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

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Do you think Evenepoel will suck the coming 6 years? Else this really doesn't matter. But then at least we have a bold statement to work with.

The sponsor bait theory sounds plausible but realistically Evenepoel just had to show that he could still ride a bike without grimacing. I doubt his actual performance influenced decision-making much beyond that. Especially the 1s grab.

It's not like QST was a bad team without Evenepoel anyway.
Evenepoel won't fulfill expectations.
If he was physically on another level, as many people believe, he woulda made big time playing football.

And, no, Deceuninck was not a bad team, specially having Almeida, because Deceuninck has never been a GT team, with Almeida they got lucky, but then they decided to cast their lot with the unproven local boy.

But then, folks got caught in this feverish hype, because since 1978 there has not been a Belgian GT winner, and they desire one.

Well, good luck, I don't think he's gonna make it.

And he has a big chip on his shoulder.

Eddie Merckx, just said that Evenepoel has to improve in many areas.

Don't take it from me, take it from Eddie Merckx.
 
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Evenepoel won't fulfill expectations.
If he was physically on another level, as many people believe, he woulda made big time playing football.

And, no, Deceuninck was not a bad team, specially having Almeida, because Deceuninck has never been a GT team, with Almeida they got lucky, but then they decided to cast their lot with the unproven local boy.

But then, folks got caught in this feverish hype, because since 1978 there has not been a Belgian GT winner, and they desire one.

Well, good luck, I don't think he's gonna make it.

And he has a big chip on his shoulder.

Eddie Merckx, just said that Evenepoel has to improve in many areas.

Don't take it from me, take it from Eddie Merckx.
I can’t speak to the rest of your comments, but this is a bizarre thing to say for folks who know sports: “If he was physically on another level, as many people believe, he woulda made big time playing football.”

Hmm, yes, I guess that’s why Michael Jordan was so wildly successful when he tried to switch from basketball to baseball ;)
 
His results as a junior and the fact that it didn't take him long to seemingly be able to dominate in a similar manner among the pros, combined with the way he does it. He can attack in any terrain and do long solo rides to the finish, putting minutes into his competitors, which is just exciting.

Pogacar is clearly a phenomenon, but his style is a bit more predictable. He generally attacks on the climbs near the end of the race, and although he does it an an extremely high level, it's just not as exciting. At least to me.

Edit: I should add that it's not that I don't think Pogacar is exciting. He is one of the most exciting current pro's, I just see Evenepoel as an outlier and I think a lot of people do, which explains the extra attention he gets.
Pogacar’s attack on the penultimate Vuelta 2019 stage is one of the most daring long range attacks I have ever seen that actually succeeded. And it was high stakes - he had a lot to lose and teams he was up against had a lot to lose. It’s pretty much as exciting as it gets. And even if Remco pulled off longer range attacks, the context was completely different. It’s something else when you attack from 5th place on Vuelta against a strong field who made this race their primary goal for the season compared to going for it on tour of Poland. And Tadej was 20 at the time. His first pro season.

The only really predictable thing with Tadej is that he will attack at some point in a stage…

Edit: Of course, I completely get it that for a Belgian it's way more exciting when Remco does a long range attack on Tour of Poland than when Tadej does one on Vuelta. And that's the real reason Remco has 4 times the content on this forum compared to Tadej.
 
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Evenepoel won't fulfill expectations.
If he was physically on another level, as many people believe, he woulda made big time playing football.

And, no, Deceuninck was not a bad team, specially having Almeida, because Deceuninck has never been a GT team, with Almeida they got lucky, but then they decided to cast their lot with the unproven local boy.

But then, folks got caught in this feverish hype, because since 1978 there has not been a Belgian GT winner, and they desire one.

Well, good luck, I don't think he's gonna make it.

And he has a big chip on his shoulder.

Eddie Merckx, just said that Evenepoel has to improve in many areas.

Don't take it from me, take it from Eddie Merckx.
Two remarks:
  1. He in fact was physically on another level as a football player. But football, much more than cycling, is a technical, collective and social-political sport.
  2. It's Eddy. You can't expect people to take you serious when you can't even write the name of cycling's most famous athlete in a correct way.
 
Yes, now is crystal clear that Lefevere used Evenepoel as sponsor bait.
He was portrayed as the second coming of Jesus, he was going to win everything, and just a la big Eddie, on top of that, he was able to beat Bernal on a hard fought sprint, where he was able to reduce the deficit with Bernal by a whole 1 second.

