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

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Sorry, it clearly does.

We waited for the evidence - 'what about into the back half of the race, in serious mountains'? That was a question mark on his GC ability, always was.

In fact it's charitable to say that this has not been answered somewhat; to leave it still as an open question.
Agreed - it doesn't seem like he's top level GT rider material.

I have more faith in Pidcock making it as a Tour winner quite frankly (yes, I said it) ...assuming he even wants to.

Then again, you never know. They turned Thomas into a Tour winner. Wiggins, too, but the 2012 Tour route was tailor-made for him. He wouldn't have won a regular mountain heavy route, even if his form was insane that year.
 
Agreed - it doesn't seem like he's top level GT rider material.

I have more faith in Pidcock making it as a Tour winner quite frankly (yes, I said it) ...assuming he even wants to.

Then again, you never know. They turned Thomas into a Tour winner. Wiggins, too, but the 2012 Tour route was tailor-made for him. He wouldn't have won a regular mountain heavy route, even if his form was insane that year.
Too early to call.
You can make that conclusion if he fails the Vuelta with good preparation.
 
Remco is stuff for confusion, isn't he?
We have more questions and what-ifs after this Giro than anything: what if his preparation was as it should have been? What if he had some time in the off-season to practice his bike handling and gravel riding?

So we have enough reason to continue the hype until the Vuelta :D

Honestly, what I think of Remco at the moment:
In top shape he can win any 1-week stage race.

But he has 3 big weaknesses that Ineos / the Montalcino stage / this Giro made painfully obvious:
  1. Remco can crush the peloton if the peloton is in panic mode, or if there is a small selection of riders. He showed this many times, but in this Giro, it was the first time he faced a strong, dominant, controlling team (Ineos). I feel a strong team can keep Remco at bay in most circumstances. That's a pity ofcourse, because it will decrease the number of exciting races.
  2. The Montalcino stages proved, in a painful way, that Remco really has no bike handling skills, at all. I already realized it was an issue, but I honestly downplayed it as I thought it was a minor issue. Now it really proves to be a BIG issue. He is really losing any chance on winning certain races / staying in GC contention if he keeps descending like this. There are not many things I claim to do better than certain pro riders, but I am sure I am a better descender than Remco (at the moment).
  3. He still hasn't shown anything convincing with regards to tempo climbing the bigger mountains, but I hope he will still try in a stage this week. If he wants to be a GC candidate, he has to show he can climb with the best, day after day. It's a totally different game in a 1-week race with 1 or maybe 2 mountain top finishes. Remco can go very deep, but it's easier to go deep once, win a 1-week stage race and have a rest, than to climb in a GT, which requires you to be resilient. He hasn't shown this. Maybe for understandable reasons (underprepared), but it remains a big question mark if he really is GT material. I still have hope, but I'm a bit doubtful about this issue. He can still dominate races (point 1.) and work on his bike skills (point 2.), but to be GT material, you have it or you don't.
 
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Would love seeing him at the Vuelta, sharing leadership with Almeida :imp:

Jokes asside, I'm curious to see how he does on sunday. If he manages to do a good ITT it might be a sign that he can recover during the 3 weeks. I still think we can't take many conclusions about his capacity to fight the GC in a grand tour.

He's doing better then I expected. He spent a lot of energy because he lacks some handling skills, but the power is there. Yesterday was likely a lack of endurance and race days.
 
Remco is stuff for confusion, isn't he?
We have more questions and what-ifs after this Giro than anything: what if his preparation was as it should have been? What if he had some time in the off-season to practice his bike handling and gravel riding?

So we have enough reason to continue the hype until the Vuelta :D

Honestly, what I think of Remco at the moment:
In top shape he can win any 1-week stage race.

