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

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critics say: his level is uncertain at the moment. He lacks race rhythm. The route doesn't exactly suit him. Too few TT kilometers. He can't descend. The competition is not a bunch of nobodies.

[warning: full fanboy mode]
But we all know, deep inside, Remco's level is where he wants it. Nobody believes he is going to ride for Almeida. Not even Almeida believes that.
"Lacking races" means, in the case of a rider that crushes his race-ready team mates during training, that he's fresh and hungry.
His solo attacks will compensate for the lack of TT kilometers. Who needs a time trial when he go clear from far out and go solo?
While he hasn't got the reputation of being a good or nor experienced descender, I'm sure we will see him actually put his competitors under pressure during descends if the opportunity arises.
In the end, after winning the Giro with 10 minutes on the 2nd rider, his competitors will be nobodies if compared by Remco's performance. He will set the benchmark for every GT in the coming years.

Mark my words. :D
[can't deactivate fanboy mode']
 
...Pelgrim states Evenepoel's raw numbers aren't that spectacular, but because of his small frame and high power efficiency in his aero position, he is able to make the difference.
...
I am going to claim some numbers are impressive; his trick is an extreem high aerobic threshold/kg. His aerobic threshold is on the level of the FTP/kg of many pro cyclist.
His aerobic threshold was 18 months ago on the level of Tim Declercqs in absolute value. But Tim is 20kg heavier....
 
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I am going to claim some numbers are impressive; his trick is an extreem high aerobic threshold/kg. His aerobic threshold is on the level of the FTP/kg of many pro cyclist.
His aerobic threshold was 18 months ago on the level of Tim Declercqs in absolute value. But Tim is 20kg heavier....
Difficult to know what he means by that, but it's not the first time he's made that statement. Obviously his numbers are good, but i assume that when you take them at face value, they're not out of the ordinary. In the containercup, he pushed the same wattages as Campenaerts over 4 to 5 minutes. Campenaerts is also very aerodynamic, but he weighs 5-10kg more. We know Campenaerts pushed 100W less on average than Wiggins did, and still beat Wiggins WHR. In Remco's case, what makes him exceptional will be his Cda/Cx values combined with his endurance. I think he wastes a lot less energy than the average competitor, and has a knack for long efforts, which makes him look stronger as the race goes on. But it's not his absolute power output that is remarkable.


ITT test : I do not see any difference between this picture and his pre-Lombardia ITT position. I doubt his team would hide such a key information while saying he fully recovered. The Olympics? His test was done in presence of the national coach, there is nothing to hide anymore. The Giro? It would be better to manage expectations upfront than having to explain a counter performance afterwards...
Yes, i also checked that picture and thought about that, but it could be argued by skeptics, that while he is still in the same position, it is possible that he is having pain or great discomfort assuming that position for longer periods. As for managing expectations, i agree.
 
@Logic-is-your-friend As one of Remcos biggest fans/followers I would like to know what you think we should expect of him this Giro? Do you fx think that his prologue will give us a clear indication of what to expect? Personally I think that he, his phaenom-like rise in cycling put aside, will have trouble getting into race rhythm, despite that his fitness seems at 95 % or so. It would be unwise by PL to bring Evenepoel to Italy if not physically ready, but does the race feel aspect matter so little to Evenepoel that he'll just continue to do his thing from 2019 and early 2020?
 
Difficult to know what he means by that, but it's not the first time he's made that statement. Obviously his numbers are good, but i assume that when you take them at face value, they're not out of the ordinary. In the containercup, he pushed the same wattages as Campenaerts over 4 to 5 minutes. Campenaerts is also very aerodynamic, but he weighs 5-10kg more. We know Campenaerts pushed 100W less on average than Wiggins did, and still beat Wiggins WHR. In Remco's case, what makes him exceptional will be his Cda/Cx values combined with his endurance. I think he wastes a lot less energy than the average competitor, and has a knack for long efforts, which makes him look stronger as the race goes on. But it's not his absolute power output that is remarkable.
It's natural that big cyclists have biggest engines (at least speaking about TT and GT guys). You won't see a 60 kg cyclist pushing 450 or 500 watts for an hour. In case of Evenepoel small aerodynamic drag plays a role on flat, as you said. Still, I would say that Remco's wattage is exceptional for his mass. Obviously in the mountains it's wattage per kilogram that gives him (and other climbers) advantage over more powerful and more massive guys (drag doesn't matter much on steep climbs).
 
