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

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I think that 95% of the people who discuss this "Remco vs Wout battle" haven't actually seen the Extra Time show. While De Wolf and Van der Poel were questioning the tactics and De Wolf in a very blunt way, Remco was very mature and honest in his answers and was not questioning the coach. Yes, he had some doubts about his own role and he was also honest in telling the coach during the race (while being in a great spot) that his legs where very good but the coach confirmed that they would still go all-in for Wout with Jasper apparantly as a fall back and not him. It was only then that things where absolutely clear for him. To me this means that, before that moment, Vanthourenout never said in very clear words that Remco was only there to help. Remco was fine with it. He actually said that it was better this way. Of course, in the end he was disappointed that there was no medal for Belgium while there were opportunities (for him and Jasper). He had hoped that Wout was honest about his "bad legs" from the moment he felt it.

To me, it looks like the media wants to polarise things. It helps in selling articles. They also know that Remco is very open in his communication, something I like about him but that can be misused. I can also imagine that Wout, being emotionally involved, was not at all pleased with the show and in particular with the words of De Wolf. If he listened carefully, he would understand that Remco was not making a 180 degree turn. Both have clashed indirectly before when Remco made that comment about Groenewegen after his crash with Jacobsen. I think we will see more of this in the future and Remco will probably end up being the "bad guy" every single time, not because of who he his but due to his direct style of communication. If you can't do good after putting aside your own ambitions and going all-in for the team, there is little more you can do besides keeping your mouth shut. However, I think (and hope) he will never do that.
Several folks have now said similar things who watched the show. Thanks for adding in this perspective, it seems to keep getting lost in some folks' fervor to blame the media while stirring the pot themselves.
 
Sorry to bring this up again, but I'm annoyed by the man's standing...
Are you sorry? It seems rather you want to continue to remind us all of one idiotic thing he did, no? I'm sure glad cell phone cameras weren't around when I was that age. The purity test thing is getting a bit out of hand. It is possible to be a very nice person and still have done something like this. I don't think people need to be pilloried for one episode of wrong-think or wrong-doing every time their name is mentioned.
 
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I find it highly peculiar that Van Aert is responding to Evenepoel, as if Evenepoel personally insulted Van Aert. Evenepoel simply answered questions that were asked by the talkshow host and other guests and did that quite serenely. He didn't lay blame on Van Aert, but simply said what happened and his words implicated the national coach much rather than Van Aert. Van Aert's dig in the press "he had to say he believed in Remco because he had no other choice" especially i find nothing short of repulsive. The irony being that he blames Evenepoel for agreeing with the team tactics at first, and not after. I'm sure Evenepoel could say the same thing "he had to say he was 100% behind the team tactics because he had no other choice", which in Evenepoel's case, would actually be true, considering all the sh!t he'd been getting, weeks in advance, by the likes of Merckx, Vandeweghe, random journalists and even Vanthourenhout, the national coach, saying "if he doubted Evenepoel in the slightest (for (not) obeying) he would not have selected him". Evenepoel was being gagged and ostracized days, maybe weeks in advance. And then the childishly "liking" of tweets that criticize Evenepoel.

Furthermore, what exactly was Evenepoel being told when they added him to the team? "Wout is our leader, everybody will ride to make him worldchampion"? Or did they explicitly say "Wout and only Wout can become worldchampion, and if you are in a position to win, we want you to squeeze your brakes"? What exactly are we talking about here? Isn't it quite common in cycling that someone other than the designated leader gets in the position to win because a different scenario has unfolded, which could not be foreseen beforehand? Aren't you supposed to be tactically flexible enough, to deal with those conditions? Evenepoel rides for DQT, a team known for winning, even with their 2nd, 3rd or 4th guy. Even if their leader is the race favorite. Evenepoel won his first WT race he ever completed, he was only 3rd in line that day at DQT, but you can see him talking to Devenyns a moment before jumping in Skujins wheel, so it wasn't a rogue move. The team knew Evenepoel was slower at the finish, yet they protected his effort and he won.

