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

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I supose it'll depend whether or not Almeida is staying in the Wolf pack or if he's going to leave for Bora.
If he stays, it would be logic to go for Almeida GC en Evenepoel stagewins/super domestique.
 
I supose it'll depend whether or not Almeida is staying in the Wolf pack or if he's going to leave for Bora.
If he stays, it would be logic to go for Almeida GC en Evenepoel stagewins/super domestique.
Evenepoel taking it day by day and seeing exactly how good he is, would make sense even if Almeida stays. The team is there for Almeida, he has to go for GC. For Evenepoel, it's not clear whether or not GC is in the cards. If they are, it doesn't make sense to forfait his chances just because Almeida will stay. I can't see Almeida winning the Giro either way, but in case Evenepoel matches some criteria (regarding form and injury) he actually could. If he doesn't meet those criteria, then let him go for stages, and maybe in the third week (when it's most needed) help out Almeida.
 

google translate said:
The Giro d'Italia ended as the big loser when the corona crisis turned the 2020 season upside down, but that is certainly not how it went in 2021. An extremely mountainous route has made climbers all over the world lick their mouths, and they have made a pilgrimage to Italy in such great style that the 104th edition of the Giro appears to be one of the most anticipated in recent years. In a series of five articles, Feltet.dk provides an analysis of the 15 biggest favorites and finds out what weaknesses and strengths they each have on the way to realizing the dream of entering history as winner number 104 of the sport's second biggest race.

In recent years, the Giro's race organizer Mauro Vegni has made a virtue out of doing the opposite of Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme. In recent years, where Prudhomme has reduced the single-start scope to pure nothingness, Vegni has approached 70 km individual fight against the clock, and when the Frenchman this year broke the trend with a sudden single-start heavy route, the Italian again responded by designing the most climb-friendly route in years.

The goal, of course, was to appeal to all the stars who ran screaming away when Prudhomme unveiled the Tour route in November, and that strategy has been so successful. Most notably, Egan Bernal has been given permission by the Ineos management to drop the team's most important race, the Tour de France, to finally embark on the race at his European home ground, but also relatively slow-paced people such as Simon Yates, Aleksandr Vlasov , Emanuel Buchmann, Mikel Landa, Jai Hindley, Domenico Pozzovivo, Clement Champoussin, Davide Formolo, George Bennett and Romain Bardet were lightning fast to make the Italian race the overriding goal of the season. Despite his improvements on the single-start bike, Hugh Carthy also loved the mountainous route, and Dan Martin was even so in love,that in April he suddenly changed plans and switched grand tour horse at a normally far, far too late time.

It does not even stop here. The most hype is about Remco Evenepoel, who has not been tempted by the Tour's many single start kilometers, but has stuck to the decision to ride one of the smaller grand tours before the debut in the world's biggest cycling race. Due to the uncertainty about his level after the long injury, he is even joined by another comet, Joao Almeida, and last year's No. 9, Fausto Masnada, on a frighteningly strong Deceuninck crew that may only be matched by the star ensemble that with Pavel Sivakov, Daniel Martinez and Ivan Ramiro Sosa will support Bernal at Ineos. Marc Soler finally gets his big chance as grand tour captain, and after the distinguished Giro last year, Pello Bilbao will act as shadow captain for Landa.Despite a stupid crash in the prelude, Vincenzo Nibali still starts with Bauke Mollema in the role of stage hunter and now perhaps in support of Giulio Ciccone, who in light of Hajen's unfortunate prelude can suddenly see a possible personal chance.

No, Vegni certainly has no reason to be unhappy with the starting list for the 104th edition of the world's second largest stage race. Perhaps he wished that the route's small excursion to Slovenia had caused the two Slovenian monsters to give the Giro a consideration, but that, of course, was never realistic. With all the hype that Evenepoel's first grand toue creates, and the attention that Bernal always creates, Vegni can confidently look forward to a guaranteed two-wheeled supershow over the next three weeks!

In a series of five preludes, Feltet.dk takes a look at the 15 biggest favorites, of which one has received five stars, two have received four, three have received three, four have received two, and five have to settle for a single star. In this article, we provide an in-depth analysis of the race's biggest favorite, which as the only one has received five stars.

Remco Evenepoel (*)

It is generally a good idea to be a little wary of using results in the youth ranks as a surefire indication that a given rider will become one of the big stars of cycling. Thus, one does not have to think long to come up with examples of riders who in the early years were exclaimed as Tour King and that which is better, but who ended up becoming relatively anonymous figures in the professional field. This is especially true of the basic rule for the junior class, where the riders have reached very different stages in their physical development, and therefore the balance of power often changes enormously when "the slow" catches up with "the fast".

