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

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In the mean time the cycling pros are learning how to win stages when Remco races; sit in his wheel and in the last 500m sprint. Easy enough...
Without wanting to hype Remco too much:
In this field, he could have gone for a longer range attack on the first climb over the finish, only dragging some riders with him, and keep attacking before the foot of the last climb. Not saying he would have dropped them all for sure, but I feel he would have had better winning chances if he cooperated with e.g. Martinez over the top of the hill and tried to go solo after that penultimate climb. Now he rode conservatively in order not to risk his GC, ending up with faster finisheurs.
 
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He said yesterday that his next objective is Tirreno ITT stage, then hoping for a good GC based on the time he took on climbers. But he also said that staying ahead of Pogacar is little realistic seing the 2022 route.

Tirreno ITT is a14km flat race, with two straight lines of 6km and 8km (round trip along the see).
Ganna, Van Aert, Kung, Dennis, Roglic and Bisseger will all be in Paris-Nice, so a victory seems quite realistic but with what margin?

Based on what we saw during this race can we imagine something like 30" on riders like Pogacar, Vingegaard and alaphilippe?

If we check the 2021 EC and WCC that were flat races, Pogacar lost respectively 3" and 1.6" per km on Remco which would result in a 42" - 22" gap in Tirreno. But any comparison is difficult due to different conditions (Pogacar was back from a break, Remco was in a transition year). So both of them are likely to be better, but by how much.
 
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He said yesterday that his next objective is Tirreno ITT stage, then hoping for a good GC based on the time he took on climbers. But he also said that staying ahead of Pogacar is little realistic seing the 2022 route.

Tirreno ITT is a14km flat race, with two straight lines of 6km and 8km (round trip along the see).
Ganna, Van Aert, Kung, Dennis, Roglic and Bisseger will all be in Paris-Nice, so a victory seems quite realistic but with what margin?

Based on what we saw during this race can we imagine something like 30" on riders like Pogacar, Vingegaard and alaphilippe?

If we check the 2021 EC and WCC that were flat races, Pogacar lost respectively 3" and 1.6" per km on Remco which would result in a 42" - 22" gap in Tirreno. But any comparison is difficult due to different conditions (Pogacar was back from a break, Remco was in a transition year). So both of them are likely to be better, but by how much.

It'll depend on the wind. If there's a lot of headwind, it might be even more. If not, I think it'll only be a handfull of seconds.
I have yet to see him use his trademark, long range raid in hilly stage, to win a GC this year. I remember MVP doing a long range raid last year in Tirreno. Is the course similar?

One long range raid combined with a TT victory could also be enough bonus for GC.
 
It'll depend on the wind. If there's a lot of headwind, it might be even more. If not, I think it'll only be a handfull of seconds.
I have yet to see him use his trademark, long range raid in hilly stage, to win a GC this year. I remember MVP doing a long range raid last year in Tirreno. Is the course similar?

One long range raid combined with a TT victory could also be enough bonus for GC.
The "muro stage" in this years T-A is less difficult than last year, and comes before the mountain stage, which is also different from last year. This year has a final with 2x Monte Carpegna (6km@9.5% or so), last year it was a longer mtf with a gradient of 7% . That Monte Carpegna stage will be pivotal. If Pog is as good as last year, 30s in the tt won't be enough for Evenepoel.
 
Agree. I think Evenepoel will win the TT, but only with a few seconds (10 to 20) on Pogacar. Only IF Pogacar is in a good shape. We don't know how his form is, and whether he lost some time with the corona infection. If Pogacar is already among the better in UAE Tour, he will be near top in T-A. Then he is as good as unbeatable. Unless Evenepoel runs the risk of attacking from afar in a hill run. Like VDP last year. Risky, but it would make for a nice spectacle. If Evenepoel only rides defensively, then a top five place is the highest achievable. Because he won't be able to follow Pogacar and the best climbers on the steepest climbs anyway.
 
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Agree. I think Evenepoel will win the TT, but only with a few seconds (10 to 20) on Pogacar. Only IF Pogacar is in a good shape. We don't know how his form is, and whether he lost some time with the corona infection. If Pogacar is already among the better in UAE Tour, he will be near top in T-A. Then he is as good as unbeatable. Unless Evenepoel runs the risk of attacking from afar in a hill run. Like VDP last year. Risky, but it would make for a nice spectacle. If Evenepoel only rides defensively, then a top five place is the highest achievable. Because he won't be able to follow Pogacar and the best climbers on the steepest climbs anyway.

yup, i really think that 30 seconds in 13kms is really over-estimating. Tho i hope i am wrong for the interest of the race.
 
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Interesting article about the changes he made in TT position.


