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

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To me, I expect:

Remco = Hinault

Strong and steady in mountains.
Dominant among GCers in ITTs.
Similar attitude.

Hinault benefitted from well over 100kms in ITT per GT.

He also benefitted from competition past its prime that belonged to the previous era: Zoetemelk, Van Impe and Agostinho all competitors that Merckx had crushed. Only when up against a newer generation did Hinault then show his limits. He was the only real GC rider to come out of his own generation

The generational competition for Remco is way more challenging.

Now, fully healthy and prepped properly, if Remco cannot last 3 weeks or successive mountain climbs, then yes I would be disappointed and surprised.
 
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I don't see it realistic that he could straight hit the podium in GC. Stage(s) yes, but gc podium is just unkown as three weeks is something different and his year to year racing base (amount of racing days/stage racing days) is somewhat thin still. Same goal as earlier, most important is to finish complete GT first to get three week stress inside his body. Failed 2021, probably because team and himself set wrong targets. Team should not let him climb off from the race. He would have been magnitudes more challenger for any GT this season if he had that Giro in his body. No shortcuts. After all it's 'normal' that (shortish) training season between racing seasons go fine, these people have big pro team staff built around for that purpose, to make that happen. Accumulation of racing days and amount of GT*s is the real evolution tool.
 
Personally and if he stays healthy:

  • riding the final in LBL: so presumably top 15 finish
  • top 5 in Brabantse Pijl
  • top 3 GC in one of the bigger one week races (Tirreno or Suisse)
  • win at least one of the smaller races (Norway, Algarve, Burgos, ...)
  • Top 5 GC in Vuelta or if he doesn't go for GC stagewins and perhaps mountain jersey

or is this to steep?
 
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The biggest challenge for him will be consistency and reliability at a WT level. He should focus on the big races, instead of grabbing lots of wins in minor races. If he grabs various top-10s, 5s, and a couple of podiums in key races I would already have his season a success and a huge learning year. Also, please go to the Vuelta but with an open mind; if GT is not going in his favor that's fine, go for stages or work for a teammate if there is one with good chances of getting a good spot.
 
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A satisfactory season would be:
  • World tour stage race podium
  • 2 minor stage race GCs
  • win any one day race
  • Top 10 in a monument
  • Top 10 Vuelta
I expect a big, one day win somewhere, maybe winning TdS given there will be no Pog and Rog in attendance, top 5 in La Vuelta with a stage win. The realistic goal for the Vuelta if he arrives there with good preparation and shape should be to lose only to the Slovenian superstars and Carapaz. I don't see anyone else with his potential if ready to go.
 
A satisfactory season would be:
  • World tour stage race podium
  • 2 minor stage race GCs
  • win any one day race
  • Top 10 in a monument
  • Top 10 Vuelta
I expect a big, one day win somewhere, maybe winning TdS given there will be no Pog and Rog in attendance, top 5 in La Vuelta with a stage win. The realistic goal for the Vuelta if he arrives there with good preparation and shape should be to lose only to the Slovenian superstars and Carapaz. I don't see anyone else with his potential if ready to go.
He has the potential, but we haven't seen any sort of the consistency you need to land a big result in a GT - so I think that there's still a bunch of guys between him and the Slovenians. It doesn't mean that I don't think that he can land a big result in the Vuelta, but for me, Almeida, Haig, Mas, and O'Connor are all more "favorite" than him on a GT*

*These are just names from the current PCS startlist.
 
He has the potential, but we haven't seen any sort of the consistency you need to land a big result in a GT - so I think that there's still a bunch of guys between him and the Slovenians. It doesn't mean that I don't think that he can land a big result in the Vuelta, but for me, Almeida, Haig, Mas, and O'Connor are all more "favorite" than him on a GT*

*These are just names from the current PCS startlist.
You haven't seen "any sort" of the consistency you need to land a big result in a GT? Winning 1 week races back to back with less than a week in between, and being inside the top 10 of the Giro for over two weeks isn't "any sort" of consistency? When you say Haig and O'Connor are "more favorite" than him, does that also mean you would put your money on them winning a GT rather than him? Assuming Roglic and Pogacar both do the Vuelta with something akin to full form (considering they rode the Tour), and you had to pick one person that could possibly beat them, would you pick Haig and O'Connor before Evenepoel? Or by "more favorite" do you mean to finish inside the top 10?

I don't see it realistic that he could straight hit the podium in GC. Stage(s) yes, but gc podium is just unkown as three weeks is something different and his year to year racing base (amount of racing days/stage racing days) is somewhat thin still. Same goal as earlier, most important is to finish complete GT first to get three week stress inside his body. Failed 2021, probably because team and himself set wrong targets. Team should not let him climb off from the race. He would have been magnitudes more challenger for any GT this season if he had that Giro in his body. No shortcuts. After all it's 'normal' that (shortish) training season between racing seasons go fine, these people have big pro team staff built around for that purpose, to make that happen. Accumulation of racing days and amount of GT*s is the real evolution tool.
Why exactly isn't it realistic that he "could"? You are making a huge deal about finishing a GT first. So because he only did 18 days in the Giro out of 21 (with one of those remaining days being a TT), it's impossible, even if he was in the top 10 for 15 of those 18 days? Mas finished 2nd in the Vuelta after finishing 77th in his first. I doubt Mas put his body through more stress his first year. Pogacar finished on the podium on his first try. Andy Schleck did it as well. Gesink, Almeida and plenty of others finished well inside the top 10, that with a different scenario, more could have been possible. So because Evenepoel didn't get to softpedal two more stages and do a 30 minute effort in a TT, last May, that means there now is no chance in hell he could finish on the podium. Legit.
 
