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

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May 19, 2015
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Even if he doesn't win he's an alien!! The simple fact that we are here discussing if he'll win or not this giro is astonishing... it shouldn't be possible for anyone to come from 9 months without competing and doing what he's doing atm in a GT
exactly, like I said, the rides he was doing on Zwift in february (sub 200 Watt) VS. the discussion if he can follow Bernal and win the Giro 3 months later: INSANE.
I think most of the cyclist here could produce those numbers on Zwift in february, but I don't think we're able to follow Bernal 3 months later in a GT. :sweatsmile:
 
Feb 1, 2020
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Remco is already a legend...how crazy is that!!! At his age, and the horrible crash at Lombardia. And like the poster before me said, we are here discussing if he can win the Giro. Who can root against him? He's the saviour..the one who could bring down the evil Ineos.
 
Teams in grand tours are too strong to do performances like Tour of Poland.
They need very special riders in very special conditions. Like Froome in 2018 Giro.
He needs a situation where none of his rivals have any of those strong domestiques left, on a terrain where he can go all in. I don't see him take minutes on a climb vs Bernal, Yates or Carthy. I don't see him take minutes on Ganna and Castroviejo in the valley and hilly terrain. But i do see him take minutes on Bernal and Yates in the valley and hilly terrain.
 
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Actually he needs to hang on in the mountains and win in the TT. Or win in the mountains and the TT. Discussing about how realistic a scenario where he drops Bernal on a false flat has very little to do with how likely Evenepoel is to win this Giro or a GT in the future...-Right now in the false flat scenario of course Bernal is more likely to drop Evenepoel. Mountains, followed by that all important and decisive false flat, they are together, seem more likely right now that Evenepoel went further into the red in rhe climb and then gets dropped... But since can't remember any Giro stage this year that could fit the bill maybe we could just drop the false flat GT-winning moves? Maybe could ask Velon to organize a false flat competition, seems at least one person would be eager to follow that:)

As a natural Evenepoel sceptic (like Gesink, Quintana and every other hyped rider I'm always sceptic, often wrong then of course...) I'd say he doesn't win this Giro. Will he win a GT in the future? At this point I see no reason why he shouldn't, but before I declare him favorite to this Giro or future GTs there's a few open questions to answer:

  1. How good is he in GTs?
  2. How good a climber is he?
  3. REcovery from his crash?
GTs mostly recovery, management over 3 weeks. That is something that for most needs a bit of experience, he doesn't have that yet, so automatic minus. Ìt's not out of the question he has no problems with it either of course, but while the others have the experience, know how to deal with 3 weeks, he doesn't, he rides into the unknown. We'll see that this Giro, including the final TT, where often it's less about pure TT skill than about how well somebody has recovered. I have no idea who the last rider was that won a GT in his first attempt, but guess it's been a while... there's a reason. Experience.

Climbing: Not only long and steep climbs, but more importantly real multi climb and high altitude climbs. Multi climb the important part, high altitude often is overrated, some guys like Valverde clearly suffer from it, but for many it really doesn't seem to make a big difference. So for Evenepoel not really only Zoncolan, but more importantly the Cortina stage will show how good he is at that. He gives no indication that this should be a big weakness, but it would need to be a strength too. Just average he won't win enough time in TTs to win GTs. He should do ok, but first he has to do it of course.

Crash recovery, no races, only training: A tricky one, normally I'd say starts of well enough, then suffers in the end. The lack of race km normally IMO would affect a rider. So basically what he's doing so far, no problem early on. And that was my prediction before the Giro, and still is for Remco. Starts well enough, as he's done, then suffers in the third week. But on the other hand Remco last year showed that even with only training he came out fully fit of the Covid shutdown. He was there. So at this point in his career (might change later when he's older and uses races to get into shape and isn't as motivated to just train alone) he seems to do just fine with just training. Even if of course last year the others all came directly from training too, this year they have their race km.

