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

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I see a looot of assumptions and extrapolations that confuse me. I think it's wishful thinking to question him on a climb like the Zoncolan when he's literally never done a climb like that in a big race and when Bernal is probably one of the 3 best climbers in the world. Yet some see him not losing time on a cat 2 climb with a headwind and then imply Pogacar should be scared? I see assumptions that longer, steeper climbs suit him better when his previous results indicate otherwise. I see people assuming he'll take 2 minutes out of his opponents in the ITT when even his Algarve ITT, while winning, had him taking under 40s out of MAL. It's like he's simulataneously not recovered to his 2020 standard, while being much better than 2020 while still having to get a huge lot better.
 
Also it's quite scary for him to be this good after 9 months of no competition. Still only 21 years old; if this guy is going to get even better (which is very likely)... Starting to feel sorry for his competitors.
Actually it's highly unlikely he's going to get even better. Like Bernal, Pogacar, or Quintana before them, Sagan too, he turned pro at a very high level and reaches basically his peak very early. After that it's just a question of when he's going to get worse. The Bernal-Pogacar-Evenepoel we see now are at their peak (Remco after the crash of course might be below peak for the Giro of course) Remco won't be substantially better in 2 years, in 3. More experienced, yes.
 
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I see a looot of assumptions and extrapolations that confuse me. I think it's wishful thinking to question him on a climb like the Zoncolan when he's literally never done a climb like that in a big race and when Bernal is probably one of the 3 best climbers in the world. Yet some see him not losing time on a cat 2 climb with a headwind and then imply Pogacar should be scared? I see assumptions that longer, steeper climbs suit him better when his previous results indicate otherwise. I see people assuming he'll take 2 minutes out of his opponents in the ITT when even his Algarve ITT, while winning, had him taking under 40s out of MAL. It's like he's simulataneously not recovered to his 2020 standard, while being much better than 2020 while still having to get a huge lot better.

What does it take to be good at a climb like Zoncolan? You need to be able to sustain a high pace for long time, you need a good power/weight ratio and you need to be able to pace your effort rather than overestimating yourself. He seems to check all these boxes as far as I can tell. I see a lot of people going through mental gymnastics to appear reasonable. First it was "he needs to do it against good competition", then it was "he needs to do it in a WT race", then it was "let's see if he can do it in an actual GT" and now it's "yes, but steep long climbs though!".

He said himself that he prefers the climbs to be steeper so we'll see. You act as if it was easy to follow Bernal on that cat 2 climb when he dropped pretty much everyone, including guys who some here consider to be actual GT contenders.

And when it comes to riders peaking early, of course that is true sometimes. But even Pogacar said early this season that he is still getting stronger each year. It's not crazy to think the same would be true for Evenepoel, especially considering he started cycling at the age of what was it, 17?
 
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I see a looot of assumptions and extrapolations that confuse me. I think it's wishful thinking to question him on a climb like the Zoncolan when he's literally never done a climb like that in a big race and when Bernal is probably one of the 3 best climbers in the world. Yet some see him not losing time on a cat 2 climb with a headwind and then imply Pogacar should be scared? I see assumptions that longer, steeper climbs suit him better when his previous results indicate otherwise. I see people assuming he'll take 2 minutes out of his opponents in the ITT when even his Algarve ITT, while winning, had him taking under 40s out of MAL. It's like he's simulataneously not recovered to his 2020 standard, while being much better than 2020 while still having to get a huge lot better.
Well, these assumptions come from different people - apparently we all see him a bit different.

As to your earlier questions about the possible two minutes (Lopez did a great time trial there, by the way, so it's not entirely fair to suggest "oh, he couldn't even put a minute on a guy like Lopez"):
I think Bernal isn't a great time trialer. He's good for "a small Colombian climber and GC rider", but that's it.

At Algarve Evenepoel put a good minute (1.15) into riders I would rate at Bernal's level. That was 20k.
San Juan 20: 1.25 on N Oliveira and McNulty, 15k
EC: 1.40 on Dunbar, 1.30 on Sütterlin, 22k

I'm not good with numbers and math. It's an intuitive calculation making me think a very, very good but not spectacular Evenepoel can put 2 minutes into a normal Bernal on 30k.