That lesson one should actually think that the Belgians as perhaps the most bicycle-interested people were embarrassingly aware of. In any case, it is not difficult in Belgian cycling history to find examples of riders who have been named the man who was to break the almost unimaginable grand tour drought that Eddy Merckx's homeland has experienced since Johan De Muynck won the Giro in 1978. Time and time again, the cycling-mad crowd has been left disappointed, and in that light one would think that the horse was patted a few extra times when a young Belgian showed talent.

That's just not the case with Remco Evenepoel. The phenomenon, which was heading towards a promising football career, but which fortunately for cycling changed tracks, should not spend much time creating such a violent hype that even before his professional debut in January 2019 he was actually considered a of Belgium's biggest sports stars. Although he had made the unconventional and risky choice to skip the U23 class altogether and become a professional immediately after junior time, the Belgian press even sent a delegation across the country to cover an 18-year-old boy's first professional pedal wire in Argentina.

On the one hand, it seems completely absurd that a guy in a professional context, completely untested, could make an entire country's sports press go into collective self-swing, but when you know the history, you understand it well. After all, not everyone in the junior class drives so fast that races had to be shortened because the prodigy was picking up the field with a lap in one of the countless solo rides that made him an unstoppable victory machine among the young boys. Of course, in 2018 he became both Belgian, European and world champion - in the latter two cases both in line races and in the singles - and especially his European Championship title, which was won by a margin of 9.44 down to No. 2 despite a distance of just 118.8 km, says it all that the hype was not entirely unfounded.

Still, Evenepoel has exceeded all expectations as a professional. The first year, according to the Deceuninck team, who had actually preferred to see him take a year in the U23 class, but who, under pressure from Sky's huge wallet, felt compelled to act earlier than planned, was all about learning. Still, after a somewhat hesitant start, which probably made many skeptics feel confirmed in their assumption that he had come out on a little too deep water a little too early, he ended up winning his very first one-day race on the World Tour, Clasica San. Sebastian, who is almost always won by riders with the Tour de France in his legs, to become a supreme European champion in singles and to win World Cup silver in the same discipline after a performance where he was probably beaten clearly by Rohan Dennis, but in return enough once the rest of the field ran across the middle.

That kind of results most people will give their right arm to achieve, but they stood on Evenepoel's resume before he turned 20. And in 2020 he was just even wilder, because here he answered the question he never gave a sure answer to in 2019, namely whether he could climb with the best. He did so in a very short but completely wild season, where he ran four races, namely the stage races in San Juan, Algarve, Burgos and Poland, and won them all in quite superb style! There were many indications that the first monumental victory was just around the corner when he sat with the best over Muro di Sormano in his monumental debut in Lombardy, but as most people know, the race had a very dramatic and sad ending for Evenepoel.

In fact, it's precisely this episode that makes no one really know what to expect from Evenepoel when, from on Saturday, he makes his long-awaited grand tour debut in the Giro with a one-year delay. The Belgian has not run a single race since he sent the hearts of cyclists all over the world by riding over the edge of the madness descent from Sormano. Everything else was on the right track when he got back on the bike after his hip fracture already before Christmas, but not entirely unexpectedly, the ambitious Evenepoel was a little too impatient in his quest to get ready for the Italian grand tour, and his training zeal with great pain unfortunately led to a new push of the pause button and a race stop that lasted longer than it could have possibly been.

Fortunately, Evenepoel has been training without pain for a long time, and for weeks he has been able to train exactly as he wanted. Still, it rolls around with questions before he gets on the competition bike in Turin for the first time in about nine months on Saturday. One is, in fact, the general uncertainty as to whether a grand tour debutant at all has the abilities and recovery to win a grand tour. Something else, of course, is the obvious doubt about the form that his long running break creates.

It does not get any better that the Deceuninck camp and Evenepoel themselves are very eager to lower expectations. According to the prodigy himself, he is coming to Italy alone to help Joao Almeida, who was called in as Plan B when it became clear in the spring that the Belgian might not have time to find his top form. No, the season is all about the Olympics and the World Cup as well as maybe the Vuelta, and the next three weeks are supposed to be used alone to find the race rhythm before the big events later in the year.

Now, unfortunately, I am not a psychologist - and even if I were, it is probably also difficult to analyze in depth a personality on the basis of TV interviews and the short meeting I myself had with the Belgian at the World Cup in Austria - but it is now not difficult to sense that it would be against his whole mindset to ride three weeks in Italy as an assistant rider with a free role. Imagine if Almeida - shudder! - had to go and win the race, and the whole world might want to equate the Portuguese's talent with the Belgian's. It would undoubtedly spawn bitter tweets and self-conscious statements from the team’s chief prodigy and hurt him far into the soul if people were to believe it was not him who is the best.