But he has 3 big weaknesses that Ineos / the Montalcino stage / this Giro made painfully obvious:
  1. Remco can crush the peloton if the peloton is in panic mode, or if there is a small selection of riders. He showed this many times, but in this Giro, it was the first time he faced a strong, dominant, controlling team (Ineos). I feel a strong team can keep Remco at bay in most circumstances. That's a pity ofcourse, because it will decrease the number of exciting races.
  2. The Montalcino stages proved, in a painful way, that Remco really has no bike handling skills, at all. I already realized it was an issue, but I honestly downplayed it as I thought it was a minor issue. Now it really proves to be a BIG issue. He is really losing any chance on winning certain races / staying in GC contention if he keeps descending like this. There are not many things I claim to do better than certain pro riders, but I am sure I am a better descender than Remco (at the moment).
  3. He still hasn't shown anything convincing with regards to tempo climbing the bigger mountains, but I hope he will still try in a stage this week. If he wants to be a GC candidate, he has to show he can climb with the best, day after day. It's a totally different game in a 1-week race with 1 or maybe 2 mountain top finishes. Remco can go very deep, but it's easier to go deep once, win a 1-week stage race and have a rest, than to climb in a GT, which requires you to be resilient. He hasn't shown this. Maybe for understandable reasons (underprepared), but it remains a big question mark if he really is GT material. I still have hope, but I'm a bit doubtful about this issue. He can still dominate races (point 1.) and work on his bike skills (point 2.), but to be GT material, you have it or you don't.
I think his entire hype depends on how you interpret his long solos. Did they depend on very specific circumstances, or can he just destroy a large group on the flat? While I don't really doubt he's one of the best solo riders, I think it's more the latter than the former.

As for this Giro, I think it's safe to assume his form in the first week was completely fine. Going for the GC was batshit crazy considering all the circumstances etc, but I don't think we can his form was off in the first 9 stages. He was pretty consistent, did better on the shallow climb while getting dropped on the steeper climbs.

His bike handling got found out badly, but I think going forward the pure climbing on big, steep climbs is more important. I'm not sure what we can take away from the Zoncolan given his collapse yesterday. Losing 25 minutes yesterday is irrelevant.

Question is where his endurance and recoveries lie in relation to the other GC guys, especially in race recovery. Does he have a really good ~1-2 hour power/CdA, or does he truly have an elite W/kg and does this fall off after repeated climbs yes or no. I'm not a big believer in a rider somehow being the best at all durations of efforts over 10 minutes, both for CdA and W/kg.

Also, I don't think Evenepoel can win all the 1 week stage races. Mostly because they're not very TT friendly enough and because generally one of Roglic/Pogacar is often there.
 
Wow, from many of the recent posts it sounds like he went from future world beater to someone who's ability to ever fight for a GT win is seriously questioned within two weeks.
Obviously he's not at his best, which is totally explainable and was actually to be expected if you looked at the schedule. Most GTs don't have gravel. He needs to improve his descending skills, which as we have seen from Froome and Pinot is possible, and then I don't see any reason to doubt his potential to win GTs.
 
Too early to call.
You can make that conclusion if he fails the Vuelta with good preparation.
Agree, it's too early. I think, even with a Vuelta fail I would leave the door open for a while.

Normally you wait until a rider with potential hits his late 20's before getting too fixated on yay or nay. Pogacar & Bernal are changing everyone's expectations.

Porte got his first GT podium last year, at age....what is it - 36? After how long of showing potential/developing/winning one week races?
 
Wow, from many of the recent posts it sounds like he went from future world beater to someone who's ability to ever fight for a GT win is seriously questioned within two weeks.
Obviously he's not at his best, which is totally explainable and was actually to be expected if you looked at the schedule. Most GTs don't have gravel. He needs to improve his descending skills, which as we have seen from Froome and Pinot is possible, and then I don't see any reason to doubt his potential to win GTs.
Quite simple, a lot of young riders are hyped as potential GT winners, but few do simply because they don't grow into the elite climbers required to win. I think less than elite climbing talents but good ITTers are generally very overrated as GT prospects.
 
I think his entire hype depends on how you interpret his long solos. Did they depend on very specific circumstances, or can he just destroy a large group on the flat? While I don't really doubt he's one of the best solo riders, I think it's more the latter than the former.

As for this Giro, I think it's safe to assume his form in the first week was completely fine. Going for the GC was batshit crazy considering all the circumstances etc, but I don't think we can his form was off in the first 9 stages. He was pretty consistent, did better on the shallow climb while getting dropped on the steeper climbs.

His bike handling got found out badly, but I think going forward the pure climbing on big, steep climbs is more important. I'm not sure what we can take away from the Zoncolan given his collapse yesterday. Losing 25 minutes yesterday is irrelevant.

Question is where his endurance and recoveries lie in relation to the other GC guys, especially in race recovery. Does he have a really good ~1-2 hour power/CdA, or does he truly have an elite W/kg and does this fall off after repeated climbs yes or no. I'm not a big believer in a rider somehow being the best at all durations of efforts over 10 minutes, both for CdA and W/kg.