Two possible traps for Evenepoel in my opinion:
The Strade stage, if he hasn't trained that one well. I don't expect him to crash, but maybe he could be left behind when some guys go on that steep sterrato part. Will only happen if some guys are really willing to dig very deep, not sure if that will happen in a GT.
The big mountains, but only due to a lack of base training, if he's in really good form I don't doubt him there.

On the descents I think Ineos doesn't have the right team to distance him. The only really good descender they have there is Bernal and unless he really risks it and puts his nose in the wind on his own there, I don't see Evenepoel getting left behind. (Unless a situation evolves which includes guys from other teams, but Bernal would really have to behave like he's from Bahrain or something, while Ineos love to keep together. Maybe when they saw he can't distance him in another way and the TT is getting closer.)
 
All this supposition about the Zoncolon etc. is a little odd considering that Remco has not yet "failed" any of these supposed tests. After 8 months off following a bad injury, he's basically in the pink at the Giro following two VERY hard medium mountain stages. What else could he have reasonably done to convince anyone that he's going as well as ever?
 
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First it was "he needs to do it against good competition", then it was "he needs to do it in a WT race", then it was "let's see if he can do it in an actual GT" and now it's "yes, but steep long climbs though!".
And there's nothing wrong with that. We are talking reason here, right? So before we can proclaim anyone a "top dog", we need to see him in action. We can't just revert the logic and say if we haven't seen him not being a top dog at something, then we can assume he is a top dog at that same thing... Though @Logic-is-your-friend attempted that a couple of times :)

I don't think most of us(non fanatics) claim he's not going to do it, but these are valid questionmarks and when someone here says something like "ok, yesterday's stage was the proof he's going to win the Giro", we can of course object to that saying yesterday's stage was peanuts compared to Zoncolan and other high mountains and it proves no such thing. It does prove that Remco seems very well prepared for the challenge. Will he be up for it? We have no proof of that just yet...
 
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What does it take to be good at a climb like Zoncolan? You need to be able to sustain a high pace for long time, you need a good power/weight ratio and you need to be able to pace your effort rather than overestimating yourself. He seems to check all these boxes as far as I can tell.
Yep, it's not a climber's climb per se. Cadel Evans fared better on Zoncolan than on more traditional climbs. Everyone will be in TT mode basically.
 
I'm not saying there is no chance that he is not capable of doing a climb like zoncolan, but I do think based on his previous performances it's more likely than not that he is perfectly suited for it. I don't see which quality he's lacking to do well there and it seems like some people here go out of their way to pretend like it's crazy to assume he will, not sure why that is.

He has surprised us pretty much every time he tried to do something, at some point it becomes the norm.
 
I see a looot of assumptions and extrapolations that confuse me. I think it's wishful thinking to question him on a climb like the Zoncolan when he's literally never done a climb like that in a big race and when Bernal is probably one of the 3 best climbers in the world. Yet some see him not losing time on a cat 2 climb with a headwind and then imply Pogacar should be scared? I see assumptions that longer, steeper climbs suit him better when his previous results indicate otherwise. I see people assuming he'll take 2 minutes out of his opponents in the ITT when even his Algarve ITT, while winning, had him taking under 40s out of MAL. It's like he's simulataneously not recovered to his 2020 standard, while being much better than 2020 while still having to get a huge lot better.
When has Bernal done a climb like Zoncolan? His climbing in the tour came on lower gradients at very high altitude. When he won the tour, he was dropped on the very steep MTF in the Pyrenees.
 
I agree that this thread is currently full of guesswork. The sample size of Evenepoels climbing performances is just way too small to reach any conclusions yet. If I had to guess I also feel like lower gradient climbs might be better suited to him but if he ends up winning on the Zoncolan I'm not gonna pretend to be shocked. In any case, I feel like the much bigger questionmark is how he is gonna perform on high altitude, since we have practically no knowledge about that. But the thing is, I'm stating it's a questionmark, not a weakness. As long as we don't see him perform on high altitude he might as well do better than Bernal there.
 
