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

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It was a disappointing effort, especially on the Mikuni Pass.
Maybe he didn't try hard, which would be unlike the teamplayer he claims to be.
The TT will tell us more about his form, but I feel like he's still way off his pre-crash level. The national TT showed that clearly.
There's no way he would have lost to Lampaert by 20 seconds before his crash.
It's obvious that TdF participation was a big plus today, but Schachmann was a good contender, so it isn't much of an excuse.
He said he let go as soon as he found out the pace was too high, which irks me a bit considering you never know what could happen in the front group. Looks like he didn't even try, which is imho damning. Had he tried (and succeeded) he could have helped Wout a lot. Or maybe he felt it was really "over" but that doesn't fall in line with his statements saying his legs felt good.

On the other hand, look at where other big names finished. Roglic, Sivakov, Martin, Bennett, Caruso not that much better. Kelderman, Nibali, Valverde, Dumoulin, Porte in the same group. Higuita, Vlasov, Foss even further back. Vlasov and Foss also rode the Giro and were the revelations in GC.

He lost the ITT from Yves because he wasn't 100% yet. Because Yves was in great shape. Because Yves was riding in his hometown, knowing every corner by heart and getting cheered on by the locals. Because the course was rather technical with a lot of twists and turns, with short straights and many short climbs (bridges), where acceleration/punch mattered a lot, which we know is not his forte. Only by gaining a fraction of a second in every corner, Yves would have won this by a clear margin. He finished 40s ahead of Van Wilder who had finished his latest WT ITT's very strong. That gap seems "about right" considering their past results.
 
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Without having watched it again, it looked like to me that he already lost many positions (I think he already let go there, or at least was in the second half of the peloton afterwards) when Italy moved to the front after the finish-line to push it in the narrower exit and the downhill. The three other Belgians were together most of the time until Van Aert was alone on Mikuni.
 
I think Remco has a lot of talent, but I think he lacks actual racing, like bigger races against the big names. Somehow the talent he has does not come out at this time.

Of course he is still young, but he was claiming to be co-leader for today’s race when there is no way he comes even close to WVA’s current form. Probably he wont be a match for him in the time trial either.

I just wish he could take a step back, stop trying to be the leading man and realise there is a lot to learn and prove before it. And learn to be a teamplayer, because I am sorry but today he rode his own race. His own attack and then he blew up/did not really care anymore.
 
I think Remco has a lot of talent, but I think he lacks actual racing, like bigger races against the big names. Somehow the talent he has does not come out at this time.

Of course he is still young, but he was claiming to be co-leader for today’s race when there is no way he comes even close to WVA’s current form. Probably he wont be a match for him in the time trial either.

I just wish he could take a step back, stop trying to be the leading man and realise there is a lot to learn and prove before it. And learn to be a teamplayer, because I am sorry but today he rode his own race. His own attack and then he blew up/did not really care anymore.
I agree on some points. It doesn't seem to be going his way for the moment, he should focus on learning and overcoming his deficits. But I don't really blame him for trying to go in the break. It was basically his only option. Had it succeeded, it would have been a good move for Van Aert as well, because it would mean other teams needed to chase and Van Aert could simply tag along instead of working and countering attacks himself. Perhaps Remco already felt that was the only card he could play, and wouldn't have been able to follow the best guys up Mikuni. I do blame him for not even trying to hang on or hanging in there, and just giving up so easily.
I also think people are being overly harsh based on today. Where was Roglic? Where was Higuita? Where was Foss? Mäder? Sivakov? Vlasov? Kelderman? If Remco didn't deserve to be co-leader, then neither did Roglic...
 
If Remco didn't deserve to be co-leader, then neither did Roglic...
Right. He didn't. I predicted that he wouldn't have it. Axel Merckx apparently thinks that Roglic took it fairly easy with the ITT in mind, which is true, of course, but even so... not co-leader material. And not domestique material, either.

It even looked like the team supported Roglic much more during the race. As if he was the assigned leader and Pog was only a backup. Whereas WVA was Belgium's #1 from the start.
 
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How do we know it was not team's tactics to have him attack in the valley? Belgium seemed really keen to have a man in those moves forcing Slovenia to work.
I think it went excactly this way. Remco looked very relaxed powering with Nibali and Dunbar and to my eye looked to have much more gas to give, but they shut it down quite quickly.