Also, I don't think Evenepoel can win all the 1 week stage races. Mostly because they're not very TT friendly enough and because generally one of Roglic/Pogacar is often there.
His form was better than expected, but it wasn't 100% either, as the opening ITT showed. While "short" it wasn't a 4k prologue and should have been long enough to do better than frankly about everybody who finished in front of him bar Ganna. The Montalcino stage clearly "broke" him. This was stage 11 and as far as i'm concerned it was a gimmick stage as far as GC is concerned (i don't have anything against it, but you know it can shake up GC and favor certain riders over others, just like a 90k ITT would). He had never ridden over 7 days in a row.

If your base form is not broad enough, there is a point where your body simply can't deliver anymore. And i think that's what happened. He was very strong on stage 6, the only one who was comfortable in Bernal's wheel. And 5 days later he can't get over a hill.

Either he was simply underprepared, or we can jump to conclusions and say he can't do 3 weeks. Knowing he was only cleared to ride the bike, 3 months on the day before the Giro started, and had to start by doing short daily sessions at low intensity, and build his way up to "normal" training blocks over the coming weeks, maybe it makes sense to assume the former without ruling out the possibility of the latter. What happened on stage 16, puts a new light on what happened on stage 14. It means we can't assume a climb like Zoncolan is out of his league, because his form simply wasn't there anymore. And yet, he only lost 2 minutes in stage 11 and 1.5 minutes on Zoncolan, only roughly 30 seconds on Carthy etc. By no means "bad" either.

Any solo or effort is always dependent on specific circumstances. Why would you even think otherwise? Cancellara also wasn't capable of riding away from the peloton at 100k from the finish and win any race he wanted. The question is, how does it help him as a GC rider. Does it make sense to try those solo efforts in a 3 week race, when you have a peloton chasing behind you, with Ganna, Küng and Dennis? That might make sense in a classic, when you don't have to think about tomorrow, and it doesn't matter if you win by 1 second or 1 minute. In a stage race, it will only be useful when the rouleur domestiques have already been dropped, and you only have to deal with lanky climbers who are aerodynamically capped at 42 km/h so to speak. I remember a stage in the 2018 Giro, when Yates attacked and Dumoulin was begging others in the group of favorites to help him, but nobody would. In such cases, Evenepoel's abilties would come in handy, either as attacker or chaser. He could attack or bridge in a valley after the penultimate climb. He could attack in a hard hilly stage where the rouleurs are long gone from the peloton. And he can use his ITT.
 
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His form was better than expected, but it wasn't 100% either, as the opening ITT showed. While "short" it wasn't a 4k prologue and should have been long enough to do better than frankly about everybody who finished in front of him bar Ganna. The Montalcino stage clearly "broke" him. This was stage 11 and as far as i'm concerned it was a gimmick stage as far as GC is concerned (i don't have anything against it, but you know it can shake up GC and favor certain riders over others, just like a 90k ITT would). He had never ridden over 7 days in a row.

If your base form is not broad enough, there is a point where your body simply can't deliver anymore. And i think that's what happened. He was very strong on stage 6, the only one who was comfortable in Bernal's wheel. And 5 days later he can't get over a hill.

Either he was simply underprepared, or we can jump to conclusions and say he can't do 3 weeks. Knowing he was only cleared to ride the bike, 3 months on the day before the Giro started, and had to start by doing short daily sessions at low intensity, and build his way up to "normal" training blocks over the coming weeks, maybe it makes sense to assume the former without ruling out the possibility of the latter. What happened on stage 16, puts a new light on what happened on stage 14. It means we can't assume a climb like Zoncolan is out of his league, because his form simply wasn't there anymore. And yet, he only lost 2 minutes in stage 11 and 1.5 minutes on Zoncolan, only roughly 30 seconds on Carthy etc. By no means "bad" either.

Any solo or effort is always dependent on specific circumstances. Why would you even think otherwise? Cancellara also wasn't capable of riding away from the peloton at 100k from the finish and win any race he wanted. The question is, how does it help him as a GC rider. Does it make sense to try those solo efforts in a 3 week race, when you have a peloton chasing behind you, with Ganna, Küng and Dennis? That might make sense in a classic, when you don't have to think about tomorrow, and it doesn't matter if you win by 1 second or 1 minute. In a stage race, it will only be useful when the rouleur domestiques have already been dropped, and you only have to deal with lanky climbers who are aerodynamically capped at 42 km/h so to speak. I remember a stage in the 2018 Giro, when Yates attacked and Dumoulin was begging others in the group of favorites to help him, but nobody would. In such cases, Evenepoel's abilties would come in handy, either as attacker or chaser. He could attack or bridge in a valley after the penultimate climb. He could attack in a hard hilly stage where the rouleurs are long gone from the peloton. And he can use his ITT.
You start by claiming he wasn't 100% at the start because he didn't perform compared to your expectations.
 