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Difficult to know what he means by that, but it's not the first time he's made that statement. Obviously his numbers are good, but i assume that when you take them at face value, they're not out of the ordinary.
In the article you linked (wielerrevue.nl), Pelgrim was talking about the numbers when he first got them after he was scouted in 2017, when Remco was only cycling for a couple weeks/months.

Het is niet dat het resultaten waren die ik nooit eerder had gezien van iemand van die leeftijd. Maar gezien het feit dat hij net koerste, was het wel uitzonderlijk.
They were not exceptional in itself, but they were for a guy that only recently started to race his bike.

The article says nothing about his values now.

In the containercup, he pushed the same wattages as Campenaerts over 4 to 5 minutes. Campenaerts is also very aerodynamic, but he weighs 5-10kg more. We know Campenaerts pushed 100W less on average than Wiggins did, and still beat Wiggins WHR. In Remco's case, what makes him exceptional will be his Cda/Cx values combined with his endurance. I think he wastes a lot less energy than the average competitor, and has a knack for long efforts, which makes him look stronger as the race goes on. But it's not his absolute power output that is remarkable.
Obviously bigger guys push higher numbers...
Also don't compare apples and oranges. Campenaerts did his WHR on altitude, Wiggins on sea level. You push highers watts on sea level. Not that Campenaerts would ever be able to match Wiggins, but still.
 
In the article you linked (wielerrevue.nl), Pelgrim was talking about the numbers when he first got them after he was scouted in 2017, when Remco was only cycling for a couple weeks/months.



They were not exceptional in itself, but they were for a guy that only recently started to race his bike.

The article says nothing about his values now.



Obviously bigger guys push higher numbers...
Also don't compare apples and oranges. Campenaerts did his WHR on altitude, Wiggins on sea level. You push highers watts on sea level. Not that Campenaerts would ever be able to match Wiggins, but still.
But Wiggins chose to attack the hour record on a way more performant cyclingtrack... then the cyclingtrack Campenaerts competed on. And Wiggins had the opportunity to cycle at height himself, but he weighted the pros en cons. And chose the sealevel track. But I guess Wiggins could have gone a bit further at altitude. If he was prepared to suffer at altitude for an hour. And seriously. I don't think a ten years younger Wiggins would have today a single chance in the Tour de France, against Pogacar, Bernal, Roglic.....
 
In the article you linked (wielerrevue.nl), Pelgrim was talking about the numbers when he first got them after he was scouted in 2017, when Remco was only cycling for a couple weeks/months.

They were not exceptional in itself, but they were for a guy that only recently started to race his bike.

The article says nothing about his values now.

Obviously bigger guys push higher numbers...
Also don't compare apples and oranges. Campenaerts did his WHR on altitude, Wiggins on sea level. You push highers watts on sea level. Not that Campenaerts would ever be able to match Wiggins, but still.
Yes, but he made a similar statement last year on a Sporza podcast, and there he wasn't talking about when he tested Remco for the first time. Furthermore, in this article, the one you're referring to, it's also clear that he thinks Remco's defining properties are his aero position and low drag, not his exceptional power.

It's natural that big cyclists have biggest engines (at least speaking about TT and GT guys). You won't see a 60 kg cyclist pushing 450 or 500 watts for an hour. In case of Evenepoel small aerodynamic drag plays a role on flat, as you said. Still, I would say that Remco's wattage is exceptional for his mass. Obviously in the mountains it's wattage per kilogram that gives him (and other climbers) advantage over more powerful and more massive guys (drag doesn't matter much on steep climbs).
That depends though. If he is capable of saving so much energy over the course of a race, it's not impossible to beat better climbers in the final.

@Logic-is-your-friend As one of Remcos biggest fans/followers I would like to know what you think we should expect of him this Giro? Do you fx think that his prologue will give us a clear indication of what to expect? Personally I think that he, his phaenom-like rise in cycling put aside, will have trouble getting into race rhythm, despite that his fitness seems at 95 % or so. It would be unwise by PL to bring Evenepoel to Italy if not physically ready, but does the race feel aspect matter so little to Evenepoel that he'll just continue to do his thing from 2019 and early 2020?
I don't know what to expect. I'll be disappointed if he is not that good, but it wouldn't be abnormal either. I do think the prologue will be a first indicator. I don't buy the "domestique" scenario. He says he now weighs 59-60 kg, that's the weight he was aiming for by last years Giro. If this were just "training" and "experience" and "working for João" with none of his other goals around the corner, that would simply make no sense.