I think he's aiming for tt, but not easy task. As I've said it earlier, typically super champions handle GT size of load, or many, well and then they shine at one day races, so basic performance level is sky high (no pun).

Nobody got into that small group by luck, they had average about 7 gt's under the hood before this day, from McNulty 2 to Mollema 19 Uran 20, some grip if you may say.

It's just that top quarter of world tour is thick on talent and never ending raw power, so please join in but it's a sharkpool really.

Only time will tell.
 
I agree on some points. It doesn't seem to be going his way for the moment, he should focus on learning and overcoming his deficits. But I don't really blame him for trying to go in the break. It was basically his only option. Had it succeeded, it would have been a good move for Van Aert as well, because it would mean other teams needed to chase and Van Aert could simply tag along instead of working and countering attacks himself. Perhaps Remco already felt that was the only card he could play, and wouldn't have been able to follow the best guys up Mikuni. I do blame him for not even trying to hang on or hanging in there, and just giving up so easily.
I also think people are being overly harsh based on today. Where was Roglic? Where was Higuita? Where was Foss? Mäder? Sivakov? Vlasov? Kelderman? If Remco didn't deserve to be co-leader, then neither did Roglic...
Yes, I definetely not blame him for trying the attack method. I thought it could have been the winning move when Nibali joined him (although Nibali is not in his greatest form anymore but still).
Would have been interesting to have seen him go with Tadej in his attack.
You are also right about the others. Remco is still only 21, it is def not a result to be ashamed of. I just feel like he tried his own chance and then decided to not push anymore and concentrate on the TT when he knew Wout could maybe have used his help. Pushing it a bit harder would not have jeopardized his TT.
He just races his own race, always thinking about himself first. While cycling is also a sport where you need your team. You need Tratniks and Van Avermaets willing to be sacrifying themselves.

Roglic said to Slovenian TV that he had bad cramps in the morning, but not sure if he had pulled for Tadej regardless. Which is ok, because I think he realizes the chances for him are limited as he is in his thirties.
 
Just let him do whatever this season, take a good rest in the off-season and a proper winter training, and then next season we will see. This season, he and the team wanted too much, too soon.
this.

what an absolute shambles of a season driven by impetuous personal ambition and horrendous guidance.

remco should basically keep his declarations to an absolute minimum and...learn.

lemond used to say that the time needed in training and racing to come back from an injury was twice the time that you were actually out from the actual injury.
  1. he should never have gone to the giro.
  2. expectations should have been put at an absolute minimum: "I am riding to regain my form from 2020..."
  3. he should never have spouted off about being equal with WvA and riding their own race.
i understand the "tactical benefit" (if you can call it that) of putting Remco in a break to make others work. but could he have not served Belgium's cause more by saving energy and then being the last person pulling for WvA (and possibly within reach at the top)?
 
this.

what an absolute shambles of a season driven by impetuous personal ambition and horrendous guidance.

remco should basically keep his declarations to an absolute minimum and...learn.

lemond used to say that the time needed in training and racing to come back from an injury was twice the time that you were actually out from the actual injury.
  1. he should never have gone to the giro.
  2. expectations should have been put at an absolute minimum: "I am riding to regain my form from 2020..."
  3. he should never have spouted off about being equal with WvA and riding their own race.
i understand the "tactical benefit" (if you can call it that) of putting Remco in a break to make others work. but could he have not served Belgium's cause more by saving energy and then being the last person pulling for WvA (and possibly within reach at the top)?
Especially when you saw Mauri Vansevenant absolutely killing himself drilling a steady pace on the climb. He was fully committed to sacrificing every ounce of energy and emptying the tank for van Aert.
 
Especially when you saw Mauri Vansevenant absolutely killing himself drilling a steady pace on the climb. He was fully committed to sacrificing every ounce of energy and emptying the tank for van Aert.
That exactly, I just not see Remco doing that, he is way too invested in his own glory.

I don’t blame him attacking but when they got caught he should have completely put himself to help Wout. What he said is that he almost immediately went into safe mode for the TT.