Amazing how gullible people are, and not only the fools that populate online forums, but also the Deceuninck leadership, right after the legendary sprint, and during the rest day Lefevere announced a 6 years deal with Deceuninck .
Then Remco goes busted.
That will teach'em.
In the meantime paying bills for 6 years.
Congrats Lefevere!! You are the best gold digger cycling has ever known.
It was Quick-Step, not Deceuninck. Deceuninck won't renew. One look at the CEO of that company and you know he doesn't have a heart for cycling ....or a heart at all. Het got the name recognition and now he's out.

Shocker.

So, Lefevere still needs a (main) title sponsor and needs it fast as riders are jumping ship to BORA and other teams. Lefevere is a born hustler so he'll probably succeed, but the situation is far from ideal.

I don't think the "we'll give you a Belgian Tour winner" angle was a smart move on his part.

My guess is that Quick-Step was in on it. They would have always renewed. They're loyal as ****.

It was always about finding a replacement for the other main sponsor. Maybe it was all part of a desperate strategy (the Belgian Tour winner - angle, the 6(!) more years) to raise the stakes. I'm sure Lefevere is/was talking to several possible sponsors.
 
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Two remarks:
  1. He in fact was physically on another level as a football player. But football, much more than cycling, is a technical, collective and social-political sport.
  2. It's Eddy. You can't expect people to take you serious when you can't even write the name of cycling's most famous athlete in a correct way.
I don't know much about his youth football exploits, but I'd actually expect an elite endurance talent to just get outsprinted on a football pitch?
 
I don't know much about his youth football exploits, but I'd actually expect an elite endurance talent to just get outsprinted on a football pitch?
He was captain of U16 Anderlecht and a starting eleven player for the national team. He could've signed with the pro team of KV Mechelen at the time he set his mind to cycling.

I think his sprints on the pitch were ok.

#someonehastofillLogicsvoid
 
The whole football comparison is nonsense anyway. Obviously there is way more money in that sport but it's not like any pro footballer easily outearns all cyclists. I don't know what Remco's salary is but my guess is, it's probably significantly more than what he would earn in football right now. And that isn't even considering the folk hero like perception he now gets that he almost definitely wouldn't have, had he chosen a different sport.
 
The whole football comparison is nonsense anyway. Obviously there is way more money in that sport but it's not like any pro footballer easily outearns all cyclists. I don't know what Remco's salary is but my guess is, it's probably significantly more than what he would earn in football right now. And that isn't even considering the folk hero like perception he now gets that he almost definitely wouldn't have, had he chosen a different sport.
That I agree on. His status, commercial return and potential legacy is bigger in cycling, so is his paycheck.

But any regular football pro earns a lot more than any regular pro cyclist, don't be mistaken. With what I know, I'm convinced that a starting 11 player in any Belgium first division team (which is like Europe's 6th-10th league) gets paid easily more than an average WorldTour rider. Let alone top clubs and top competitions.
 
The whole football comparison is nonsense anyway. Obviously there is way more money in that sport but it's not like any pro footballer easily outearns all cyclists. I don't know what Remco's salary is but my guess is, it's probably significantly more than what he would earn in football right now. And that isn't even considering the folk hero like perception he now gets that he almost definitely wouldn't have, had he chosen a different sport.
Ofcourse the comparison makes no sense, but I doubt Evenepoel would have ditched football if he was a top level prospect. A quick wiki consultation says he was falling behind in the u16/u17s. Also he couldn't have known he could be a WT team leader in ~3 years time.
 
Ofcourse the comparison makes no sense, but I doubt Evenepoel would have ditched football if he was a top level prospect. A quick wiki consultation says he was falling behind in the u16/u17s. Also he couldn't have known he could be a WT team leader in ~3 years time.
I guess, but then I'm honestly not sure if Remco had become a pro if he hadn't shown so much talent so early. Like, I suppose most pro cyclists are into bike racing earlier than Remco was and if you don't show much talent you don't suddenly get the idea of becoming a pro at that age. Of course that still doesn't mean he knew he would become a star right away, but I think it was clear he wouldn't aim for becoming a continental team dom pretty much from the start.
 
Ofcourse the comparison makes no sense, but I doubt Evenepoel would have ditched football if he was a top level prospect. A quick wiki consultation says he was falling behind in the u16/u17s. Also he couldn't have known he could be a WT team leader in ~3 years time.
Well, like I said, he could've turned pro in a 1st division team. But not as a starter right away, of course.

