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

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Sep 26, 2015
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
So, i handclocked the time from the crash until he got on his bike. This was exactly 1m30s. After that there was a replay of the crash, once this was over, the camera was back on Evenepoel, and it looked like he still had an issue and wasn't on his way yet. No idea what had happened in between (since there was a replay showing) but by the time he eventually got back on track, 2m10s had passed.
He turned back to get his power meter..
 
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Baldinger said:
Well, he gave up football because things didn't go his way. Could possibly happen next year.
I've thought about this a lot as well, but he once said that he was a bit disgusted (paraphrasing) by the way they cast him aside without ever explaining why (he was the team captain prior). So, it's not just about "not going his way", as in not being able to cope with losing. I think he's proven to be exceptionally strong mentally. The way he's been coping with the pressure of the past few months, and yet he just became Belgian champion ITT and RR, European champion ITT and RR and now World champion ITT & RR. And especially the Euro and World RR really show that. At the Euros, he just rode away 10 minutes. At the Worlds, he kept cool as a cucumber while his rivals rode away 1&1/2 minutes, never panicked, went back to get his Garmin and lost another 40 seconds, then went from a lost position to total domination in about 30 km.

He's confident but realistic and he knows his body. I somehow doubt he would just bail out of cycling, like he did football, because as a sport, it's much more straight forward. The only way i could see him quit cycling, would be further down the road, when he's 22-23 and all the guys he's leaving in the dust now, have caught up with him. I think he's well aware that his current domination doesn't mean he can start dominating WT races in his first (two/thee) year(s).
 
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hrotha said:
Gotta say, skipping the proper u23/Continental circuit strikes me as a very bad idea. It doesn't usually work and I can't see any benefits of doing it.
Does it really matter if he can still chose his program and ride u23 races like l'Avenir? They are not going to put him in 260km classics or the TDF. They will put together a schedule tailor-made for him, with the added benefit of growing within a team that has tons of experience to coach him. Both riders and entourage.
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
hrotha said:
Gotta say, skipping the proper u23/Continental circuit strikes me as a very bad idea. It doesn't usually work and I can't see any benefits of doing it.
Does it really matter if he can still chose his program and ride u23 races like l'Avenir? They are not going to put him in 260km classics or the TDF. They will put together a schedule tailor-made for him, with the added benefit of growing within a team that has tons of experience to coach him. Both riders and entourage.
No one who skips the u23/Conti scene goes straight to racing 260 km classics or the TDF, still doesn't usually work out so hot for them. No, his racing program won't be just as if it would have been otherwise.
 
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hrotha said:
Gotta say, skipping the proper u23/Continental circuit strikes me as a very bad idea. It doesn't usually work and I can't see any benefits of doing it.
Lefevere knows what he's doing. Not only is Quick-Step one of the best teams, if not the best, to develop as a young rider, but Lefevere has a history with working with essentially kids, which goes all the way back to his Mapei days. Cancellara and Pozzato weren't much older when they turned pro, and I'd say they did pretty well.

Evenepoel's exact program hasn't been announced yet, but the biggest race he'll do all year is probably Romandia, when half the peloton just finished their run of classics and the other half is somewhere high up on a mountain preparing for the Grand Tours. They'll keep him far away from the spotlights, lining him up in races like San Juan, Oro y Paz and Algarve, while also doing a lot of altitude training in the alps. Furthermore, despite being a pro, he is still eligible to race with Kevin De Weert and the Belgian national team against his U23 competition in l'Avenir, Course de la Paix, ZLM Tour and other Nations Cup races.

Long story short, his season and his build up wouldn't look much different if he did go to Axeon next year. The only difference being the names of the race (i.e. California -> Romandia).
 
Jul 29, 2016
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I agree, that it is reasonable to skip U23. What it could be good for. He needs real competition to develop, not to murder everyone easily.

Don't forget - it is world championship and he crashed lost 2:10 and came back in further 15km and they were not waiting for him... . And won by another 1:20 and that only because he was not riding hard last 4 km's. Again, this kid crashed and came back with very limited help in 15 km. And immediately started to attack the group :exclaim: . Have you ever seen that in junior ranks? In U23? Even with Pro's?
 