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Then again, you never know. They turned Thomas into a Tour winner. Wiggins, too, but the 2012 Tour route was tailor-made for him. He wouldn't have won a regular mountain heavy route, even if his form was insane that year.
Who would have beaten him? His team mate who was his domestique was the only better climber than him. And even with only 1 TT he still had a buffer of a minute on everyone else.
 
Who would have beaten him? His team mate who was his domestique was the only better climber than him. And even with only 1 TT he still had a buffer of a minute on everyone else.
Good solid climbing route would probably change the field in the first place. Circumstances were once in a lifetime for him too.

Frankly I don't think 2012 Wiggins wins any other GT in 2011-2015.
 
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What this Giro has proven the most is the complete lack of understanding QS has as far as riding a GT for a top classification goes. It is clear now that he wasn't ready. They completely misjudged his possibilities in this Giro. We could've only guessed but they (should) have all the data and wisdom to evaluate that data leading up to the race.

And even if you let him start, for god sake avoid him making a fool out of himself by letting him present himself as serious contender for victory. Those silly sprints in the first week to get the advantage over Almeida (first time) and Bernal (second time). Those quotes as "If I didn't think I could win this race I would not start".

So the joint conclusion from QS and Remco is now that they never expected differently and it's only the naughty media who created expectations. No it's not. Not even close. From Remco's part I can understand it, being young and hyper ambitious. But QS royally screwed up in a big way.
 
You start by claiming he wasn't 100% at the start because he didn't perform compared to your expectations.
Yes, that's generally how opinions work on matters which can not be measured by factual data. What's your point? Does it somehow invalidate the rest of the post? Even if he were at 100%, which both him and his team stated before the race not to be the case, it doesn't change what i wrote in the rest of my post.
 
2011 Tour is a bit of the question mark for me with the Manse/Pra Martino descents and hostilities opening up early on the 2 Alpine stages.

And of course Evans being very solid and doing the ITT 60 seconds faster than any other GC rider

Just for reference: Evans did the Tour ITT 2 seconds slower than Wiggins time on the same route in the Dauphine. And I think the weather in the Tour was worse (although I am not sure about that part)
 
Quite simple, a lot of young riders are hyped as potential GT winners, but few do simply because they don't grow into the elite climbers required to win. I think less than elite climbing talents but good ITTers are generally very overrated as GT prospects.
And less than elite TT'ers but good climbers just as well. I think there've been more successful transformations of TT'ers becoming good climbers, than the other way around.
 
You don't think he could outclimb/TT Ryder? You don't think 2012 Wiggins is better than Fabio Aru?
Did you see Hesjedal on Alpe di Pampeago and Stelvio?

As for Aru, Aru was pretty strong in that 2015 Vuelta, the racing was just really passive. I wouldn't really back Wiggins to climb much better than Dumoulin on the really steep stuff, the only steep climb he did in 2012 he got beaten by Lieuwe Westra. Dumoulin also gained time on short steep climbs 3 times in that Vuelta.

2011 Tour is a bit of the question mark for me with the Manse/Pra Martino descents and hostilities opening up early on the 2 Alpine stages.

And of course Evans being very solid and doing the ITT 60 seconds faster than any other GC rider

Just for reference: Evans did the Tour ITT 2 seconds slower than Wiggins time on the same route in the Dauphine. And I think the weather in the Tour was worse (although I am not sure about that part)
2011 Tour no chance in hell. Don't tell me he wins that ITT by 2 minutes or something
 
You start by claiming he wasn't 100% at the start because he didn't perform compared to your expectations.
I don't think anybody can say he was 100% at the start of the Giro right? that just isn't possible with his shortened preparation. Even Lance Armstrong was training during the winter for the Tour in July. That is while ignoring the fact that those guys started training building on a power/condition from last year, unlike Remco.
 
I don't think anybody can say he was 100% at the start of the Giro right? that just isn't possible with his shortened preparation. Even Lance Armstrong was training during the winter for the Tour in July. That is while ignoring the fact that those guys started training building on a power/condition from last year, unlike Remco.
The team and Evenepoel both said his preparation was not 100%, but now suddenly we have to believe he was 100%. That leaves us with only one logical conclusion; when Evenepoel's preparation is 100%, he himself will be 110%!
 
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