It's clear Vanthourenhout had a plan well in advance and lacked the tactical and strategical skills to fit a disruptor like Evenepoel into that concept once it became clear he was nearing his best form in August. While Evenepoel could have been invaluable if used correctly, increasing the chances of the nation to get a gold medal, be it with Van Aert or Evenepoel or whoever had the legs and got himself in that position. It seems Vanthourenhout wasn't concerned with winning gold for Belgium, but rather winning gold with Van Aert. Van Aert said in the press conference it was up to Evenepoel to attack, because other teams feared what he could do, but that that tactic was always in order to get Van Aert in a more advantageous position. Implying other teams would chase Evenepoel. But by denying Evenepoel the possibility to ride for victory in such a scenario and outright stating he shouldn't be able to win, would make the entire thing moot. Why would anyone chase Evenepoel if he isn't allowed to win to begin with? And yet the Italians chased Evenepoel, because they, just like everyone else in the world not called Vanthourenhout, Van Aert or Merckx, understood that he did actually pose a threat and should be given the freedom to do so. Because no-one in their right mind would assume he was NOT allowed to ride for himself in case he got in that position. No one in their right mind.

So i find it quite odd, that Van Aert would feel the need to play alpha-male, while he might be better served with some introspection, after the team tactics that were designed around him as well as he himself, failed so miserably. Evenepoel is being blamed for asking if in a certain scenario, he would get the freedom to ride for victory. I'd like to meet the first rider to have legs to win a WCC, not having any ambition to win, or not making sure if he is really under no condition supposed to win? You could easily flip the argument and state that if you are as good as he was, and you do NOT inform the coach of how good you're feeling and whether there isn't a slightest chance you could ride for yourself, that you could be criticized for a lack of ambition. For not being a winner.

Is it possible Evenepoel said to himself "I 'm not allowed to win no matter what, but you want me to ride? Ok, i'll ride", and put his frustration into that ride. Sure. And i would totally understand it if that were the case and wouldn't blame him. Team tactics were a joke and the entire premise was hypocritical to boot. This wasn't team Belgium, it was team Van Aert. And team Van Aert failed and should eat some humble pie.
 
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I think any rider should be given a freedom that if put in a position where he can with a certain degree of probability go for the win, he can go for it. Especially in the context of national teams where riders are not actually paid to do domestique service… However Remco asked his coach beforehand if he is allowed to win in that case - and the question itself implies he would be seeking that kind of position for himself, quite possibly at the expense of work ping for Wout. Maybe that’s the reason the coach said no - to try to ensure Remco would indeed be working for Wout instead of focusing of getting his chance.

Ironically, that’s what he ended up doing in my opinion. The way I understood the race was Remco actually didn’t just cover the attacks and make Italians work but rather than that he was looking for a position where it would be impossible for his coach to deny him to go for it… only after 58 km to go did Remco completely commit to the Wout cause.

And by the way, I totally agree with Remco’s approach to be honest. After all, Wout was not honest by hiding the fact he doesn’t have the legs, so Remco was maybe not completely honest when he was supposedly working for Wout while in reality he was looking for his own opportunities. The consequence was that Remco was not available at the end to help Wout but from perspective of wanting Wout to win, it wouldn’t matter anyway because Wout didn’t have the legs to win. He wouldn’t be beaten just by Alpaphilippe anyway… It would however, matter from the perspective of wanting Belgian team to win because if Remco hadn’t burnt himself trying to look for opportunities 180 km to go, he could have attacked himself once Wout finally admitted he didn’t have the legs…

So what Wout should focus on here is not if Remco did in fact sincerely work for him all the time but rather than that answer a question why was he hiding the fact he had bad legs for so long. This actually did cost the Belgian team potential victory as opposed to how Remco was riding. But what “scares” me to a certain extent is that this question doesn’t even seem to cross Wout’s mind. He is a very rare case of self-absorbed person it appears…
 
