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:
- How good is he in GTs?
- How good a climber is he?
- 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!