When has Bernal done a climb like Zoncolan? His climbing in the tour came on lower gradients at very high altitude. When he won the tour, he was dropped on the very steep MTF in the Pyrenees.
That's just confirmation bias based on 1 Tour where he was best in the third week. There's nothing to suggest Bernal underperforms on steep climbs. But he has very consistently performed with the best in the world at climbs >20 minutes.

Evenepoel meanwhile has had his best results in ITTs and hard hilly stages where he can beat small groups on his own on the flats inbetween the hard hills. He's pulled off big solos in hilly stages in stage races where he got dropped on the big MTF. Then there's Burgos where he won the first MTF after a bunch of echelon action which benefits him because of his rouleur abilities. He did get dropped on the 2nd MTF.
 
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That's just confirmation bias based on 1 Tour where he was best in the third week. There's nothing to suggest Bernal underperforms on steep climbs. But he has very consistently performed with the best in the world at climbs >20 minutes.

Evenepoel meanwhile has had his best results in ITTs and hard hilly stages where he can beat small groups on his own on the flats inbetween the hard hills. He's pulled off big solos in hilly stages in stage races where he got dropped on the big MTF. Then there's Burgos where he won the first MTF after a bunch of echelon action which benefits him because of his rouleur abilities. He did get dropped on the 2nd MTF.
That 3rd week, however, was at HIGH elevation. We don't have those heights in this year's Giro.

Bernal also struggled last year on Puy Mary before his back went out. Last 3 km there were at close to 12%.

Remco may not handle the steep stuff any better, however
 
I agree that this thread is currently full of guesswork. The sample size of Evenepoels climbing performances is just way too small to reach any conclusions yet. If I had to guess I also feel like lower gradient climbs might be better suited to him but if he ends up winning on the Zoncolan I'm not gonna pretend to be shocked. In any case, I feel like the much bigger questionmark is how he is gonna perform on high altitude, since we have practically no knowledge about that. But the thing is, I'm stating it's a questionmark, not a weakness. As long as we don't see him perform on high altitude he might as well do better than Bernal there.
I don't think altitude is nearly as important as many make it out to be. It makes stages considerably harder, reducing drag and in race recovery and increases gaps, beyond that I don't think this additional variable as many seem to think. Sample size at high altitude is smaller, so I think there's just a load of confirmation bias about it. We just remember a rider bonking once and suddenly he's good or bad at high altitude.
 
That 3rd week, however, was at HIGH elevation. We don't have those heights in this year's Giro.

Bernal also struggled last year on Puy Mary before his back went out. Last 3 km there were at close to 12%.

Remco may not handle the steep stuff any better, however
Puy Mary was 7 minutes and his form was already going way down. He was better on the Marie Blanc than on the Peyresourde.

In 2019, he got dropped on the Tourmalet at 2100m then he got beaten by Alejandro "zomg so bad at altitdue" Valverde at Val Thorens.
 
Puy Mary was 7 minutes and his form was already going way down. He was better on the Marie Blanc than on the Peyresourde.

In 2019, he got dropped on the Tourmalet at 2100m then he got beaten by Alejandro "zomg so bad at altitdue" Valverde at Val Thorens.
he was also dropped the day after Tourmalet on the very steep MTF. The Tourmalet was more down to him not being the best sprinter
 
I can genuinely see Remco pulling off a reprise of RoboBasso 2010 Zoncolan where his relentless high tempo pace just melted riders off his wheel one by one as they cracked trying to hold the pace. Basso never noticeably attacked but just cranked up the pace bit by bit until each rider went into the red and had to submit with Evans I think being the last guy to melt away from his back wheel.

A more stop start pace with the likes of Bernal and Landa :disrelieved: trading explosive attacks would make it harder for Evenepoel but not sure Simon Yates has it in this race to add to the pressure with convincing attacks.
 
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