There is also much to suggest that it is pure smokescreen. Evenepoel interrupted his altitude training to reconnoiter the gravel road stage, and it was probably a decision that was rather unnecessary if the ambition alone was to chase stages and act as a helper. And perhaps team-mate Fausto Masnada has also come to talk about himself when he came to La Gazzetta dello Sport in April with some words that fit Evenepoel's winning mentality far better than his modest statements about auxiliary efforts. "He wants to win. It's nice to help him. He has recovered 100% and he is more trim and motivated than ever. He can't wait to run again, and Remco is super-focused, "the Italian said to the Italian sports newspaper.

If that statement can be used to call the Deceuninck camp bluff, however, there is still a long way to go to see Evenepoel in pink in Milan on May 30, because can he win a grand tour at all? Is he recovering well enough? And are the climbing skills we have seen only to a modest extent really enough for a reputation that more than long appeals to mountaineers with a penchant for steep percentages?

We do not know, and neither do Evenepoel or Deceuninck themselves, but there are many indications that we can say yes to both. A basic characteristic of the Belgian is his enormous engine, which points in the direction of an excellent recovery ability. It is no coincidence that he delivered a great solo ride in his first long classic, that he is the best on the longest of the longest single starts, that he has generally performed best when the distance has rounded the 200 km, and that his characteristics already are giant solo rides that require a very special endurance. As Jakob Fuglsang can attest, a large engine in a one-day race is not a guarantee of good recovery ability, but it is usually an excellent indicator that could indicate that Evenepoel may even be the type who just wants to get better and better over three weeks.

Does he climb well enough? His experience in the mountains is limited, and in fact it was here that he had the hardest time in the beginning of his career, where, among other things, it turned into a flop on the king stage in an Adriatica Ionica Race, where he was to start as a big favorite. But when he beat a whole series of superclimbers and superpuncheurs last year on the Foia climb in the Algarve, and not least when he drove the whole field in the middle of the steep Picon Blanco climb in Burgos, it looked at least promising. It did so, too, when he delivered his mad ride in Poland, where, however, in slightly easier terrain, he sabotaged the later Lombardy winner Fuglsang, or when, in Lombardy in particular, he sat stone-safe with the best of Muro di Sormano's inhuman percentages.

If it is an expression of Evenepoel's climbing abilities, there is no reason to believe that he should not be able to participate in the Giro's mountains, even though from the 14th stage onwards, much harder and steeper finish mountains are offered than usual. There is also no reason to believe that his huge engine will not love the royal stage's gigantic mountain marathon with almost 6000 altitude meters over 212 km. And there is also no reason to believe that the man who took his first individual professional on a cobblestone stage in the Belgium Tour should have a hard time coping with some gravel roads in Tuscany.

At the same time, he has a luxury no one else has. When he can become European champion over 22 km of toner terrain by beating Kasper Asgreen, Stefan Küng and Filippo Ganna by 20-25 seconds, one does not dare to think at all how much time he gains on the climbers over the almost 40 km pancake flat single start that awaits . It may be that this year's route is significantly worse for pace specialists like Evenepoel, but he wants to secure a buffer that allows him to attack the mountains completely defensively.

He can do that with one of the strongest teams in the race. Deep in the mountains, he can count on the support of last year's No. 4, Almeida, last year's No. 9, Fausto Masnada, who most recently became No. 3 in Romandiet, and James Knox, who has returned to the track this spring with quite compelling driving. The rest of the team is also frighteningly strong, and it will therefore not be the collective that costs.

It will be Evenepoel himself who will lose the race. He must show that he can climb with the best. He needs to show that he can last for three weeks, where there might be some concern to be found in Burgos and the Algarve, where he was stronger on the first mountain tape and human on the second. He must show that he has fully recovered from his fall. He has to show that he quickly recovers the running rhythm, but here he is fortunately helped by a very heavy route, which probably only really shows teeth from the gravel road tape onwards. And finally, he must avoid losing his head with some impatient madness ride in the first and ultimately not particularly decisive part of the race, for he is probably wise enough to make sure that he has all the strength left for the brutal finish, which undoubtedly determines the winner of the race.

But why should not the answer be yes to all of them? There is probably no expectation that Evenepoel has not exceeded in his first time as a professional, and therefore it is wise to automatically add 25% to what you expect to see from Evenepoel in the next three weeks. Maybe he's right that he comes alone as a helper, but it now seems most nice to have the excuse ready, if it still fails. It just never does it right for the field's prodigy # 1, so why should he not show on Sunday, May 30, that for once it was fully justified that the Belgian media created so much fuss and for the 117th time found The Muyncks successor? So far, he has at least fully lived up to all the hype!