Jun 27, 2013
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hrotha said:
Cancellara and Pozzato were in Mapei GSIII, which was basically what we'd now call a Conti team. I dunno, it might turn out well, but historically it seldom does.
That team was basically Squinzi signing all the top juniors in the world and sticking them into the same Continental team (except Cunego and the spanish ones, he couldn't get those although he tried)

The number of them that panned out was surprisingly low considering their junior results

EDIT: Here they are

Cancellara, Fabian
Cheula, Giampaolo
Clerc, Aurélien
D'Amore, Crescenzo
Davis, Allan
Eisel, Bernhard
Gasparre, Graziano
Hulsmans, Kevin
Koehler, Philippe
Muravyev, Dmitriy
Petrov, Evgeni
Pozzato, Filippo
Ratti, Eddy
Rizzi, Antonio
Rogers, Michael
Sinkewitz, Patrik
Willems, Friedrik
Zerzan, Pavel
Zanotti, Leonardo


Feel free to correct me, I seem to remember Cancellara and Petrov were supposed to be the biggest talents while Clerc was supposed to be the next great sprinter
 
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hrotha said:
Cancellara and Pozzato were in Mapei GSIII, which was basically what we'd now call a Conti team. I dunno, it might turn out well, but historically it seldom does.
Pozzato and Cancellara were both 19 when they went pro, no? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, that's fair enough. But I think we can agree that if Evenepoel were to 'fail', it won't be due to going to Quick-Step (or the World Tour in general) too early, as there isn't going be that much of a difference between Axeon and Quick-Step regarding (level of) program. His training schemes will obviously be different, but I'd say Quick-Step is a lot better in developing talent than Axeon.
 
Yeah, that is true, but on the other hand those skipping the U23 category tend to be those who are perceived to be among the most talented. If their chances of making it are no better than those of the general junior population, that in itself might say a lot.
DNP-Old said:
hrotha said:
Cancellara and Pozzato were in Mapei GSIII, which was basically what we'd now call a Conti team. I dunno, it might turn out well, but historically it seldom does.
Pozzato and Cancellara were both 19 when they went pro, no? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, that's fair enough. But I think we can agree that if Evenepoel were to 'fail', it won't be due to going to Quick-Step (or the World Tour in general) too early, as there isn't going be that much of a difference between Axeon and Quick-Step regarding (level of) program. His training schemes will obviously be different, but I'd say Quick-Step is a lot better in developing talent than Axeon.
They did, but they raced in what we'd now call the Conti circuit (except it didn't exist at the time). Certainly, they skipped the amateur circuit, but their first couple of seasons they mostly raced very minor .4 and .5 races which would be the equivalent of the .2 races most U23 riders might be doing nowadays. Things have changed a lot and there's no direct equivalency anymore, nor a neat line between "amateur" and "professional".

Aside from the kind of races the guy will participate in, there's other intangible stuff like how easily skipping the U23 circuit might go to a rider's head. Arkaitz Durán for example could never quite take his profession seriously enough because he was this hot sauce star in the making and he took everything for granted.
 
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lartiste said:
Don't forget - it is world championship and he crashed lost 2:10 and came back in further 15km and they were not waiting for him... . And won by another 1:20 and that only because he was not riding hard last 4 km's. Again, this kid crashed and came back with very limited help in 15 km. And immediately started to attack the group :exclaim: . Have you ever seen that in junior ranks? In U23? Even with Pro's?
lemond, probably.

lemond's pro career actually never lived up to his talent. despite three tours and two world championships, lemond's career pales in comparison to "what could have been". which is saying something.
 
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hrotha said:
Yeah, that is true, but on the other hand those skipping the U23 category tend to be those who are perceived to be among the most talented.
Most talented, or... the most ahead in terms of physical maturity. Often difficult to say with 17-18 year olds. But in that case, they would never turn into anything special as a pro anyway (because they will get overtaken by the same kids they left in the dust as a junior, simply because those juniors weren't mature back then). Which might also be a reason that certain succesful juniors never really make it as a pro.