Sorry to be mildly face blind but is the rider looking like "wtf are you doing?" your beloved Alvaro, or is it the Vakoc that went to Alpecin?
It's Hodeg and the reason I started to like him in the first place. (Had to research who the rider was at the time, too. :D )

Are you sorry? It seems rather you want to continue to remind us all of one idiotic thing he did, no? I'm sure glad cell phone cameras weren't around when I was that age. The purity test thing is getting a bit out of hand. It is possible to be a very nice person and still have done something like this. I don't think people need to be pilloried for one episode of wrong-think or wrong-doing every time their name is mentioned.
I would rather it never happened. So I'm sorry. Also sorry to go off topic. But it seems whenever Keisse is mentioned (often on German television as well) everybody tells me he's such a nice and smart guy, and because of this he will also be a DS. So it's not like people never forget this photo, instead it feels nobody cares about it. "Oh it was just one idiotic thing." It didn't do any damage to his career or public image, while when some riders claim leadership prematurely, or celebrate in the wrong way, or don't seem to work adequately for their supposed leader or whatever they get badly insulted and their reputation takes a hit - those seem to be bigger and more reprehensible doings for some people than a behaviour which was a totally disgusting show of a part of a person's character. And it's not even like he did something and it was caught on a photo by accident, he posed for this.
 
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I think any rider should be given a freedom that if put in a position where he can with a certain degree of probability go for the win, he can go for it. Especially in the context of national teams where riders are not actually paid to do domestique service… However Remco asked his coach beforehand if he is allowed to win in that case - and the question itself implies he would be seeking that kind of position for himself, quite possibly at the expense of work ping for Wout. Maybe that’s the reason the coach said no - to try to ensure Remco would indeed be working for Wout instead of focusing of getting his chance.

Ironically, that’s what he ended up doing in my opinion. The way I understood the race was Remco actually didn’t just cover the attacks and make Italians work but rather than that he was looking for a position where it would be impossible for his coach to deny him to go for it… only after 58 km to go did Remco completely commit to the Wout cause.

And by the way, I totally agree with Remco’s approach to be honest. After all, Wout was not honest by hiding the fact he doesn’t have the legs, so Remco was maybe not completely honest when he was supposedly working for Wout while in reality he was looking for his own opportunities. The consequence was that Remco was not available at the end to help Wout but from perspective of wanting Wout to win, it wouldn’t matter anyway because Wout didn’t have the legs to win. He wouldn’t be beaten just by Alpaphilippe anyway… It would however, matter from the perspective of wanting Belgian team to win because if Remco hadn’t burnt himself trying to look for opportunities 180 km to go, he could have attacked himself once Wout finally admitted he didn’t have the legs…

So what Wout should focus on here is not if Remco did in fact sincerely work for him all the time but rather than that answer a question why was he hiding the fact he had bad legs for so long. This actually did cost the Belgian team potential victory as opposed to how Remco was riding. But what “scares” me to a certain extent is that this question doesn’t even seem to cross Wout’s mind. He is a very rare case of self-absorbed person it appears…
I actually don't want to become a Wout-defender here, it wasn't great to state his leadership when that was clearly a thing the coach should do, neither seems his social media behaviour now the best.

But on the other hand I think we should not forget that he was the overwhelming favourite - not just because he talked himself up to that position, but because he was second last year, second in the Olympics this year while probably being the strongest and just not able to chase every single attack himself, had an incredible Tour where he seemed to win every stage he had set his sight on, was absolutely flying in his last preperation race, the ToB, and has a broad skillset which should, in theory, allow him to win in many scenarios.