 





Wow, he actually chose him. That's bold. Also a bit funny that I stumble upon a news article from a Danish website that I have worked for myself on an English news forum in a post by a Belgian.
 
I have posted Feltet articles before though.
I wasn't aware of that. But reading the first few paragraphs it seems like they are translated quite well - at least better than a few Dutch articles you have posted before :D

And I think that's a good thing because I think Axelgaard is the best cycling analyst in the world - certainly the most active and thorough.
 
Evenepoel taking it day by day and seeing exactly how good he is, would make sense even if Almeida stays. The team is there for Almeida, he has to go for GC. For Evenepoel, it's not clear whether or not GC is in the cards. If they are, it doesn't make sense to forfait his chances just because Almeida will stay. I can't see Almeida winning the Giro either way, but in case Evenepoel matches some criteria (regarding form and injury) he actually could. If he doesn't meet those criteria, then let him go for stages, and maybe in the third week (when it's most needed) help out Almeida.
It's challenging situation for team mgm as Remco is raging to let go and demanding his free role for good, but if he gets soft after, say, two weeks, is rest of the Wolfpack still capable to handle others for Almeida if he gets lucky? Almeida is good enough in my books to for GC, if he stays upright and as close as he did last year.
 
It's challenging situation for team mgm as Remco is raging to let go and demanding his free role for good, but if he gets soft after, say, two weeks, is rest of the Wolfpack still capable to handle others for Almeida if he gets lucky? Almeida is good enough in my books to for GC, if he stays upright and as close as he did last year.
They're not bringing sprinters or a sprint train. There are enough guys to support both Almeida and Evenepoel. Remco doesn't have to "demand" a free role, he already has that. If he can stay with Almeida, he will have the same support as Almeida, and vice versa. By the time week 2 rolls around, the team will be a lot wiser.

Cavagna + Keisse -> Honoré + Serry -> Masnada + Knox -> Evenepoel + Almeida

That's a very balanced team for all situations.

I wasn't aware of that. But reading the first few paragraphs it seems like they are translated quite well - at least better than a few Dutch articles you have posted before :D

And I think that's a good thing because I think Axelgaard is the best cycling analyst in the world - certainly the most active and thorough.
Yes, translates quite nicely. Dutch language has lots of sayings that don't translate well 1:1.

The best cycling analyst has to be De Cauwer, but he doesn't do written previews or articles. He's a much sought after guest in cycling podcasts, talkshows and co-commentator at Sporza. The guy is great to listen to, he's clever and he understands race tactics like no other, while being funny too. Has been part of the pro peloton for most of his life though, so at his age you know what's what.
 
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Bourgeat: "Florian, you ride with Evenepoel, Alaphilippe, Asgreen, Lampaert... who is the strongest?"
Sénéchal: "Remco Evenepoel".
Bourgeat : "Remco? Why?"
Sénéchal * shakes head * : "You've got Mathieu, Julian, Kasper, the great sprinters, Sam Bennett... But then you have Remco."

He then goes on to describe how Remco said he was going to attack in Poland with over 50km to go, and Sénéchal told him not to, because it was too far to the finish, but Remco said he wanted to make the race hard, so he took off and finished with 2 minutes ahead of the first chaser.

 





The Remco pick as the Giro favourite doesn't make any sense. I'm not one of those who say "I need to see it to believe it". I've seen enough of Remco to know he'll become a superstar and will fight for GT wins in the future (if he completely recovers from the injury, fingers crossed). But having him as a pre-race favourite for this Giro, in a pretty strong GC field, with so many question marks surrounding him, is crazy. If he was at least 3rd behind Bernal and Yates, I would be OK with it. I think he can win it, yes, I can see a scenario in which he comes out victorious. That would need him to reach his level before the injury. He can do that, but the odds aren't in his favor. There's a much bigger chance Yates or Bernal reach their top shape. Even if we see pre-crash Remco, there's no guarantee his climbing level on multi mountain stages is on par with Yates/Bernal/Landa for example.

Secondly he lacks race rhythm. This is an important thing. This is not like Bernal going on altitude camp and not racing for a month or so. He is without racing for almost 10 months. This is not only about being up to the speed of the peloton, following accelerations, looking at how your legs react. It's just as much fighting for position, riding at the front at all times, using bike handling skills, avoiding crashes, being tactically aware of the situation. We all know how many traps a GT contains. These are all situations in which Remco will be penalised compared to his opponents. A strong team will help there, though.

Then the route doesn't exactly suit him. It's true, we don't know yet what exactly suits him and what not, because he's yet to race a GT. But I think many would agree, he would have liked to see more ITT kilometers. On top of that, the only real ITT is on the last day. I'm not sure that is an advantage for Remco, I'd say more of a disadvantage than anything.

