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

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He got dropped in the first sector where he was able to be paced by his team mates. Stayed on in the second, which is the one full sector where he dangled on the backend of a group, then stayed on for a little less then half the sector on the third one, but since i didn't want to calculate whether it was 1,2238792 or 1,5 i rounded it up in his favor.

I am sure he needed to put in a lot of effort today because he is simply not that good at racing in these conditions, but he did not dangle a lot on the backend of groups.
He wasted tons of energy because he lacks the skills to ride on gravel. Had should've been in the front of the group when Ineos attacked, but he lost positions because he can't ride on gravel, and he was dropped. Getting back cost energy. In the 2nd and 3rd section you could again see him wasting energy, losing positions at every corner, having to move up, losing positions again. After a while he was always dangling at the back until he finally dropped permanently.

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Anyway, press release by the team states he felt his legs got drained and didn't have the power. He says he didn't have the legs and thanks his team and particularly João. He also says "Still a long way to Milan". His sports director stated the gravel sections took their toll on his legs, and that he wasn't actually that bad. Personally i agree with the latter.
 
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Mar 13, 2021
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He wasted tons of energy because he lacks the skills to ride on gravel. Had should've been in the front of the group when Ineos attacked, but he lost positions because he can't ride on gravel, and he was dropped. Getting back cost energy. In the 2nd and 3rd section you could again see him wasting energy, losing positions at every corner, having to move up, losing positions again. After a while he was always dangling at the back until he finally dropped permanently.

----

Anyway, press release by the team states he felt his legs got drained and didn't have the power. He says he didn't have the legs and thanks his team and particularly João. He also says "Still a long way to Milan". His sports director stated the gravel sections took their toll on his legs, and that he wasn't actually that bad. Personally i agree with the latter.
I wouldn't be surprised if his legs will start getting drained more often during this Giro. The guy has done no racing at all previous to this Giro and has only been riding outside for like 2,5 month or so. All these efforts will start adding up.

Of course he wasted a lot of effort today due to his technical inabilities. But he was also already struggling a lot on the second steep gravel section where the pace was not even that high.
 
It's pretty easy to tell that once Evenepoel was not attached to Bernal's wheel at the start of sterrato it was going to take an insane effort to keep contact. IT got much worse in the first section as 30 second gap occurred. DQS blew itself up just to get Remco back into the Bernal group.

The worst part is that Remco was in ideal position going into the third section in 6th place (behind Ineos (3) and Trek(2) so I thought alright maybe he's recovered and now is going to stick to the Trek guys, which clearly didn't happen.

Bottom line the danger signs were there right at beginning of the sterrato and once the gaps opened up going down hill.

Remco has shown he's bad on sterrato and he should do cyclocross this winter to improve on his bike handling/acceleration etc.
 
If he had really bad legs today he would have lost 4/5 minutes. Its clear that he didn't have the best legs but the biggest problem was is lack of ability on sterrato.
I agree with this.

His technique wasnt the best and it cost him when he simply couldnt keep up. Not that he went into red and ran completely empty.

He fought hard to minimize the losses and a lot of energy was spent, the question is if he can recover quick enough from that. Or if he will fade completely and give up his GC hopes. Just set his sight on finishing the race and maybe go for a stage instead.

Semi-hard stage tomorrow followed by a sprint stage and then Zoncolan.
 
https://www.deceuninck-quickstep.com/en/news/4931/evenepoel-fights-valiantly-at-the-giro-d-italia

"I felt the legs were pretty empty, that’s why I was in the last position and couldn’t follow. It’s the way my body reacted after eleven days of racing that came after so much time with no racing..."

Why is it so hard for him to admit that he just sucks on gravel?

While having empty legs and being tired after 11 days of racing is surely true, we all clearly saw that it was a complete lack of off-road riding skills that caused him to drop today. Further, this weakness also caused his legs being more tired at the end just as Logic's trying to explain to us persistently.
 
https://www.deceuninck-quickstep.com/en/news/4931/evenepoel-fights-valiantly-at-the-giro-d-italia

"I felt the legs were pretty empty, that’s why I was in the last position and couldn’t follow. It’s the way my body reacted after eleven days of racing that came after so much time with no racing..."

Why is it so hard for him to admit that he just sucks on gravel?