It's not unheard of that you have a one-leader approach, even in national teams. France went for Alaphilippe in 2018 and '19, when in both cases, in the end, someone else would have been better (Red Rick was right, 18 it was Pinot, but Bardet wasn't bad either), in 19 they might probably have better brought someone like Démare in hindsight - but that didn't make them question Alaphilippe, they still went all in for him in 20. And it worked out.
I can especially understand van Aert's sentiments after the Olympics, where he was amazing, but still not able to win that gold he has now missed quite often - he must have felt what he needed were more team-mates around.
So, he could have done things better, he could do them better now.
But that he failed while he thought he'd be better- well, that just happens, to everyone. It doesn't mean that he isn't an incredible rider and that he didn't deserve the leader-role in the first place ( I just think they should have left the chance for a true Evenepoel-attack open). And that he didn't admit immediately he didn't have the legs - I would think that he thought "damn, I'm suffering, but it's just a hard race, the others are probably just as well on the limit, and if they dig deeper now they will pay for it soon, and if it comes to a sprint, I can still win that well". I've never raced myself, but how often do we hear that people are suffering, that they feel bad, but that then they just need to tell themselves that it's the same for the others.
And it took some time to realize and accept that the others were really stronger and a win for him wasn't possible.
 
I wouldn’t be too harsh on WvA, as he probably lived in the (idle) hope that everyone would be tired enough not to attack like Alaphilippe in the final laps, so he gave himself still a decent shot at winning.
That’s a mistake but one in the race and an understandable one.

What I find less understandable is the (mis)understandings between Evenepoel and the coach, and more in general, the tactical plan laid out by the coach (as logic-is-my-friend explained above). Remco can be forgiven for interpreting a tactical plan a bit too enthusiastic (following attacks 180K out, and pulling a bit too hard in those groups). But Vanthourenhout is the one who should have briefed him more clearly and should have been a bit less persistent in declaring that it’s all for van Aert, when you have such a formidable attacker in your team. It seems like Vanthourenhout also wanted to make a point in the media the he is the coach, he decides,... Even if this attitude of being unflexible resulted in a subpar tactic.

I fear the team needs a good debriefing around a big screen, but I fear that this will lay bare Vanthourenhout’s tactical mishaps and will be painful to watch by most in the team. On the road, it probably felt like a race not to forget with all the public, but after the race, it probably feels a bit less satisfying…
 
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I'm not so sure about him not knowing he has bad legs. With HRMs and power meters, they can evaluate their absolute performance now - they don't need to wait to start losing ground relative to others before they know they have a bad day anymore...
 
I'm not so sure about him not knowing he has bad legs. With HRMs and power meters, they can evaluate their absolute performance now - they don't need to wait to start losing ground relative to others before they know they have a bad day anymore...
You don't always know it all day. Riders often say they only know the best days when they hit the final.
 
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I find it highly peculiar that Van Aert is responding to Evenepoel, as if Evenepoel personally insulted Van Aert. Evenepoel simply answered questions that were asked by the talkshow host and other guests and did that quite serenely. He didn't lay blame on Van Aert, but simply said what happened and his words implicated the national coach much rather than Van Aert.
We don't know if Evenepoel told the 100% truth in that talk show. Yes, Evenepoel was almost soft-spoken and appeared quite humble, but he knows how the media works by now. He's not this new kid on the block anymore. He, like WVA, knows exactly what he's doing. He knew those questions were coming. That he would be provoked.

I find it somewhat hard to believe that Evenepoel didn't know that the coach only wanted him in a support role, until shortly before the race. That he was confused and had to ask him and only then got a "no". Come on. It seems even Merckx was aware that that was the plan.

So I can understand that WVA took it as a personal slight when Remco said otherwise on national TV. As if Remco didn't know what he'd signed up for.
 
The way I see things what matters is how you react after someone has done something bad. That goes for Keisse and DQS and Lefevere after that incident, and it goes for Wout and for the Belgian team director after worlds.

Anyone who wants to be a leader faces up to their own mistakes but also to the mistakes of those below them in a hierarchy.