I honestly don't think there will be much of a difference for Evenepoel, if they give him a tailor-made schedule, that includes certain U23 races, and some "mellow" WT races. The biggest advantage being, that he can go on altitude training with Mas, get positioning tips from Gilbert, learn a few things on bikehandling from Stybar, etc etc. As long as they do it step by step, this is basically the best of both worlds imo. It's an opportunity other 19 year olds simply don't get because it's a treatment pro teams simply can't give to every junior. He's in a privileged situation here. At least, that's how i see it.
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
The biggest advantage being, that he can go on altitude training with Mas, get positioning tips from Gilbert, learn a few things on bikehandling from Stybar, etc etc. As long as they do it step by step, this is basically the best of both worlds imo. It's an opportunity other 19 year olds simply don't get because it's a treatment pro teams simply can't give to every junior. He's in a privileged situation here. At least, that's how i see it.
This ^^^ Evenepoel will be going straight into the most successful squad in cycling. They have specialists in every discipline for him to learn from, the team culture is very strong and positive. If Evenepoel fits in well with the team he’s got every chance to continue improving. Lefevere, to his credit, knows what a rare opportunity he has with him and will surely support Evenepoel like he has with so many others before him.

If Evenepoel doesn’t succeed, it won’t be due to the opportunity offered by QS.
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
The biggest advantage being, that he can go on altitude training with Mas, get positioning tips from Gilbert, learn a few things on bikehandling from Stybar, etc etc. As long as they do it step by step, this is basically the best of both worlds imo. It's an opportunity other 19 year olds simply don't get because it's a treatment pro teams simply can't give to every junior. He's in a privileged situation here. At least, that's how i see it.
I have never really had the impression that cycling works like this in the way that football or other sports might.

Other than when they are in the same race, team members will be together for what, one or two weeks a year?

When gathered for a race, I can't imagine that the team principals are spending much time tutoring those who will be their domestiques many tips in how to finish. As Kennedy would have said if he were a DS, Leaders do not ask what they can do for their helpers, but what their helpers can do for them.

And on a 2 year contract in which major results will not be expected, one wonders how much it is in QuickStep's interests to develop him much. Unless they endue him with a great sense of loyalty, he might have 14 years or more racing against them after this.
 
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Armchair cyclist said:
I have never really had the impression that cycling works like this in the way that football or other sports might.

Other than when they are in the same race, team members will be together for what, one or two weeks a year?

When gathered for a race, I can't imagine that the team principals are spending much time tutoring those who will be their domestiques many tips in how to finish. As Kennedy would have said if he were a DS, Leaders do not ask what they can do for their helpers, but what their helpers can do for them.

And on a 2 year contract in which major results will not be expected, one wonders how much it is in QuickStep's interests to develop him much. Unless they endue him with a great sense of loyalty, he might have 14 years or more racing against them after this.
He was already an intern last year at Quickstep. Already he went on training sessions with guys like Lampaert & Keisse. You think he can't learn from those guys? That they don't talk during training or that he can't learn by watching/following them? And the entire team doesn't have to be together all the time. For preparation, some will get together and go on altitude training while others race somewhere for their preperation. This year, Dumoulin took Vervaeke and Oomen with him on altitude. The entire team doesn't have to be present for a young rider to learn from a pro.

I already mentioned the fact that he could have gone to a (much) better junior team this year (the team of Van Wilder), but he stayed at his old team, because they were the ones to give him a chance out of the blue. Somebody else posted the story about his parents, meeting with Lefevre 3 times, never talking about money but only about what is the best approach for their son. (As a result he could have earned 3x more at Sky).

Armchair cyclist said:
Cillian Kelly aka Irish Peloton :
After a quick scan of old magazines here are some riders who have once been described as the next Eddy Merckx:

Tom Boonen
Johan Museeuw
Yaroslav Popovych
Claude Criquielion
Eric Vanderaerden
Damiano Cunego
Fons De Wolf
Well, none of them turned out to be the next Eddy Merckx, but these surely aren't the worst riders of the past decades. Some had a succesful carreer as domestique, and the others were quite big names among the pro peloton, favorites to win big races. Three of them became world championl. Quite a few monument wins in this list as well (20+).
 
Jul 29, 2016
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Big Doopie said:
lartiste said:
Don't forget - it is world championship and he crashed lost 2:10 and came back in further 15km and they were not waiting for him... . And won by another 1:20 and that only because he was not riding hard last 4 km's. Again, this kid crashed and came back with very limited help in 15 km. And immediately started to attack the group :exclaim: . Have you ever seen that in junior ranks? In U23? Even with Pro's?
lemond, probably.

lemond's pro career actually never lived up to his talent. despite three tours and two world championships, lemond's career pales in comparison to "what could have been". which is saying something.
His carrier is skewed by shooting accident and then by EPO era, in fact, it was short ... .
 
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