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

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That's a rather naive way of looking at this particular issue. What he did in 2020, was already there in 2019. Hammer climb, Baloise Belgium Tour, Adriatica Ionica, San Sebastian, EU ITT, you can even count his silver medal in the ITT WCC for a 19 year old i think. And even before that the writing was on the wall with great performances at Turkey and San Juan (his first pro race, top 10 (might have won if not for team orders) and 3rd in a short flat ITT). Evenepoel's 2020 had little to do with "covid/lockdown" fishiness.
How naive of me to not ignore all context

If anything Pogacar and later Pidcock as well a few others have shown breaking through outrageously early isn't that uncommon anymore.
 
How naive of me to not ignore all context

If anything Pogacar and later Pidcock as well a few others have shown breaking through outrageously early isn't that uncommon anymore.
What are you talking about? I was not talking about him winning at a young age, i was talking about him being absolutely dominant and that the writing was clearly on the wall in 2019, regardless of Covid theories.
 
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Yeah the thing that is so easily forgotten about Evenepoel is that his 2020, up to his crash, wasn't just unheard of for 20 year olds, it was unheard of for anyone. Seriously, he might not have been the best climber in the world, but winning races that way and on a consistent basis, I just don't have anyone to compare him to.

He felt straight up unbeatable at the time. Remember how he and his team were criticized after Lombardia because he should have just let the front group go on the descent and catch them on the flat before Civiglio? Can anyone give me just one other example from a one day race where that was a legitimate argument. Deliberately dropping from a group of all your main rivals, who will likely collaborate well once you are dropped, because you are confident to be so much stronger than anyone else that you can close the gap to them on a flat piece of road and come out of it with so much energy left that you will still drop everyone on the next climb. Whether he actually could have done that or not is a different question, but the fact that people even talked about that is nuts.

And all of that wasn't talk about how great Remco could become, it was about how good he was right then and there. The insane thing about his breakthrough clearly isn't that it came at that age. It's that it came at that age and with that sort of strength.
 
For a new Merckx I would argue circa 5 GT/5 monuments/Worlds or Olympics title in either road or TT plus a bunch of classics and week long stage races. Would also argue that to be truly generational more than one TDF is needed as usually it’s where the best of the best riders target if in prime shape.
 
For a new Merckx I would argue circa 5 GT/5 monuments/Worlds or Olympics title in either road or TT plus a bunch of classics and week long stage races. Would also argue that to be truly generational more than one TDF is needed as usually it’s where the best of the best riders target if in prime shape.
The problem is that Merckx won every sort of race. Hilly classics, cobbled classics, sprint classics, monuments, sprint stages, climbing stages, 1 week races, Grand Tours... and he won all of them, a lot and in different ways, solo, sprinting, didn't matter. It didn't matter where he was at the start, he was always the man to beat. Be it the Tour de France or Paris-Roubaix. He didn't simply win the GT's, he also still has the absolute record in stage wins in the Tour and all combined i think. More than any sprinter (Cav comes closest in the Tour).

I think this day and age, you'd have to take into account that it isn't possible anymore to do everything that well, but within a certain branch. Let's say if Gilbert could have done 7 years like he did in 2011, then i think you could say in the current age, that he was "a" new Merckx. Had Contador won 10+ GT's with dozens of stagewins, that he could have been "a" new Merckx. If van der Poel or van Aert or Pogacar can do what they did last year and so far this year, for +/-7 years running.
 
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Valverde is actually the person who could come closest with a bit more luck and slightly more talent. He has 12 or 13 top 5 in GC and nearly 20 top 5 in monuments and WC.
Valverde with either a couple more Grand Tour wins or extra monuments that were not LBL would be a contender.

Nibali comes close on palmares but fails the more subjective style/dominance question in that he has racked up the big wins but was rarely dominating or the big favourite to best prior to the event.
 
The problem is that Merckx won every sort of race. Hilly classics, cobbled classics, sprint classics, monuments, sprint stages, climbing stages, 1 week races, Grand Tours... and he won all of them, a lot and in different ways, solo, sprinting, didn't matter. It didn't matter where he was at the start, he was always the man to beat. Be it the Tour de France or Paris-Roubaix. He didn't simply win the GT's, he also still has the absolute record in stage wins in the Tour and all combined i think. More than any sprinter (Cav comes closest in the Tour).

I think this day and age, you'd have to take into account that it isn't possible anymore to do everything that well, but within a certain branch. Let's say if Gilbert could have done 7 years like he did in 2011, then i think you could say in the current age, that he was "a" new Merckx. Had Contador won 10+ GT's with dozens of stagewins, that he could have been "a" new Merckx. If van der Poel or van Aert or Pogacar can do what they did last year and so far this year, for +/-7 years running.
Agree that nobody will likely ever fully replicate Merckx as the equivalent would now have to climb like Pogacar and go on long raids like Remco plus win the bunch sprints as a classics rider like WVA AND do all that in the same edition of a Grand Tour.
 