Really cycling seems to have a lot of bad "leaders" or aspirational "leaders" and Belgium seems to be the worst.*

Kiddo Remco is in a quite dysfunctional family and in this mess he has the least responsibility due to his position in either company.

Imo this goes for any company and one doesn't even have to know *** about cycling to see it.

*(Language is complicated; I don't mean "the worst" necessarily in a comparing meaning but as in "you're the worst" ie really bad)
 
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How did Van Aert not act as leader? How should he have acted? Other than "he should have said earlier he wasnt feeling good".

Instead he actually committed to his leadership all the way to the end. I think a lot of people are twisting this to be selfish of him, but from another perspective it is also about not giving up and doing your best with the given opportunity. It easy to say he shouldnt have had that leadership, just because he didnt win. He took that pressure on himself though, and that is what a leader does.

Van Aert was in the finale of the race with a small group of riders. All on the limit. Maybe he still hoped there was a chance. It is not easy to stop and think in the moment about how you are feeling compared to everyone else. To be able to judge or gauge it. At that moment, you gotta just commit to the cause. You only know when someone accelerate like Ala did, and you cant follow, that it is too late. It was not your day.

I also honestly think Remco drove himself into pieces just to show how strong he was. Whether that was eagerness from his side, bad communication or bad tactics from the team... can be discussed until the end of time.

It was his first WC road race as a pro, that he finished. His time will come and he surely gained a lot of experience from this race and the EC race before that.

I think we will see him in the rainbow colors one day.
"he should have said earlier he wasnt feeling good". That's exactly what it's about. That's makes the difference between a great champion and a good rider. Meanwhile in Belgium it has become more and more clear on the basis of testimonials and reconstructions that it was actually the intention of the national coach and Van Aert to simply eliminate Evenepoel. Which is very mean. And forgetting that they also eliminated Van Aert as well. Because even with good legs Van Aert wouldn't have beaten Ala like that, without the help of Evenepoel in the final. Furthermore, it is a fact that in Belgium the tenor has completely changed. The national coach has lost his credit. And Evenepoel is now the new favorite of the neutral Belgians.
 
So what Wout should focus on here is not if Remco did in fact sincerely work for him all the time but rather than that answer a question why was he hiding the fact he had bad legs for so long. This actually did cost the Belgian team potential victory as opposed to how Remco was riding. But what “scares” me to a certain extent is that this question doesn’t even seem to cross Wout’s mind. He is a very rare case of self-absorbed person it appears…
That's the sense I've gotten from his interviews. He seems to think the world owes him something, but the world doesn't owe anybody anything. Every race is a new story and you need to prove you have the form to be the leader, especially in national team situations when nobody is paid to work for anybody. Rather it's only the call of duty and responsibility within reason (which is why you must have a plan B) that are the biding requisites. Wout also seems the type who would bully those around him if he suspected disloyalty, except that probably wouldn't work with Remco who can defend himself fiercely.

I believe Remco was doing what he was told in entering into the early breaks and working from 180k out, to make other nations work hard to pull him back. Again he was deployed from 50 k out to augment the front group's lead and deter further attacks, but Belgium's use of Remco is inexplicable by any tactical standards. For he should have been told to just shepherd Van Aert till the last 50 k and then play the stopper's role from there until the Leuven circuits, at which point he very well could have been prepared to take Stuyven's position, when Wout finally admitted he was not on the best of days.

The only explanation for Belgium's egregious tactical error, is that Van Aert was able to apply the necessary pressure to bear and make Vanthourenhout cave into to his every will in ensuring that under no circumstances was Remco to be in a position to win, even if that meant loosing everything for Belgium as was the case. If this was (likely) the case, then Van Aert is a selfish, arrogant and mean-spirited rider.
 