So, he won't win this Giro. The crash and the lack of experience the main reasons. Now if he does well in this Giro in the high mountains, I'll have no problem regarding him as top favorite or one of the main favorites for the Vuelta, or GTs in 2022. If he completely collapses in the last week, still no reason to declare that he isn't made for GTs, the crash. If he fails from the Zoncolan on all the way, then yes, then you have to have doubts. But I don't think that will happen anyway. Normally I'd say he finishes somewhere between 6th and 10th, suffering in the last mountain stages. Can be wrong of course. But it's his first attempt, let him learn how to do it, how to place his false flat riding of the wheel winning moves!
 
Apr 14, 2021
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Remco is already a legend...how crazy is that!!! At his age, and the horrible crash at Lombardia. And like the poster before me said, we are here discussing if he can win the Giro. Who can root against him? He's the saviour..the one who could bring down the evil Ineos.
The second coming?
 
It's not only Remco that Bernal has to drop.
In my book, Vlasov could be Bernal's biggest treat: he has proven climbing pedigree, and can TT as good (or better). So if Bernal drops Evenepoel with Vlasov in his wheel, he isn't there yet. I hope Vlasov (and Evenepoel!) stays in the mix so we have an 'interesting' battle from a tactical point of view. Besides Vlasov, Yates and Carthy could also be in the mix, but Yates' way of losing time isn't really convincing, and Carthy isn't that good in TT.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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In the mountains the air density drops more than the oxygen intake so on the flats you should be able to drive a bit faster while experiencing a drop in power as well. This is why world hour records are many times set at altitude (ask Campenaerts). The driving speed at altitude is proportional to the speed at sea level so somebody with TT skills will increase his velocity advantage and increase the time gap relative to sea level. Of course, the road on mountain stages above +1500 m is typically a succession of steep climbs so the aero-advantage becomes negligible and its all about climbing power. I think this is more about pacing yourself. If you are able to drive constantly close to your max aerobic power output you will do better than changing rhythm often and as such risking to drain your energy reserves. So as long as Remco can pace himself and don't try to follow the accelerations and decelerations of the more explosive climbers I think he will do just fine at altitude.
 
He’s not playing with anyone, he’s doing what he can. If he could have taken the jersey today, he would have. He’s not at 100%, and he’s happy with where he is. As he should be.
My sentiments exactly. I just framed the post as a serious of questions to see if anyone thought otherwise. Today will be an important test. If he doesn't loose time he goes into the Zoncolan stage with high morale and he'll need full resources from there on out.
 
He's right concerning endurance, or at least in case Remco is fully fit. But that doesn't necessarily mean Remco can climb with Bernal. We'll have to see, but i'm not ruling it out either. I remember they tested Remco up to 1.800m altitude and he had no issues with losing power. He did't seem too bothered by the altitude on Alto Colorado (2.600m) but that wasn't against Bernal.
Not sure if Evenepoel is relatively better in those kind of stages / races, like a prime Nibali was.

Some of Evenepoel's most dominant wins were in short ITTs. Owning Ganna, Affini, Asgreen.

Went very fast in the Giro prologue, too (and didn't pace himself well there).

as for his successful and most dominant semi-long range attacks in the pro ranks...

The Hammer series stage was short and rolling.
Tour of Poland stage ...not that hard a parcours either and short-ish

Of course, there's his win in San Sebastian, where he seemed to be struggling at some points in the race, but then went berserk in the last part. That supports the endurance argument, but it's basically a one-off. He didn't replicate that in Montreal, which has about the same distance.

You could be right that a long grueling mountain stage suits Evenepoel better but IMO the evidence is rather flimsy at this point. Very interesting to me to see if he performs better in the almost Unipuerto Zoncolan stage or the Giau one. I haven't got a clue.
 
Not sure if Evenepoel is relatively better in those kind of stages / races, like a prime Nibali was.

Some of Evenepoel's most dominant wins were in short ITTs. Owning Ganna, Affini, Asgreen.

Went very fast in the Giro prologue, too (and didn't pace himself well there).

as for his successful and most dominant semi-long range attacks in the pro ranks...