For a new Merckx I would argue circa 5 GT/5 monuments/Worlds or Olympics title in either road or TT plus a bunch of classics and week long stage races. Would also argue that to be truly generational more than one TDF is needed as usually it’s where the best of the best riders target if in prime shape.
I would say 5 TdF (and at least 1 each of Giro and Vuelta) is necessary for full Merckx because too many other riders have managed to get the five Tour wins too. Then at least 3 different monuments + WC maybe and wins in most of the important 1 week races and 1-days. That's the minimum, plus a bunch of stage wins in the GTs too.

Contador for example could never have been merckxish in my mind even if he had won 10GTs because he just didn't win enough individual stages. Without that a rider could still be a legend, but not the new Merckx imo.

I would imagine the New Merckx to be more of a VdP/VA figure who also wins GTs than a Contador who also wins occasional 1-day races, because you need that winning bite, and probably a good sprint also.
 
Looking back through history there actually aren't that many people at all with great palmares in Grand Tours and Monuments, its not just a new phenomenon. Coppi, Bartali, Hinault, Binda, Gimondi are the main ones I can think of who have won a minimum of 3/4 of both.
Nibali looks even more remarkable doing it in an era where its meant to be harder.
 
Looking back through history there actually aren't that many people at all with great palmares in Grand Tours and Monuments, its not just a new phenomenon. Coppi, Bartali, Hinault, Binda, Gimondi are the main ones I can think of who have won a minimum of 3/4 of both.
Nibali looks even more remarkable doing it in an era where its meant to be harder.
Did you just ommit Merckx? :tearsofjoy:
 
Heated topic I see but no… Evenepoel will surely become a great rider, possibly a GT dominant in the years to come but a new Eddy Merckx. Unlikely.

Not that he lacks talent. Just that the competition is so much more today. Furthermore the intensity makes cycling that much more dangerous and volatile. This year’s one day classics and semi-classics was something to behold. Minuscule margins, extraordinary high speeds on tight winding roads with every team trying to be at the front. Nothing new this year but you really have to be exceptionally skilled and have a great deal of luck to avoid getting caught in incidents that could ultimately end your career. Today’s cycling is a hard and unrelenting environment but I really wish all the best to Evenepoel and also hope to see him battling at the front not only in GTs but also in one day races. Hope my point came across.
This is the same argument that was said here in the states regarding pro golf in the 1980s and early 1990s. Nobody would be as dominant as Nicklaus and Palmer because the field was too talented. Then Mickelson and Woods came along. It was shown that there was simply a lack of high end talent
 
Its an interesting topic about what would be a Merckxian palmares nowadays. Because of specialisation now, I think anyone who got to 7/8 GTs and 5/6 monuments would have to be considered a generational talent.
Of current cyclists only Pogacar strikes me as a possibility, Roglic is too old and Remco untested at GT's.
Good point and Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel look like they have their targets set on other things than winning Grand Tours. Possibly they could turn themselves into GT-riders (like Wiggo and Dumoulin) but I would much rather have them continuing to battle for GT stage wins, one-day classics and cyclocross.

Then Pidcock. It would be fun if he would be a GT contender. Pidcock against Evenepoel and Pogacar sounds like something.
 
Fifteen kilometres from the finish, an intermediate sprint was perched in the hilltop village of Guarene. The bonus seconds had already been snaffled by the break, but that didn't stop Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) from testing himself against the gradient, mashing a monstrous gear as he moved past the maglia rosa on the double-digit slope.

"I was impressed on the climb to the bonus sprint when I saw Remco go by in the big ring in a very big gear. I could see that he has very good legs," Ganna said admiringly. "I've also been really impressed by the way he's come back into the peloton after his crash."
 
Fifteen kilometres from the finish, an intermediate sprint was perched in the hilltop village of Guarene. The bonus seconds had already been snaffled by the break, but that didn't stop Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) from testing himself against the gradient, mashing a monstrous gear as he moved past the maglia rosa on the double-digit slope.

"I was impressed on the climb to the bonus sprint when I saw Remco go by in the big ring in a very big gear. I could see that he has very good legs," Ganna said admiringly. "I've also been really impressed by the way he's come back into the peloton after his crash."
Sounds like a budding romance.
 
The idea of nobody being able to do what Merckx did does not hold water. Before Contador, everyone was saying that riders were too specialized to win throughout the year. The TDF contenders could only win the TDF and Dauphine. In March, they were being dropped over freeway overpasses.

Contador changed that narrative as he won through the year. Now, all TDF contenders win through the year.

Once Remco starts winning different types of races, we will simply return to where we were back in the Lemond/Fignon days where contenders started winning from San Remo through the worlds
 
Valverde is actually the person who could come closest with a bit more luck and slightly more talent. He has 12 or 13 top 5 in GC and nearly 20 top 5 in monuments and WC.
Valverde is easily one of the most talented riders of the last, let's say 20 years...
Some luck, maybe yeah. But also his way of riding, he was too conservative I think, if he had risked more in big races, I think he would had a couple of big ones more.
 
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