And lastly, it's not like on the startlist are only a bunch of nobodies. There are riders who know how to win, they've won GTs before, others have GT podiums. They have the Giro as a season goal, they've all adjusted their season schedule to be in the best shape possible there. It's not like in some Vueltas when you never know, in what shape some favourites are going to be as they choose the Spanish GT as their plan B, because something went wrong in the Tour.

There are some pro Remco arguments as well. He looks to be one of the biggest talents ever, some of the best GC contenders are missing, the GC contenders present in the race all have some questions about them as well. But those questions are not as numerous and not that hard to answer to. Let's take a look at Yates. What is the unknown about him? The only thing I've come up with is the uncertainty if he can be consistent for 21 stages (adding: his team is also not the strongest). We know he has the form, we know it's a GT winning form, we know he lasted in the Giro for 18 stages already, we know he has improved on that and won the Vuelta. Is Remco expected peak at this Giro, if absolutely everything goes right for him, really that much better than Yates' to outlast all the uncertainty surrounding the Belgian? I don't think so, and I don't think it's close. Remco can win the Giro, but it's a long shot. He shouldn't be the top favourite. I know some riders have defied logic recently, but I think you need to use logic to preview/predict races.

Because I think the guy who wrote the article knows what he is talking about (I was visiting the site even before the site has become Danish only, he was writing in English before), I came to the next conclusions:
  1. He is doing it for the clicks
  2. He has inside info (Yates is sick, Bernal's back is hurting, Remco is pushing his best watts ever)
  3. He is a Remco fanboy and doesn't think rationally
  4. In all those years of watching cycling, I haven't learned a thing
Sadly (for me, it might be funny to you), if I had to choose one, I'd probably choose conclusion #4.:cry:
 
The Remco pick as the Giro favourite doesn't make any sense. I'm not one of those who say "I need to see it to believe it". I've seen enough of Remco to know he'll become a superstar and will fight for GT wins in the future (if he completely recovers from the injury, fingers crossed). But having him as a pre-race favourite for this Giro, in a pretty strong GC field, with so many question marks surrounding him, is crazy. If he was at least 3rd behind Bernal and Yates, I would be OK with it. I think he can win it, yes, I can see a scenario in which he comes out victorious. That would need him to reach his level before the injury. He can do that, but the odds aren't in his favor. There's a much bigger chance Yates or Bernal reach their top shape. Even if we see pre-crash Remco, there's no guarantee his climbing level on multi mountain stages is on par with Yates/Bernal/Landa for example.

Secondly he lacks race rhythm. This is an important thing. This is not like Bernal going on altitude camp and not racing for a month or so. He is without racing for almost 10 months. This is not only about being up to the speed of the peloton, following accelerations, looking at how your legs react. It's just as much fighting for position, riding at the front at all times, using bike handling skills, avoiding crashes, being tactically aware of the situation. We all know how many traps a GT contains. These are all situations in which Remco will be penalised compared to his opponents. A strong team will help there, though.

Then the route doesn't exactly suit him. It's true, we don't know yet what exactly suits him and what not, because he's yet to race a GT. But I think many would agree, he would have liked to see more ITT kilometers. On top of that, the only real ITT is on the last day. I'm not sure that is an advantage for Remco, I'd say more of a disadvantage than anything.

And lastly, it's not like on the startlist are only a bunch of nobodies. There are riders who know how to win, they've won GTs before, others have GT podiums. They have the Giro as a season goal, they've all adjusted their season schedule to be in the best shape possible there. It's not like in some Vueltas when you never know, in what shape some favourites are going to be as they choose the Spanish GT as their plan B, because something went wrong in the Tour.

There are some pro Remco arguments as well. He looks to be one of the biggest talents ever, some of the best GC contenders are missing, the GC contenders present in the race all have some questions about them as well. But those questions are not as numerous and not that hard to answer to. Let's take a look at Yates. What is the unknown about him? The only thing I've come up with is the uncertainty if he can be consistent for 21 stages (adding: his team is also not the strongest). We know he has the form, we know it's a GT winning form, we know he lasted in the Giro for 18 stages already, we know he has improved on that and won the Vuelta. Is Remco expected peak at this Giro, if absolutely everything goes right for him, really that much better than Yates' to outlast all the uncertainty surrounding the Belgian? I don't think so, and I don't think it's close. Remco can win the Giro, but it's a long shot. He shouldn't be the top favourite. I know some riders have defied logic recently, but I think you need to use logic to preview/predict races.