The Hammer series stage was short and rolling.
Tour of Poland stage ...not that hard a parcours either and short-ish

Of course, there's his win in San Sebastian, where he seemed to be struggling at some points in the race, but then went berserk in the last part. That supports the endurance argument, but it's basically a one-off. He didn't replicate that in Montreal, which has about the same distance.

You could be right that a long grueling mountain stage suits Evenepoel better but IMO the evidence is rather flimsy at this point. Very interesting to me to see if he performs better in the almost Unipuerto Zoncolan stage or the Giau one. I haven't got a clue.
Doubt he's like Nibali, but I'm not that inclined to overreact to the shortness of stages he did best in. His sample size for really long races is really small, and frankly the Canadian races were too easy for his qualities.
 
Not sure if Evenepoel is relatively better in those kind of stages / races, like a prime Nibali was.

Some of Evenepoel's most dominant wins were in short ITTs. Owning Ganna, Affini, Asgreen.

Went very fast in the Giro prologue, too (and didn't pace himself well there).

as for his successful and most dominant semi-long range attacks in the pro ranks...

The Hammer series stage was short and rolling.
Tour of Poland stage ...not that hard a parcours either and short-ish

Of course, there's his win in San Sebastian, where he seemed to be struggling at some points in the race, but then went berserk in the last part. That supports the endurance argument, but it's basically a one-off. He didn't replicate that in Montreal, which has about the same distance.

You could be right that a long grueling mountain stage suits Evenepoel better but IMO the evidence is rather flimsy at this point. Very interesting to me to see if he performs better in the almost Unipuerto Zoncolan stage or the Giau one. I haven't got a clue.
He did a 100km solo in Tour of Germany and literally had the peloton break into pieces trying to catch him, which only happened because they got motorpaced the final 20k. If you do a 52k solo in a 152k hilly race, it's more telling than a 5km solo in 220k race imho.

And he didn't get dropped in San Sebastian, he had a mechanical.
 
Well, Bernal dropped Evenepoel twice. And Vlasov, Martin, Ciccone did the same, one or twice. Was it significant ? Maybe not. But does it say nothing at all? The fact is, Bernal is the strongest uphill. Will we see the result already today ? I'm not sure, because it's not a real mountain stage, rather a hill ride. Unless it could be confirmed that Evenepoel has difficulty with unpaved, dirt roads. And later on this Giro ? Will the young and not ideally prepared Evenepoel recover after mountain stages and be able to handle a succession of tough climbs ? I'm not sure at all. But, again, it's not impossible.
 
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Well, Bernal dropped Evenepoel twice. And Vlasov, Martin, Ciccone did the same, one or twice. Was it significant ? Maybe not. But does it say nothing at all? The fact is, Bernal is the strongest uphill. Will we see the result already today ? I'm not sure, because it's not a real mountain stage, rather a hill ride. Unless it could be confirmed that Evenepoel has difficulty with unpaved, dirt roads. And later on this Giro ? Will the young and not ideally prepared Evenepoel recover after mountain stages and be able to handle a succession of tough climbs ? I'm not sure at all. But, again, it's not impossible.
A bit loose with the term 'dropped', right?
 
Mission now: try to finish this Giro like originally stated and stop dreaming. His team should also not hesitate to take him out if they see too much fatigue.
I don't even know if finishing the Giro is a good idea, IF he is totally cooked / spent by those first 10 days.

Maybe he just doesn't have enough racing rythm, and continuing could actually destroy the rest of the season.
 
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It can't just be because of the gravel, his legs must be gone which is understandable given he did not race this season and has never raced this long.
He was worse on the descents than uphill so the technicality of it all probably does play a part. It is very tiring to have to keep closing small gaps because you can't/don't dare to go as fast as the others downhill.
 
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He was worse on the descents than uphill so the technicality of it all probably does play a part. It is very tiring to have to keep closing small gaps because you can't/don't dare to go as fast as the others downhill.
This, they should have put him in a smaller race after his crash before riding the Giro.
He might have pushed good numbers in training, but fighting for position and descending in the bunch are hard to replicate in training. He was never great at those things, so what do you expect after coming back from an injury?
 
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