He got tired of football for this main reason: he didn't have chemistry with the coach at the U17/18s of Anderlecht. From being the team's captain and starting player for the national squad, suddenly he ended up on the bench more than he liked. That's what I meant with social-political reasons. Getting 'a fair chance' is a bit more difficult in a sport like football. And he already lost a bit of love for the sport when being at PSV in the Netherlands at a time when his mother was very sick. So when he had the choice between a possible pro football carreer at Mechelen or his brand new passion for the race bike, he went with the latter.
 
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He has become the victim of Belgium's Eddy Merckx complex. Ever since Merckx retired Belgium has been hoping for the coming of a New Messiah. Every rider who shows ability in climbing and time trialling is immediately lauded as the next EM. Remember how FvdB was overhyped, and how Axel Merckx always remained "the little son".

Dropping Remco in the Giro without any competitive preparation was a terrible idea, whether they admit it or not. He should have done some one week races, with the Tour de Suisse as a first big goal, where he would have had a realistic chance at a good GC. After the Olympics the Vuelta could have been his first GT, with mountains that aren't as high and less chance of collapsing in the second half of the race.

Hopefully he can recover soon, like Yates did in 2018. Hopefully he won't run from one problem into the next, like Pinot. He's still a huge talent, but his goals need to be picked carefully and well prepared. If that happens he still has all the potential for a big career.
 
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Pogacar’s attack on the penultimate Vuelta 2019 stage is one of the most daring long range attacks I have ever seen that actually succeeded. And it was high stakes - he had a lot to lose and teams he was up against had a lot to lose. It’s pretty much as exciting as it gets. And even if Remco pulled off longer range attacks, the context was completely different. It’s something else when you attack from 5th place on Vuelta against a strong field who made this race their primary goal for the season compared to going for it on tour of Poland. And Tadej was 20 at the time. His first pro season.
I don't disagree. That was a glorious attack and it's totally fine that you find Pogacar more exciting overall, and like I said he's one of the most exciting pros today. It's not something I've chosen, but I just happen to be more excited by Evenepoel (and I'm not belgian), and that should be permissable too. There's really no point in arguing either way as they're just opinions.

The only really predictable thing with Tadej is that he will attack at some point in a stage…

Edit: Of course, I completely get it that for a Belgian it's way more exciting when Remco does a long range attack on Tour of Poland than when Tadej does one on Vuelta. And that's the real reason Remco has 4 times the content on this forum compared to Tadej.
He attacks uphill on one of the two final mountains (correct me if I'm wrong, which is quite possible). Nothing wrong with that. He's definitely one of the top 5-10 most ballsy riders today, but being as strong as he is, he hasn't yet had to apply the type of variety that could further boost his hype. Same could be said about Froome until the 2018 giro, where he gained a lot of respect.

I think much of the reason Evenepoel gets so much attention is because fans of other riders tend to come to this thread and talk about why their favorite should be getting as much hype, and also there are a lot of people that post here who really seem to dislike him. There have been a lot of posts here lately from people who only come to gloat over his disappointing giro.
 
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I don't disagree. That was a glorious attack and it's totally fine that you find Pogacar more exciting overall, and like I said he's one of the most exciting pros today. It's not something I've chosen, but I just happen to be more excited by Evenepoel (and I'm not belgian), and that should be permissable too. There's really no point in arguing either way as they're just opinions.


He attacks uphill on one of the two final mountains (correct me if I'm wrong, which is quite possible). Nothing wrong with that. He's definitely one of the top 5-10 most ballsy riders today, but being as strong as he is, he hasn't yet had to apply the type of variety that could further boost his hype. Same could be said about Froome until the 2018 giro, where he gained a lot of respect.

I think much of the reason Evenepoel gets so much attention is because fans of other riders tend to come to this thread and talk about why their favorite should be getting as much hype, and also there are a lot of people that post here who really seem to dislike him. There have been a lot of posts here lately from people who only come to gloat over his disappointing giro.
Yeah thread size is heavily dictated by arguments between posters. If you have two sides that don't really back down, then threads explode.
 
Might be an additionel reason why Pogacar's thread has so few posts (half that of Roglic). There is nothing to debate there. His career path so far has been a steady rise and there was no crash or anything to Shake that up. His TT did cause controversy but that had to be limited to the Clinic. There is no ebb and glow in the narrative. While Evenepoel's story is riddled with question marks and many many seemingly angry and jealous posters come here because they perceive weakness.

Meanwhile in Pogacar's thread you can't do much more so far then say "Well done lad. Wonder what GT he'll ride next."

I just think it's too easy to simply chalk it all up to 'there are simply more Belgians'. Now that I see how hard it was swallowed I regret prescribing that pill.