While having empty legs and being tired after 11 days of racing is surely true, we all clearly saw that it was a complete lack of off-road riding skills that caused him to drop today. Further, this weakness also caused his legs being more tired at the end just as Logic's trying to explain to us persistently.
It's a bit of both.
If you are bad in the legs, you don't get to the front of the peloton easily. Once you are in the back with bad legs, you have a lot of dust, no good view of the lines, and the constant pressure of almost getting dropped.
But I agree that his technique (or better: the lack of it) was the major factor. It was painful to watch him ride, it all looked very ugly (zero points for style).
 
Man, that was rough to watch, didn't expect him to lose a full two minutes today. Done and dusted as far as the GC is concerned.

Almeida looked like he was already riding for his new team today, not sure what Remco even thanked him for. By the time he dropped back to Remco it was already over. Honest mistake I guess lol
 
Man, that was rough to watch, didn't expect him to lose a full two minutes today. Done and dusted as far as the GC is concerned.
Thanks to Almeida he's still in contention, at only 2:22 back.

Froome was a full minute further back before the Finestre stage of the 2018 Giro...

Recovery is everything. Still 5 mountain stages to go, not counting tomorrow's stage. (Plus the final TT. )

Tomorrow is going to be interesting. The final climb is tough enough to show whether he has physically recovered.
Yep, give it another stage. If he doesn't lose time tomorrow he's still in contention.

I have doubts about his climbing ability (when it gets steep), but if it's just that he can't accelerate like many people seem to think he should be fine if he recovers physically and mentally from this (in the grand scheme of things) relatively minor setback.
 
I liked Remco's statement after a brutal stage 11 today. He's still fighting with half the Giro finished. It's a baptism of fire in his start to the 2021 season. No racing for 9+ months and interrupted buildup with the rehab setback/restart. He looks pretty good, all things considered.
 
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Steep learning curve today. Cyclocross off-season anyone? Might be a question of rest day management too: too easy, too hard, too much carbs aso and soft legs already because of that, else than entering new areas of cumulative stress and workload.

Dunno how veins popping Ineos were, but they sure gave some lesson.

Was a bit childish his reactions when dropped, new sensations eh. Maybe he found out today what it is, gran tours, heavy weight masterclass. Hitting rock bottom and still half the race to go.

Awful Bauke Mollema at the last tarmac, no points given for that.
 
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https://www.deceuninck-quickstep.com/en/news/4931/evenepoel-fights-valiantly-at-the-giro-d-italia

"I felt the legs were pretty empty, that’s why I was in the last position and couldn’t follow. It’s the way my body reacted after eleven days of racing that came after so much time with no racing..."

Why is it so hard for him to admit that he just sucks on gravel?

While having empty legs and being tired after 11 days of racing is surely true, we all clearly saw that it was a complete lack of off-road riding skills that caused him to drop today. Further, this weakness also caused his legs being more tired at the end just as Logic's trying to explain to us persistently.
Because it was like remco is saying. Stop giving excuses. He is doing a great giro, and top 10 it will be a great result for remco. Stop with the hype around him, this is not Vuelta a san juan or Vuelta a burgos, it's the giro, and people will see in the alps that he's not on the level that people think, he need to improve a lot like is climbing skills in the high mountains and road skills. Remco already is good, he will better in the future, but calm down, he isn't yet pogacar, roglic or merckx.
 
I would be very impressed if he manages to recover from this. I was kinda hoping he would grow into this GT but he seemed very vulnerable today.

Still much to come of course and he is a monster talent, but he looked weak today.
 
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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!
Very balanced view.
 
It's easy to imagine that lack of skills + not wanting to risk falling (seeing his recent history) interacted quite clearly to make that he had to make a lot of efforts other riders didn't have to do. Of course he felt his legs empty. Plus, the constant fear also drains you of energy.

Plus, while he was very respectful towards Almeida, I actually think that is was clear Almeida was giving his team the finger at first. If you really want to look after your leader, you stay near him at all times. That wasn't the case, and it took him ages to drop back. So yes, a bit of a (pointless and gratuitous) rebellion.
 
...can we put the froome comebacks on hold for now...

main thing is i do not know why they put him in this race as a first race back. not because he has to win. but because he should have had the opportunity to ride into his 2020 shape before doing something like this. it was stupid and risks hurting him psychologically.

he is nowhere near poland of last year. when he gets back to that -- dropping Yates, Majka, and Fulsgang by minutes, then we can judge if he can climb or win GTs. i am not sure what this giro is serving if he wasn't in that type of shape...
 
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