Because I think the guy who wrote the article knows what he is talking about (I was visiting the site even before the site has become Danish only, he was writing in English before), I came to the next conclusions:
  1. He is doing it for the clicks
  2. He has inside info (Yates is sick, Bernal's back is hurting, Remco is pushing his best watts ever)
  3. He is a Remco fanboy and doesn't think rationally
  4. In all those years of watching cycling, I haven't learned a thing
Sadly (for me, it might be funny to you), if I had to choose one, I'd probably choose conclusion #4.:cry:
I can assure you, he does not do it for the clicks and he is a fanboy of none. And he doesn't have inside info like what you list there.

What we saw from Remco before the crash was earth-shattering, and if he is at that level again, he will win.
 
Reactions: Big Doopie
I can assure you, he does not do it for the clicks and he is a fanboy of none. And he doesn't have inside info like what you list there.

What we saw from Remco before the crash was earth-shattering, and if he is at that level again, he will win.
That's what I was leaning as well. That's why I said I'm probably choosing #4, if I had to.

But that's the thing. In your statement, that "if" is enormous. And also I might not be agreeing with you, even if he is at that level. If that happens, I think we have a great battle for the win.
 
That's what I was leaning as well. That's why I said I'm probably choosing #4, if I had to.

But that's the thing. In your statement, that "if" is enormous. And also I might not be agreeing with you, even if he is at that level. If that happens, I think we have a great battle for the win.
I guess you could say, from a statistical point of view, you could argue there is 1 in 3 chances Remco comes back as strong as before. In that case he has a 100% chance of winning. If he does not come back as strong as he was before, the other 2 out of 3 chances are devided between Bernal, Yates, Vlasov, Carthy... and as such, Remco has the biggest chance to win... if you know what i mean. So statistically you could argue that he has a bigger chance to win than Bernal or Yates, even if the chance that he doesn't even make the top 20, is also a lot bigger than that of Bernal or Yates. Not sure this is the reasoning behind his decision, but it could be. How anyone would divide the odds is another thing ofcourse.
 

This was pretty interesting. Google Translate of Masnada's comments.

"He wants to win. It's nice to help him. He has recovered 100% and he is more trim and motivated than ever. He can't wait to run again, and Remco is super-focused"

I really hope this is true. It’s getting me fired up.
 
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Bourgeat: "Florian, you ride with Evenepoel, Alaphilippe, Asgreen, Lampaert... who is the strongest?"
Sénéchal: "Remco Evenepoel".
Bourgeat : "Remco? Why?"
Sénéchal * shakes head * : "You've got Mathieu, Julian, Kasper, the great sprinters, Sam Bennett... But then you have Remco."

He then goes on to describe how Remco said he was going to attack in Poland with over 50km to go, and Sénéchal told him not to, because it was too far to the finish, but Remco said he wanted to make the race hard, so he took off and finished with 2 minutes ahead of the first chaser.

I don't know. Of course Remco is his teammate, and QS is never going to give in verbally against MVDP and Alpecin - I would say Senechal's face and body was a bit more honest on the Muur at BB when MVDP completely destroyed him and left him for dead in the pain closet. Nice of him to mention MVDP though along with his star QS teammates. But no mention of Wout?
 
I guess you could say, from a statistical point of view, you could argue there is 1 in 3 chances Remco comes back as strong as before. In that case he has a 100% chance of winning. If he does not come back as strong as he was before, the other 2 out of 3 chances are devided between Bernal, Yates, Vlasov, Carthy... and as such, Remco has the biggest chance to win... if you know what i mean. So statistically you could argue that he has a bigger chance to win than Bernal or Yates, even if the chance that he doesn't even make the top 20, is also a lot bigger than that of Bernal or Yates. Not sure this is the reasoning behind his decision, but it could be. How anyone would divide the odds is another thing ofcourse.
I know what you mean. And I'm sure that's also part of the reasoning behind his decision. But the thing is, the chances should be smaller than the ones in your example. I think he has less than 1 in 3 chances to come back as strong as before (I'm talking only and strictly for the Giro here; I expect him to come back at his level, it could be as soon as in the Olympics or maybe the Vuelta, but I think the Giro is too soon) and certainly I don't give him 100% chance of winning in that case and nobody should, because, well, that's impossible.

If we give to your model a more reasonable 20% he comes back in his peak shape, and if that happens an additional even more reasonable 30% to win the Giro, you get a 6% chance of winning. I don't think those odds justify him being the number 1 favourite. But ok, we are just speculating here. Time will tell.
 