And it is not the media having too high expectations, it is his entourage who is not guiding him correctly in my opinion. Do not make him expect to be leader of the team all the time. Let him build up competition and experience by riding for Alaphilipe or so.
 
That exactly, I just not see Remco doing that, he is way too invested in his own glory.

I don’t blame him attacking but when they got caught he should have completely put himself to help Wout. What he said is that he almost immediately went into safe mode for the TT.

And it is not the media having too high expectations, it is his entourage who is not guiding him correctly in my opinion. Do not make him expect to be leader of the team all the time. Let him build up competition and experience by riding for Alaphilipe or so.
He has emptied himself in the past for a leader. Remember WCC 2019, where he did everything he could for Gilbert. Remember San Juan, where he gave up his podium while being the virtual leader, to drop back and pull for Alaphilippe. He isn't incapable of that.

He is just currently too impatient and, i think he was also disappointed in himself, because his body isn't doing what he wants it to do, which is hard to align with his burning ambition.
 
He has emptied himself in the past for a leader. Remember WCC 2019, where he did everything he could for Gilbert. Remember San Juan, where he gave up his podium while being the virtual leader, to drop back and pull for Alaphilippe. He isn't incapable of that.

He is just currently too impatient and, i think he was also disappointed in himself, because his body isn't doing what he wants it to do, which is hard to align with his burning ambition.
It will be interesting to see if he matures as a result of his experiences this year, or if he just sinks into a hubris machine. Obviously hoping for the former. But what a way to get this experience ... ouch!
 
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Remco was just a catalogue of mistakes made by the Belgians in the RR - They should have had two or three fresh riders to guide VWA up the Mikuno Pass and even better having one reaching the top alongside VWA - They seemed to react to attacks instead of pacing like Tratnik.
 
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Lefevere says Remco will not reach his top form anymore this year, and says he is still fighting an uphill battle, because he never got to build up a decent base past winter. He simply wasn't good enough during the road race. Remco told one of the team managers that he was feeling very good the first part of the race, but after 5 hours, he couldn't push the watts anymore that he was supposed to push. He says it's very hard, mentally, on Remco because he is doing the best he can, but he's simply pushing his limits, and for that reason it doesn't make sense being hard on him or mad at him, because he's already very hard on himself and isn't lacking motivation or willingness.

They will need coming winter for a reboot. The rest of the season, he can try to make the best of it in the races that are still planned, but otherwise he'll have to drag himself into the winterbreak.
 
Yeah they were just too impatient and made many mistakes, also underestimating some stuff.

I truly believe in training he might have very good feeling and watts compared to his previous self. But in race that's very different, so they pushed him to the Giro where he really should've started with something like the Belgium Tour or similarly lower rated races. And then gradually build up. Riding the OS is not bad but it should also be with different expectations .

Same now with the TT. Just aim for top 10. That sounds very low, especially for Evenepoel, but it makes a more achievable step at this stage of his trajectory.
 
Lefevere says Remco will not reach his top form anymore this year, and says he is still fighting an uphill battle, because he never got to build up a decent base past winter. He simply wasn't good enough during the road race. Remco told one of the team managers that he was feeling very good the first part of the race, but after 5 hours, he couldn't push the watts anymore that he was supposed to push. He says it's very hard, mentally, on Remco because he is doing the best he can, but he's simply pushing his limits, and for that reason it doesn't make sense being hard on him or mad at him, because he's already very hard on himself and isn't lacking motivation or willingness.

They will need coming winter for a reboot. The rest of the season, he can try to make the best of it in the races that are still planned, but otherwise he'll have to drag himself into the winterbreak.
So the crash (and the way they responded to it) basically costs him one and half seasons. A solid base training in the first part of 2021 (instead of rushing for the Giro) would probably give him better chances in the second part of the year. Rushing with training at the end of 2020 was maybe even more costly.
 
Lefevere says Remco will not reach his top form anymore this year, and says he is still fighting an uphill battle, because he never got to build up a decent base past winter
all fair.

but even idiots like me who know nothing about the internal workings of a pro, basically pointed to his drop off after the first week of the giro as not having had the base winter miles.

if ignorant me could know that, wtf was their thinking!? I mean SERIOUSLY?