He said yesterday that his next objective is Tirreno ITT stage, then hoping for a good GC based on the time he took on climbers. But he also said that staying ahead of Pogacar is little realistic seing the 2022 route.

Tirreno ITT is a14km flat race, with two straight lines of 6km and 8km (round trip along the see).
Ganna, Van Aert, Kung, Dennis, Roglic and Bisseger will all be in Paris-Nice, so a victory seems quite realistic but with what margin?

Based on what we saw during this race can we imagine something like 30" on riders like Pogacar, Vingegaard and alaphilippe?

If we check the 2021 EC and WCC that were flat races, Pogacar lost respectively 3" and 1.6" per km on Remco which would result in a 42" - 22" gap in Tirreno. But any comparison is difficult due to different conditions (Pogacar was back from a break, Remco was in a transition year). So both of them are likely to be better, but by how much.

Pogacar was not in great form at the Euros. Pogacar should in theory also be better in shorter efforts comparatively given his better punching/sprinting ability.

On the other hand, Evenepoel in Algarve seems to have taken a step forward in TT. If we compare it to his TT two years ago, where he beat Dennis with 10' over 20k, Küng with 16', and guys like Schachmann and Lopez finishing at 38' iirc... Even extrapolating that 20 to 32k, the differences saturday were a lot bigger to known TTers (Küng, Hayter...). If he did work on his shorter efforts that might also be less of a disadvantage in a shorter TT.

I think a lot depends on how Pogacar shows up. He's had Covid recently, has he been able to train normally, is he behind on schedule etc. I think the best Remco vs the best Tadej on a 14k ITT, we might see something of a 15s gap under normal circumstances. Pogacar lost little over 1s/km to Van Aert in last year's Tirreno TT over 10k. If Evenepoel did improve both his TT position as well as his power on short efforts, and if Pogacar is not at top shape yet, maybe 30-35s. My guess would be around 20s, so not nearly enough, but i wouldn't be surprised if it were only 10s or even less. I would be surprised if he doesn't finish ahead of Pogacar.

It'll depend on the wind. If there's a lot of headwind, it might be even more. If not, I think it'll only be a handfull of seconds.
I have yet to see him use his trademark, long range raid in hilly stage, to win a GC this year. I remember MVP doing a long range raid last year in Tirreno. Is the course similar?

One long range raid combined with a TT victory could also be enough bonus for GC.
Van der Poel was a non-factor in the GC, that's why he was allowed to ride off so early in the race. He was also nearly caught by the time he got to the finish and completely emptied himself.
 
What's the competition outside of Pogacar anyway? I doubt Pogacar will matter very much cause I think he won't be close to him.
Top GC riders:

Pos.RiderTeamPointsGC Ranking position
1Pogačar TadejUAE Team Emirates12601
2Mas EnricMovistar Team8323
3Vingegaard JonasJumbo-Visma6787
4Porte RichieINEOS Grenadiers6558
5Carapaz RichardINEOS Grenadiers63211
6Kelderman WilcoBORA - hansgrohe61014
7Thomas GeraintINEOS Grenadiers60715
8Caruso DamianoBahrain - Victorious58616
9Evenepoel RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team56019
10Mohorič MatejBahrain - Victorious52123
11Wellens TimLotto Soudal44131
12Urán RigobertoEF Education-EasyPost39535
13Kuss SeppJumbo-Visma34047
14Nibali VincenzoAstana Qazaqstan Team33548
15Rodríguez CristiánTotalEnergies29056
 
Stage 4 at TA should also favor Remco. Finishing climb is ~4.2km at 6.7%ish gradient. Those are the gradients Remco shines on

Pog should have the advantage on the mountain stage, however

It really depends on Pogacar's form. Last year Pogacar destroyed the competition on a hilly stage in TA. If he has one of his mutant performances and it's cold then it's gave over. Then again, I'm not sure if he can be as good as last year so early in the season (I somewhat doubt it).
 
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Stage 4 at TA should also favor Remco. Finishing climb is ~4.2km at 6.7%ish gradient. Those are the gradients Remco shines on

Pog should have the advantage on the mountain stage, however
4k at 6.5% is not a climb he's going to drop Pogacar on. That's Foia level climbing. For the moment he should concentrate on not getting dropped himself. The only terrain i could see him drop Pogacar, is in rolling hills. Once he has a gap and can go into TT mode. I don't see Pogacar getting him back on his own easily.
 
Interesting article about the changes he made in TT position.




Pogacar was not in great form at the Euros. Pogacar should in theory also be better in shorter efforts comparatively given his better punching/sprinting ability.