Edit: Not really relevant to the rest of the post. But Remember that before the ITT in last year's Tour mostly Everyone here thought that Pogacar had lost. So while he had been the chief attacker and it was a deserved win. It really wasn't domination.
 
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He attacks uphill on one of the two final mountains (correct me if I'm wrong, which is quite possible). Nothing wrong with that. He's definitely one of the top 5-10 most ballsy riders today, but being as strong as he is, he hasn't yet had to apply the type of variety that could further boost his hype. Same could be said about Froome until the 2018 giro, where he gained a lot of respect
Well he did attack in this years Tirreno (the muri stage) which was far from his optimal terrain, so to speak. And also, the fact that we are even talking about him attacking on penultimate climbs as well (not just last climbs) means he's ballsy/axciting above average. But It seems we agree on that so I don't see any point in discussing It Further. You find Remco more exciting and I prefer Tadej...

I think much of the reason Evenepoel gets so much attention is because fans of other riders tend to come to this thread and talk about why their favorite should be getting as much hype, and also there are a lot of people that post here who really seem to dislike him. There have been a lot of posts here lately from people who only come to gloat over his disappointing giro.
Yes, I din't think about this aspect and I agree (also with @Panda Claws and @Red Rick). Probably the contest of opinions is what generates all these huge amounts of bytes CN needs to pay their could provider to host Remco's threads :)
 
He would have won Il Lombardia without that crash and I am sure he was in a good spot to battle for the giro podium and stages as well. All of this before turning 21.
And here we are, right were the problem lies.
He could've won Lombardia you say.., and in a good spot for the Giro. And after that Giro success he would of course go all in for the Tour, he would be in a good spot for that of course, won the Olympics ITT after that, and so on...
Well, I don't see it that way.
 
What gets lost in all the commotion about the San Sebastian win is that Evenepoel lost contact with the main group on the descent of the penultimate climb. So issues were obviously there before the big crash.
DQS and Evenepoel himself always said he lost contact because of a mechanical. And before that was known everyone thought he lost contact in the climb itself. First thing I hear about him losing contact in the descent there.
 
He has become the victim of Belgium's Eddy Merckx complex. Ever since Merckx retired Belgium has been hoping for the coming of a New Messiah. Every rider who shows ability in climbing and time trialling is immediately lauded as the next EM. Remember how FvdB was overhyped, and how Axel Merckx always remained "the little son".

Dropping Remco in the Giro without any competitive preparation was a terrible idea, whether they admit it or not. He should have done some one week races, with the Tour de Suisse as a first big goal, where he would have had a realistic chance at a good GC. After the Olympics the Vuelta could have been his first GT, with mountains that aren't as high and less chance of collapsing in the second half of the race.

Hopefully he can recover soon, like Yates did in 2018. Hopefully he won't run from one problem into the next, like Pinot. He's still a huge talent, but his goals need to be picked carefully and well prepared. If that happens he still has all the potential for a big career.
Great post with some very good points.

Looking back it seems so strange that they decided to throw him into the Giro in such a moment. That Lombardia crash looks more and more like a huge point in Evenepoel's career that should have been a reminder on taking things slowly. Instead he starts training too early, all in all misses about half a season of racing and then gets thrown into a gt without any preparation races despite that gt not suiting him (lack of TT's) and some stages in that race being significantly tougher than anything he has ever ridden. When they should have taken it slowly they decided to do the opposite.

In retrospect TdS, maybe some small stage race during the Tour followed by the Olympics and finally the Vuelta seems so so much more sensible. Let's just hope they learn from their mistakes and take it easy from now on. I mean his season has only started. If he wins gold in Tokyo and some races in fall his perception will have swung back in no time whatsoever.

Hype is hype is hype. But bubble has kinda burst now and after recovery period it's more work, as usual.

Next.
This I disagree with. People can say whatever they want but nobody can change that Evenepoel's career start up to his crash is completely unrivaled by anything anyone has ever done in modern cycling. Nobody even comes close. The guy rode guys off his wheel without accelerating in the junior categories, came to the pros and just kept doing it. That is still completely insane to me.

Was the hype overblown? Perhaps, but he did deserve to be more hyped than any youngster I can remember. Seriously, if you compare what Evenepoel did to what Bernal did at his age the hype that seems unreasonable in comparison is Bernal's.

This is not the bursting of a bubble, this is the point where his career hits a crossroad. The question isn't if he was even that good. We saw he was last year already. The question is whether he will be able to keep it together or if he will crack under the pressure now that things have gone so wrong for almost a year.
 
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