So yeah, i expect something. If not a good GC, or indicator of a good future GC (maybe Vuelta), then a few spectacular stages. I don't think we can expect a dominating GC performance, but i'm willing to be amazed.
 
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I don't know what to expect. I'll be disappointed if he is not that good, but it wouldn't be abnormal either. I do think the prologue will be a first indicator. I don't buy the "domestique" scenario. He says he now weighs 59-60 kg, that's the weight he was aiming for by last years Giro. If this were just "training" and "experience" and "working for João" with none of his other goals around the corner, that would simply make no sense.
I think the clearest sign that that it isn't a working for João situation is the composition of the team - while a nice rider Almeida clearly isn't good enough to warrant an entire team without a sprinter. The thinking behind the selection appears in my opinion to have the option to support and go all in for Remco to make a run at GC if the level is there, and if not repurpose the team to go stage hunting and let Almeida/Masnada stick around for a tilt at a top 5. Although in this context, the decision for Quickstep is made easier for not having a second sprinter performing at a high level at the moment.
 
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I would not focus too much on his performance during the prologue: very technical + short distance. Winning it should only be considered as the "dream scenario", taking some seconds on Yates/Bernal should be the realistic objective. The 4th stage will be the a good indicator since it's tailored for Evenepoel's engine (similar to tour of Poland but with less valley and tougher climbs).
 
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I would not focus too much on his performance during the prologue: very technical + short distance. Winning it should only be considered as the "dream scenario", taking some seconds on Yates/Bernal should be the realistic objective. The 4th stage will be the a good indicator since it's tailored for Evenepoel's engine (similar to tour of Poland but with less valley and tougher climbs).
It's not at all technical. Small technical section in the middle where they have to cross a bridge. The rest is pretty much straightforward.
 
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His trainer, Koen Pelgrim, doesn't expect Remco to win the prologue.

Almeida telling Cyclingnews: “Remco’s shape is pretty good. We go to the Giro with me as the leader. He’s never done a Grand Tour before so he’s in the place I was last year but for sure I think that he can do a really good race and if he’s stronger than me then I’ll have pleasure in helping him get the best position possible. I’ve got one of the best teams possible and I think that’s really going to help me," Almeida said with no sense of rivalry.
 
His trainer, Koen Pelgrim, doesn't expect Remco to win the prologue.

Almeida telling Cyclingnews: “Remco’s shape is pretty good. We go to the Giro with me as the leader. He’s never done a Grand Tour before so he’s in the place I was last year but for sure I think that he can do a really good race and if he’s stronger than me then I’ll have pleasure in helping him get the best position possible. I’ve got one of the best teams possible and I think that’s really going to help me," Almeida said with no sense of rivalry.
They don't know that Masnada is the leader?
 
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.
Agreed.
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, 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.
EVP is great at what he does - very small , naturally aero guy with a big engine - may win a bunch of GT's (when and if he is able to beat Pojacar) and TT's. He's nowhere close to MVDP as a pure bike racer though, and I highly doubt he ever will be. Just doesn't have the handle, explosiveness and charisma that cycling fans want to see now.
 
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EVP is great at what he does - very small , naturally aero guy with a big engine - may win a bunch of GT's (when and if he is able to beat Pojacar) and TT's. He's nowhere close to MVDP as a pure bike racer though, and I highly doubt he ever will be. Just doesn't have the handle, explosiveness and charisma that cycling fans want to see now.
That depends on what you call a "pure bikeracer". Personally, i find ITT's the most pure form of bikeracing. No teammates to hide behind, man against man. And as far as ITT's go, we both know Remco will kick Mathieu's ass all week and twice on sunday. So... you want to make that distinction, or argue about subjective fanboyish impressions, knock yourself out. Remco doesn't have the handle, that's true. He doesn't have the explosiveness. Also true. Charisma? I actually think Remco has tons more charisma than Mathieu, but again, that's a personal thing. You seem to value bikehandling skill over climbing ability, and explosiveness over ITT ability. Your prerogative, and Remco couldn't care less, because he aims to be a stageracer that can also battle it out in the Ardennes classics.

But the point was, Remco being better at solo efforts than Mathieu. It wasn't that Mathieu has nicer hair, cleaner teeth or a prettier girlfriend (which he hasn't). So no need to drag arguments into the discussion that are completely besides the point.
 
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