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If Remco comes back at the same level he had in Lombardi, unless he does another Contador impersonation and hits the deck, he wins and wins BIG. I wouldn't be surprised if he wins a mountain stage by minutes if he is at his best,

Remember, he does not race by the Youtube standard of only attacking in the final 1.5km, only gaining seconds. He will go from 50 or more km from the line, where one can gain minutes
 
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I know what you mean. And I'm sure that's also part of the reasoning behind his decision. But the thing is, the chances should be smaller than the ones in your example. I think he has less than 1 in 3 chances to come back as strong as before (I'm talking only and strictly for the Giro here; I expect him to come back at his level, it could be as soon as in the Olympics or maybe the Vuelta, but I think the Giro is too soon) and certainly I don't give him 100% chance of winning in that case and nobody should, because, well, that's impossible.

If we give to your model a more reasonable 20% he comes back in his peak shape, and if that happens an additional even more reasonable 30% to win the Giro, you get a 6% chance of winning. I don't think those odds justify him being the number 1 favourite. But ok, we are just speculating here. Time will tell.
Well, you know what i meant. I can agree with your 20%, but not with your 30%. I think it would 've been much more than that. But we understand each other :-D

I don't know. Of course Remco is his teammate, and QS is never going to give in verbally against MVDP and Alpecin - I would say Senechal's face and body was a bit more honest on the Muur at BB when MVDP completely destroyed him and left him for dead in the pain closet. Nice of him to mention MVDP though along with his star QS teammates. But no mention of Wout?
He wasn't necessarily listing riders, the way he said it, it was basically "it doesn't matter who i would compare him to, they all come up short". Literally he said "the Mathieus, the Julians, the Kaspers" all in plural. Meaning "Mathieu and guys like him, Julian and guys like him..." etc.
As for your comparison with BBT... If you want to compare those efforts, you might want to check the time differences they both ended up with. It's a constant with Mathieu's solo attacks. he goes from far, but at the finish, he is nearly caught. Be it in BBT or Tirreno, it's a matter of seconds. With Evenepoel, it's the opposite. He rides away, and then rides further away. In Germany the peloton needed ridiculous motorpacing to bring him back after a 90+km solo and even Nibali and Thomas themselves started pulling the peloton. In San Sebastian he basically wrecked Movistar and Astana. In BBT (Baloise Belgium) he simply rode Campenaerts off of his wheel. In Adriatica Ionica, he simply rode Masnada off his wheel. In Poland he made fools of all the favorites, ditched them with 52k to go and finished minutes ahead. But i'm not going to go any further into that. Mathieu is great at what he does, but he will never come close to what Evenepoel does. And the same goes the other way around, Evenepoel will never be able to do what Mathieu does.

If Remco comes back at the same level he had in Lombardi, unless he does another Contador impersonation and hits the deck, he wins and wins BIG. I wouldn't be surprised if he wins a mountain stage by minutes if he is at his best,

Remember, he does not race by the Youtube standard of only attacking in the final 1.5km, only gaining seconds. He will go from 50 or more km from the line, where one can gain minutes
He has the capacity to do that, but he won't do that unless he really needs to. In Burgos, he rode away at 2k from the finish. The first day, he actually tried to go from far, but the team told him to sit up. In Algarve he attacked at 500m from the line and put the competition away in the ITT. You can do stuff like that in a 1 week race that doesn't matter that much, but to do that in a GT, where efforts like that will come back to bite you in the ass down the line, is not so smart. And i think he will only do that if he really needs to, to go all in. Go for broke. If he needs to make up 3 minutes in the final week, and he thinks he has a shot to TT away from the group of favorites on rolling terrain, he'll go for it. He himself mentioned the way Froome won the Giro in 2018.
 
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Well, you know what i meant. I can agree with your 20%, but not with your 30%. I think it would 've been much more than that. But we understand each other :-D


He wasn't necessarily listing riders, the way he said it, it was basically "it doesn't matter who i would compare him to, they all come up short". Literally he said "the Mathieus, the Julians, the Kaspers" all in plural. Meaning "Mathieu and guys like him, Julian and guys like him..." etc.
As for your comparison with BBT... If you want to compare those efforts, you might want to check the time differences they both ended up with. It's a constant with Mathieu's solo attacks. he goes from far, but at the finish, he is nearly caught. Be it in BBT or Tirreno, it's a matter of seconds. With Evenepoel, it's the opposite. He rides away, and then rides further away. In Germany the peloton needed ridiculous motorpacing to bring him back after a 90+km solo and even Nibali and Thomas themselves started pulling the peloton. In San Sebastian he basically wrecked Movistar and Astana. In BBT (Baloise Belgium) he simply rode Campenaerts off of his wheel. In Adriatica Ionica, he simply rode Masnada off his wheel. In Poland he made fools of all the favorites, ditched them with 52k to go and finished minutes ahead. But i'm not going to go any further into that. Mathieu is great at what he does, but he will never come close to what Evenepoel does. And the same goes the other way around, Evenepoel will never be able to do what Mathieu does.


