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

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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.
Are you suggesting that Remco should change teams ?
I heard a story about him when he was playing football. The team and coaches thought the players should rest and a training session got cancelled. Remco went out and ran half a marathon instead.

Of course the team has some responsibility to develop and protect their rider. DQS has always been pretty good at this, so I find it unbelievable that they somehow failed to do this completely and deserve all the blame in this story. There is some information missing here and I think only Remco might have the answers to that.

And with the mentally suffering part. For the first time in his life he hit a wall with the crash and had to stop what he was doing. Sidelined for months. Complications in the recovery. A humbling experience that he will hopefully grow from and not break him down. Add that to the pressure and expectations people and himself have on him. Not easy. To be successful the mental aspect might be even more important than just being in good shape.
It was the day after a match. The trainers never strictly forbade players to do something else as far as i know. What made the story special was the fact that he ran 13th overall (open class) without any preparation or specific training.

It's also not the first time he's had to cope with a huge setback mentally. When he was 13 or 14 he left PSV to be closer to home because his mother was very ill (i think it was cancer). When he was 17, he quit football all together, because he got sidelined at Anderlecht without proper explanation.

He is also not a 10 year old who needs to be asked every day how he is feeling.

The only way that the team could have mismanaged the recovery process was giving Evenepoel zero training guidance and cutting off all the communication with him. And somehow I doubt that this was the case. Or that the team told him to ignore the pain and just to keep on riding.

Lefevere apparantly got mad at his medical team because they screwed up when he was allowed to go to Spain, so i think they... might actually have screwed up?

I think he's also experiencing that the peloton is going much faster now than in the first half of 2020.

It didn't seem to bother him the first 10 days of the Giro though. He set the course record in the Algarve TT and fastest time on Picon Blanco, both in 2020 by the way.
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I think he's also experiencing that overall there is a different speed at the GT's compared to week long stage races, different speed after rest days, different speed in OG year, at the Worlds aso. I think that his team is almost the best in one day races, maybe not best/built around him just yet for GT gc purpose, but is not a problem since RE is at least as much limiter for success as his team is. Plenty of work.
They weren't going super fast then. It only became a big talking point in the Dauphine.
actually according to riders interviewed on the cycling podcast from the start of that season, they said the peloton was absolutely on fire in every race because everyone wanted to win or be seen (contract year?) before everything might get shut down. So no one was taking any race off or for training.
Yeah sad to see that team is not taking another GT road here. Maybe they're taking step back a bit. TdF and Vuelta maybe for 2022 but not Giro. For Giro one could benefit from Vuelta in previous year.
I believe @Logic-is-your-friend has posted that the plan is indeed the giro. It seemed to me the most logical. An entire winter devoted correctly. And we can hope for more normal amount of TT.

based on that a tilt at the Tdf in 2023 seems perfectly in line.

Reactions: Carrick-On-Seine
9th place is decent still.

His schedule will be:
binckbank tour
tour of denmark
european championships

he said that the worlds suit Wout and yves better….

I just wish quickstep would let him race more, because In my opinion this is what Remco is lacking. He would not podium in the vuelta but gosh he could learn so much..
Reactions: Sandisfan
Assuming his form is good he should be selected for the world's - He can be a wildcard on that course.
Remco is aiming for the European TT title, so Belgium can get a third spot for the World's. If that plan succeeds, Lampaert, Evenepoel and Van Aert are due to be selected (according to Remco). Otherwise it probably depends, Lampaert might be better than Remco if his form doesn't improve.
Obviously i quietly hoped for more, but after his RR and the rest of the season i guess this makes sense. Already mentioned this in the Olympic TT thread, but all the young guys basically "cracked" today. Almeida, Foss, Vlasov and McNulty finished between 1m13s and 2m37s down on Evenepoel.
I don't think it's just age. Keep in mind that McNulty went balls deep in the road race. Looks like he didn't recover from that monster effort. Which is normal.

Almeida didn't soft pedal the road race either, but doesn't seem to be on very good form. But, I guess, went all out.

Foss and Vlasov were terrible in both races, though.
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I don't think it's just age. Keep in mind that McNulty went balls deep in the road race. Looks like he didn't recover from that monster effort. Which is normal.

Almeida didn't soft pedal the road race either, but doesn't seem to be on very good form. But, I guess, went all out.

Foss and Vlasov were terrible in both races, though.
Almeida, Foss and Vlasov all raced the Giro for the gc and only rode their respective NCs since them.
Abou Remco, didn't he use a clearly smaller big ring than most of the top guys? That was probably the wrong pick.
Reactions: 18-Valve. (pithy)