Personally and if he stays healthy:

  • riding the final in LBL: so presumably top 15 finish
  • top 5 in Brabantse Pijl
  • top 3 GC in one of the bigger one week races (Tirreno or Suisse)
  • win at least one of the smaller races (Norway, Algarve, Burgos, ...)
  • Top 5 GC in Vuelta or if he doesn't go for GC stagewins and perhaps mountain jersey
or is this to steep?
That type of year would be an abject failure for him. That is what was largely expected 2 years ago. He needs to take the next step.

Last year, he didn't have the base form to go as deep as he did on the Sterrato stage. He simply didn't have the form he showed for the first 11 stages after that effort, when he went head to head with Bernal, including in the mountains. He then won the week long non pro tour stage races with ease
 
He has the potential, but we haven't seen any sort of the consistency you need to land a big result in a GT - so I think that there's still a bunch of guys between him and the Slovenians. It doesn't mean that I don't think that he can land a big result in the Vuelta, but for me, Almeida, Haig, Mas, and O'Connor are all more "favorite" than him on a GT*

*These are just names from the current PCS startlist.
Remind us which stage races those guys have won. Only Mas has a GT podium from that list so I would respect those riders but not place them ahead of Remco in the most likely to podium stakes.
 
You haven't seen "any sort" of the consistency you need to land a big result in a GT? Winning 1 week races back to back with less than a week in between, and being inside the top 10 of the Giro for over two weeks isn't "any sort" of consistency? When you say Haig and O'Connor are "more favorite" than him, does that also mean you would put your money on them winning a GT rather than him? Assuming Roglic and Pogacar both do the Vuelta with something akin to full form (considering they rode the Tour), and you had to pick one person that could possibly beat them, would you pick Haig and O'Connor before Evenepoel? Or by "more favorite" do you mean to finish inside the top 10?


Why exactly isn't it realistic that he "could"? You are making a huge deal about finishing a GT first. So because he only did 18 days in the Giro out of 21 (with one of those remaining days being a TT), it's impossible, even if he was in the top 10 for 15 of those 18 days? Mas finished 2nd in the Vuelta after finishing 77th in his first. I doubt Mas put his body through more stress his first year. Pogacar finished on the podium on his first try. Andy Schleck did it as well. Gesink, Almeida and plenty of others finished well inside the top 10, that with a different scenario, more could have been possible. So because Evenepoel didn't get to softpedal two more stages and do a 30 minute effort in a TT, last May, that means there now is no chance in hell he could finish on the podium. Legit.
It seems to me that a 6th place in the Vuelta would disappoint your revealed expectations.
 
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Remind us which stage races those guys have won. Only Mas has a GT podium from that list so I would respect those riders but not place them ahead of Remco in the most likely to podium stakes.
Reminder: Almeida won Poland and Luxembourg, Mas won Guangxi, O'Connor won a stage race in New Zealand and Mas won a stage race in France ahead of a GT winner and one in Portugal.

Also, Haig finished on the podium in the most recent GT.
 
Given that several here thought he could win the Giro in 2020 if not for his crash, wouldn’t you expect him two years later to be stronger in the upcoming Vuelta? What do your expectations about the Vuelta imply for the contra factual 2020?
 
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I don't see it realistic that he could straight hit the podium in GC. Stage(s) yes, but gc podium is just unkown as three weeks is something different and his year to year racing base (amount of racing days/stage racing days) is somewhat thin still. Same goal as earlier, most important is to finish complete GT first to get three week stress inside his body. Failed 2021, probably because team and himself set wrong targets. Team should not let him climb off from the race. He would have been magnitudes more challenger for any GT this season if he had that Giro in his body. No shortcuts. After all it's 'normal' that (shortish) training season between racing seasons go fine, these people have big pro team staff built around for that purpose, to make that happen. Accumulation of racing days and amount of GT*s is the real evolution tool.
I don't think Evenepoel gave up in the Giro because he couldn't ride a podium anymore. But because he went under mentally and physically. Riding further did not seem responsible to me. And might have jeopardized the rest of the season, or even his career.
 
It seems to me you might have difficulty understanding the difference between what one might expect, hope, be disappointed with, or deem possible?
Disappointment is a matter of degree. If something is lower (or whatever relevant metric) than one's expectations, it's disappointing. Maybe only a little, maybe a lot.

I see wildly different/incoherent/fuzzy expectations, so I try to make them clearer and more coherent. Why the great aversion towards making clear what your expectations are? It's clearly not like you don't have any.

EDIT: Do you still think he could have won the 2020 Giro, and how likely do you think it would have been for him to end up on the podium then? That is, what is your in retrospect updated expectations for that Giro?
 
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Reactions: Sandisfan
If he does have the physical attributes to become a future GT winner, he should easily be in the podium contention in the Vuelta barring any stupid mistakes or accidents. Given the overall level he has shown both before and after his injury and with proper preseason as well as experience from couple of the biggest one-week stage races under his belt by the time Vuelta comes around and last but not least the fact he is specifically targeting the Vuelta, while most other contenders come off the back of the Tour or try to build a new peak after the Giro, Remco really should not be languishing somewhere low down the top 10 or worse if he does indeed have the knack for GT-s.
 
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