On the other hand, Evenepoel in Algarve seems to have taken a step forward in TT. If we compare it to his TT two years ago, where he beat Dennis with 10' over 20k, Küng with 16', and guys like Schachmann and Lopez finishing at 38' iirc... Even extrapolating that 20 to 32k, the differences saturday were a lot bigger to known TTers (Küng, Hayter...). If he did work on his shorter efforts that might also be less of a disadvantage in a shorter TT.

I think a lot depends on how Pogacar shows up. He's had Covid recently, has he been able to train normally, is he behind on schedule etc. I think the best Remco vs the best Tadej on a 14k ITT, we might see something of a 15s gap under normal circumstances. Pogacar lost little over 1s/km to Van Aert in last year's Tirreno TT over 10k. If Evenepoel did improve both his TT position as well as his power on short efforts, and if Pogacar is not at top shape yet, maybe 30-35s. My guess would be around 20s, so not nearly enough, but i wouldn't be surprised if it were only 10s or even less. I would be surprised if he doesn't finish ahead of Pogacar.


Van der Poel was a non-factor in the GC, that's why he was allowed to ride off so early in the race. He was also nearly caught by the time he got to the finish and completely emptied himself.
What we don't read here, is the main reason of his position change on the TT-bike. He still has back problems after his fall in Lombardia, according to Tom Steels. But I don't think the team will communicate whether the burden is now less due to the adjusted seating position. At least not till the end of the season.
 
What we don't read here, is the main reason of his position change on the TT-bike. He still has back problems after his fall in Lombardia, according to Tom Steels. But I don't think the team will communicate whether the burden is now less due to the adjusted seating position. At least not till the end of the season.

I read Tom Steels interview but I dont buy Quick Step narrative.

Reading between the lines of this interview:

1. Evenepoel underperformed at last years WC ITT due to:
  • Missing a normal winter
  • Being back from heavy injury
  • Suffering from chronic back pain caused by this injury
  • A flat route favoring heavy guys like Ganna and Van Aert
2. Evenepoel underperformed during Algarve ITT due to:
  • Not being used to his brand new bike
  • Riding in a race suit not being as aero as the one used by the team
  • Being cautious on the last third of the race since he knew the race was won (mostly downhill)
  • Having difficulty finding his rythm during the first third of the race (mostly flat)
  • Being at "85%" (dixit Steels) of his peak form targeted for Liege in 2 months (versus Kung who should already peak for the cobble classics)
Thank you Quick step for letting us know that these 2 monstruous performances were both done in suboptimal conditions. They never learn from their mistakes. Now if Evenepoel doesn't win the next ITTs with an even big margin they'll have to find other excuses.
 
The race suit thing is something he will have to get used to as he will be wearing a ton of young rider or GC leaders skin suits in the next 2 years.

I expect there'll be a rule change over the next year or two to allow teams to supply their own leaders jersey skinsuits (replicas of the race-provided ones including sponsor logos), for Grand Tours at least. Now everyone realises how much it matters (i.e. the disadvantage of leading the race at a certain point), I think that's a better compromise for the race than having riders actively avoiding taking the lead ahead of an ITT.

I read Tom Steels interview but I dont buy Quick Step narrative.

Reading between the lines of this interview:

1. Evenepoel underperformed at last years WC ITT due to:
  • Missing a normal winter
  • Being back from heavy injury
  • Suffering from chronic back pain caused by this injury
  • A flat route favoring heavy guys like Ganna and Van Aert
2. Evenepoel underperformed during Algarve ITT due to:
  • Not being used to his brand new bike
  • Riding in a race suit not being as aero as the one used by the team
  • Being cautious on the last third of the race since he knew the race was won (mostly downhill)
  • Having difficulty finding his rythm during the first third of the race (mostly flat)
  • Being at "85%" (dixit Steels) of his peak form targeted for Liege in 2 months (versus Kung who should already peak for the cobble classics)
Thank you Quick step for letting us know that these 2 monstruous performances were both done in suboptimal conditions. They never learn from their mistakes. Now if Evenepoel doesn't win the next ITTs with an even big margin they'll have to find other excuses.

Nothing wrong with always looking for improvements especially given how the TT game has changed over the last 3-5 years. Some of this will definitely be smokescreen obviously.
 
4k at 6.5% is not a climb he's going to drop Pogacar on. That's Foia level climbing. For the moment he should concentrate on not getting dropped himself. The only terrain i could see him drop Pogacar, is in rolling hills. Once he has a gap and can go into TT mode. I don't see Pogacar getting him back on his own easily.

That stage is a rolling hilly stage. They do that climb 3 times
 
That stage is a rolling hilly stage. They do that climb 3 times
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