The only explanation for Belgium's egregious tactical error, is that Van Aert was able to apply the necessary pressure to bear and make Vanthourenhout cave into to his every will in ensuring that under no circumstances was Remco to be in a position to win, even if that meant loosing everything for Belgium as was the case. If this was (likely) the case, then Van Aert is a selfish, arrogant and mean-spirited rider.
Can we be sure that Remco pulling 180-100 km to go was not in fact Remco (at least partly) going rogue? Because that would mean it was not in fact Belgium's tactics but Remco's looking for opportunities... But I think until this point in time - Wout would have surely pointed that out already.
 
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That's the sense I've gotten from his interviews. He seems to think the world owes him something, but the world doesn't owe anybody anything. Every race is a new story and you need to prove you have the form to be the leader, especially in national team situations when nobody is paid to work for anybody. Rather it's only the call of duty and responsibility within reason (which is why you must have a plan B) that are the biding requisites. Wout also seems the type who would bully those around him if he suspected disloyalty, except that probably wouldn't work with Remco who can defend himself fiercely.

I believe Remco was doing what he was told in entering into the early breaks and working from 180k out, to make other nations work hard to pull him back. Again he was deployed from 50 k out to augment the front group's lead and deter further attacks, but Belgium's use of Remco is inexplicable by any tactical standards. For he should have been told to just shepherd Van Aert till the last 50 k and then play the stopper's role from there until the Leuven circuits, at which point he very well could have been prepared to take Stuyven's position, when Wout finally admitted he was not on the best of days.

The only explanation for Belgium's egregious tactical error, is that Van Aert was able to apply the necessary pressure to bear and make Vanthourenhout cave into to his every will in ensuring that under no circumstances was Remco to be in a position to win, even if that meant loosing everything for Belgium as was the case. If this was (likely) the case, then Van Aert is a selfish, arrogant and mean-spirited rider.
What if Roglic seems happier at Vuelta than at Tour cause there's no Wout van Aert to bully him?
 
That's the sense I've gotten from his interviews. He seems to think the world owes him something, but the world doesn't owe anybody anything. Every race is a new story and you need to prove you have the form to be the leader, especially in national team situations when nobody is paid to work for anybody. Rather it's only the call of duty and responsibility within reason (which is why you must have a plan B) that are the biding requisites. Wout also seems the type who would bully those around him if he suspected disloyalty, except that probably wouldn't work with Remco who can defend himself fiercely.

I believe Remco was doing what he was told in entering into the early breaks and working from 180k out, to make other nations work hard to pull him back. Again he was deployed from 50 k out to augment the front group's lead and deter further attacks, but Belgium's use of Remco is inexplicable by any tactical standards. For he should have been told to just shepherd Van Aert till the last 50 k and then play the stopper's role from there until the Leuven circuits, at which point he very well could have been prepared to take Stuyven's position, when Wout finally admitted he was not on the best of days.

The only explanation for Belgium's egregious tactical error, is that Van Aert was able to apply the necessary pressure to bear and make Vanthourenhout cave into to his every will in ensuring that under no circumstances was Remco to be in a position to win, even if that meant loosing everything for Belgium as was the case. If this was (likely) the case, then Van Aert is a selfish, arrogant and mean-spirited rider.
I totally agree. What you explain here and what I did before, was clearly the case. Vanthourenhout and Van Aert had an agreement to make it impossible for Evenepoel to win the race (and indeed to make it impossible to bring Evenepoel in a position to win the race). I don't think they had the idea it could mean that everything could be wrong for Belgium. Luckily this happened, so that it became clear how bad and false the national coach's course tactics were
 
Can we be sure that Remco pulling 180-100 km to go was not in fact Remco (at least partly) going rogue? Because that would mean it was not in fact Belgium's tactics but Remco's looking for opportunities... But I think until this point in time - Wout would have surely pointed that out already.
Not going rogue per se, but IMO it was clear that he was looking for opportunities for himself and hoping the race situation would sort itself out. There was no need to neutralize the Cosnefroy threat (lol). Cosnefroy is a very good rider, but attacking at like 200k out (lol), give me a freaking break.

