoel finetune his position? What kind of expertise does he have? I'm genuinely curious.
 
But.... why?
What can Sven Vanthourenhout possibly teach him?

I don't really like Vanthourenhout as national coach anyway. What credentials does he have in road racing? But ok, maybe he's a tactical mastermind or something.
But hows he going to help Evenepoel finetune his position? What kind of expertise does he have? I'm genuinely curious.
I think Vanthourenhout is an intelligent guy, and if he doesn't know enough on the subject, he'll ask someone who does and simply be there to oversee things. Don't forget that he's done a few dozen ITT's himself when he was a pro. He wasn't good at it, but he'll likely know more about it than you give him credit for. He's also been assistant national coach for a while, and he was the one that was in the team car when Evenepoel and Van Wilder were doing junior WCC ITT in 2018.

I also think he handled the situation with Campenaerts very well, he also got the Belgians to work together last year for van Aert and made a sensible selection. So far i've only seen him make one questionable decision and that was to exclude Nys jr from the national selection of U23 WCC CX earlier this year.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Valverde was a joke

I'm just curious, since I didn't take a scientific approach, if you looked at the top 20 riders in terms of hype in their early 20s over the past 20 years, and you looked at the top 20 riders in terms of GT palmares over the last 20 years, how much overlap do you think there would be? I think it's easy to forget the ones who don't pan out.

Also, the point stands that, Valverde aside, whether riders caught fire at 21 or 27, I can't recall anyone maintaining top GT favorite level for more than 5 or 6 years. And before you trot out Nibali, he had a true peak from, what, 2013 to 2016, and has been a step below since.

Not here to hate on Remco, just more that I am in the camp that hopes he does legendary things but would not assume that he will have 10 GT victories just because he is good at 21. It wasn't worked out that way for anyone in several decades.
What do you mean by hype though? Obviously there have been a ton of prospects that came with hype that never quite made it (Kelderman, Danielson, Karpets, Phinney, ...) but when it comes to riders like Evenepoel, Pogacar and Bernal they have already established themselves. These are no longer prospects that are merely hyped because of potential but cyclists that have proven that the abilities are definitely there. Perhaps they won't win as much as anticipated (e.g. Sagan, Kwiatkowski) but they are not mere prospects either.

The point I am making is that these cyclists have moved beyond being hyped because of 'potential' but rather are hyped because they already proved something. I would say it is sort of a spectrum.

You have the ones who merely showed potential at 21 (Phinney, Kelderman, ...) then you have the ones who showed some important results to go along with it (Boasson Hagen) and lastly you have the ones who already seemed to be among the best at 21 (Sagan, Evenepoel). And with these latter ones you can predict they will have a great career because they will likely win big things even if they don't improve much more.
I say that is a very different kind of prediction than predicting that Kelderman would win GTs.
 
Pog and Bernal are not much better than Andy S was at the same age. How many GTs did he actually win? So many things affect career development. Ronaldo for example could never have been predicted to be one of the 2 best players in the world at 20/21, though Messi could have.
 
Pog and Bernal are not much better than Andy S was at the same age. How many GTs did he actually win? So many things affect career development. Ronaldo for example could never have been predicted to be one of the 2 best players in the world at 20/21, though Messi could have.
While nobody will debate that, your opening post already kind of showed your colors. Nothing of consequence, going by that, the only things of consequence in your opininon, can only be the 5 monuments and 3 GT's? Possibly the WCC as well (were Evenepoel "only" won silver at the age of 19). Not only that, you managed to shift the discussion from a healing process at different ages, to a narrow view on accomplishments. We were talking about chances of a full recovery after a nasty fracture, not about what you deem of consequence.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: Panda Claws
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Logic-is-your-friend Professional Road Racing 30

ASK THE COMMUNITY