Y did they not use the spring and part of the summer to put in the base and target the fall instead? What was the rush? Because he had to beat some *** up “age-record” (Pog?). As I said, as soon as the crash happened, everything had to be recalibrated. The most important is that they nurture POSSIBLY one of the greatest talents back to full health. Instead they completely EFFED UP.

it does not bode well when he basically has nothing but yes-men giving him “guidance”.

And he is getting some nasty comments on social media. Sure. Because the whole arrogance of it all is beginning to grate even with his fans and those who want to see that potential come to full fruition (and I am one).

ALL of this was avoidable.

I wish he were at Ineos frankly. However much I do not like that team, they definitely would have taken care of him.

and just note the difference with Pog. Double-winner of the TDF at age 22 who still says he is thrilled to have got a a bronze medal. I am NOT a Pog fan, but note the difference in accepting defeat.

remco is young. He needed REAL guidance. And it should have started at the very latest when he did that brush-off on his shoulder. They should have sat him down and read him the riot act.
 
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Most reactions on the HLN article about REv are harsh, claiming he is overrated and not suited to be a leader in the OS RR. Apparently these people have very short attention spans, because I saw a rider the past two seasons whose endurance was exceptional and who was an elite climber, even on steep slopes (Burgos, San Sebastian).
Mentally, it has to be very hard for him to not be able to get close to his pre-crash form. I think we can all agree that with his 2020 form he would have been part of the lead group in the OS RR.

I'm also annoyed by people who claim to know how REvs recovery should have been handled. I don't know and neither do you.
Currently, there are only questions. Will he ever regain his old form and what is the right way forward? Is there permanent physical damage?
Lefeveres choices to slow down a bit for the rest of the season seem to make sense to me. The sky used to be the limit and it isn't any more. Ambitions have to be readjusted.

I sincerely hope that we'll get to see the pre-crash REv. I still consider him to be the biggest and most exciting talent that I have ever seen. It would be a terrible shame if he couldn't exploit his potential.
 
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I'm also annoyed by people who claim to know how REvs recovery should have been handled. I don't know and neither do you.
Currently, there are only questions. Will he ever regain his old form and what is the right way forward? Is there permanent physical damage?
Lefeveres choices to slow down a bit for the rest of the season seem to make sense to me. The sky used to be the limit and it isn't any more. Ambitions have to be readjusted.
Team management has fcked up on many counts. Lefevere said he would take care of him like his own son (a promise to Remco's mother), i would like to know how he raised his children. First season's schedule was "fine". But they failed to address the elephant in the room, his lack of experience (even as a first year pro) and his glaring lack of skills. They knew who they took on board, a kid with a burning ambition, a genetic freak, but with many shortcomings. In between his crash in Adriatica Ionica and the sterrati stage in the Giro (nearly 2 years in between) they did diddly squat at improving his bikehandling skills. He crashed on sterrati in July 2019, he had improved 0% by May 2021. After his crash in Lombardia, where they sht the bed again by not having trained extensively on his downhill skills and by not calming him down in the race, they sent him off on his own to Spain to recover :sweatsmile:. Then after some months of radio silence "Remco relapsed". Lefevere can pretend like he predicted this, but if he really did, he would have stepped in THEN AND THERE. "Sorry Remco, after your relapse, the Giro is no longer feasible, aim for the Olympics/Vuelta instead and work on your base form".

The team and Lefevere get a lot of flack for other things that get blown out of proportion, but with Evenepoel, they don't get nearly enough. They signed an inexperienced 18 year old who missed years of training and they did nothing to nurture him. They could have prevented his crash had they taken his shortcomings seriously. They could have prevented his relapse had they taken his recovery seriously. And at a time where it started to become clear that public opinion of him started to get tainted, they did very little to keep him away from the press, which is not surprising with a press attaché who is more concerned with looking like a fashion model on Instagram.

That's why i find the hate and ridicule that Remco is getting, both here and elsewhere, completely unjustified. Physically, he's (or at least was) as much of an outlier as any. But he was a diamond in the rough and needed polish. But it was team management that completely dropped the ball at every turn. That's where the team failed. Nobody here can say how his recovery should have been handled, but we can all see that it has been handled poorly. They have done nothing but downplay his lack of skills and experience every chance they got. The notion got ridiculed.
 
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