What's funny to me is that almost everyone in Flanders thinks Evenepoel was the perfect teammate in this race. That any tactical errors on his part were because of Vanthourenhout's stupidity or Van Aert's vindictiveness.
 
If it was to punish Evenepoel for his comportment at the Olympic road race, then we can ad vendictive to that list.

To answer your question with another question: not being the stuff of a grand tour champion what reason would Wout have to bully?
I'm just joking. I don't doubt Van Aert wanted certain assurances after the ORR, and he could make these demands based on his form and previous performances in the ORR and WCRR.

I am not entirely sure what the communication had been like in the months and weeks leading up to the race between Evenepoel, Van Aert and Vantourenhout, but it's not Van Aerts job to stand up for Evenepoels chances.
 
Can we be sure that Remco pulling 180-100 km to go was not in fact Remco (at least partly) going rogue? Because that would mean it was not in fact Belgium's tactics but Remco's looking for opportunities... But I think until this point in time - Wout would have surely pointed that out already.
After the Olympics, no way. Plus it would have come out by now, had Remco gone rogue. After the Olympics and Merckx's comments, Remco would have been crucified in the Belgian press for any deviation from the plan. That he has especially not been accused by Van Aert and his DS of this, means we can safely conclude that Evenepoel was just following orders.
 
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Not going rogue per se, but IMO it was clear that he was looking for opportunities for himself and hoping the race situation would sort itself out. There was no need to neutralize the Cosnefroy threat (lol). Cosnefroy is a very good rider, but attacking at like 200k out (lol), give me a freaking break.

What's funny to me is that almost everyone in Flanders thinks Evenepoel was the perfect teammate in this race. That any tactical errors on his part were because of Vanthourenhout's stupidity or Van Aert's vindictiveness.
It depends on what was precisely communicated. My guess is Vanthourenhout was sufficiently vague about which breaks to react to for Evenepoel to have leeway to do whatever he likes within the boundaries of "neutralizing dangerous attacks".

Now it's not actually clear if Evenepoel was riding hoping to create an opportunity for himself or if he was just being a moron.
 
That's the sense I've gotten from his interviews. He seems to think the world owes him something, but the world doesn't owe anybody anything. Every race is a new story and you need to prove you have the form to be the leader, especially in national team situations when nobody is paid to work for anybody. Rather it's only the call of duty and responsibility within reason (which is why you must have a plan B) that are the biding requisites. Wout also seems the type who would bully those around him if he suspected disloyalty, except that probably wouldn't work with Remco who can defend himself fiercely.

I believe Remco was doing what he was told in entering into the early breaks and working from 180k out, to make other nations work hard to pull him back. Again he was deployed from 50 k out to augment the front group's lead and deter further attacks, but Belgium's use of Remco is inexplicable by any tactical standards. For he should have been told to just shepherd Van Aert till the last 50 k and then play the stopper's role from there until the Leuven circuits, at which point he very well could have been prepared to take Stuyven's position, when Wout finally admitted he was not on the best of days.

The only explanation for Belgium's egregious tactical error, is that Van Aert was able to apply the necessary pressure to bear and make Vanthourenhout cave into to his every will in ensuring that under no circumstances was Remco to be in a position to win, even if that meant loosing everything for Belgium as was the case. If this was (likely) the case, then Van Aert is a selfish, arrogant and mean-spirited rider.
Van Aert seems to think the entire team should ride for him.

That's the kind of support Armstrong/Contador/Froome received. Newsflash to Van Aert, he's nowhere near as good of a rider as those 3. Thus, he doesn't deserve that kind of team support.

To me, he seems like an improved Hincapie. Outstanding in the 1 day races and maybe short stage races, but in a GT, he is best as a super dom
 

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