He has the capacity to do that, but he won't do that unless he really needs to. In Burgos, he rode away at 2k from the finish. The first day, he actually tried to go from far, but the team told him to sit up. In Algarve he attacked at 500m from the line and put the competition away in the ITT. You can do stuff like that in a 1 week race that doesn't matter that much, but to do that in a GT, where efforts like that will come back to bite you in the ass down the line, is not so smart. And i think he will only do that if he really needs to, to go all in. Go for broke. If he needs to make up 3 minutes in the final week, and he thinks he has a shot to TT away from the group of favorites on rolling terrain, he'll go for it. He himself mentioned the way Froome won the Giro in 2018.
Ok I can see you are very excited about all that so I’ll step carefully.

You claim he is better than MvDP at what he does - but how many times has he actually beaten him in a direct fight? And how many times has he beaten WvA? Talk is cheap - I wanna see this guy beating MvDP and WvA, those two being all sweaty and desperate because they just couldn’t follow… and once he does that multiple times, then we can talk about him being better than them at what they do. Results-wise It could even be debated that WvA perhaps has better stage race credentials currently. His 2nd in Tirreno at that level and against such competition is worth more than any stage race Remco ever won.

What I’m trying to say is that for Remco sure, the potential is there, there’s a certain chance he wins (even you stopped at 33). But find a rationale for putting him up as a top favourite, you will not. It’s hype and it’s almost a bit insulting to all the GT specialists out there. Kind of like saying “you guys suck so much that I’m gonna put my money on an a guy that’s never raced this type of race before to beat you all”, isn’t it?

Any expert should account for all the factors and objectively include them in his evaluation. Inexperience, unknown quantity, injuries, absence from racing…. Of course, one needs to go against the odds if he wants to be spectacularly right… so IMO this guy doesn’t care about honest evaluation as much as he fancies the prospect of being spectacularly right.
 
I don't know. Of course Remco is his teammate, and QS is never going to give in verbally against MVDP and Alpecin - I would say Senechal's face and body was a bit more honest on the Muur at BB when MVDP completely destroyed him and left him for dead in the pain closet. Nice of him to mention MVDP though along with his star QS teammates. But no mention of Wout?
Well at least he included Sam Bennett, so we know he's been reading the "Can anyone beat these 6" thread.
 
No outsider can know about Remco's chances, I'd say. We don't have any current numbers (not that I'm a big number's interpreter, but others might be...), we don't have any knowledge about his medical state (although I'm assuming he's totally healed, otherwise all of this wouldn't make sense for DQS), we haven't seen him riding, to not even mention racing, in like 8 months.
There's no doubt for me he can win a GT, I don't think three weeks in general will be an issue for him. The one thing I'm seriously doubting is that he can win this one with these few weeks of preparation. But that's as far as I'm going with my predictions, because really this feels like guessing at large.

Then there's also Bernal's back issue which is impossible to judge from outside.
 
I guess you could say, from a statistical point of view, you could argue there is 1 in 3 chances Remco comes back as strong as before. In that case he has a 100% chance of winning. If he does not come back as strong as he was before, the other 2 out of 3 chances are devided between Bernal, Yates, Vlasov, Carthy... and as such, Remco has the biggest chance to win... if you know what i mean. So statistically you could argue that he has a bigger chance to win than Bernal or Yates, even if the chance that he doesn't even make the top 20, is also a lot bigger than that of Bernal or Yates. Not sure this is the reasoning behind his decision, but it could be. How anyone would divide the odds is another thing ofcourse.
Okay, he doesn't have a 100% chance of winning even if at full strength...
 
Well the opening TT should already give us some indication of his form and then the first week should allow him to regain his race craft. His team needs to keep him out of trouble as much as possible, cover the breaks and allow him to not get overly stressed.

Already in week one there are three important stages (exams): the arrival at Canale d'Alba (stage 3), amongst the hills of Roero with ripping ups and downs of 15% grades, the sumit finish at Sestola (fourth stage) and the mountainous stage (6) and sumit finish at Ascoli Piceno.

Week two straight off has two mountain top finishes at Guardia Sanframondi and Campo Felice (Rocca di Cambio) on il sterrato. Two days later a day that could be decisive for the Giro outcome, the 35 km of sterrato at Montalcino, a mini Strade Bianche, but more technical. At this point Remco will have to hop on the train.
 
I wasn't aware of that. But reading the first few paragraphs it seems like they are translated quite well - at least better than a few Dutch articles you have posted before :D

And I think that's a good thing because I think Axelgaard is the best cycling analyst in the world - certainly the most active and thorough.
Everyone knows how Logic etc. can only profile itself by contributing articles from others.
 

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