and not hurt his recovery or his vulnerability to illness.
i think he is actually 22 (February?). so just 22. but no matter. call this the Pog Effect. if you are not winning GTs at age 21 these days, then what good are you, lol!? imagine a different time when a 22-year-old did what Remco did just in Itzulia...? i'm not even talking about anything else he has done already. but fans would be going nuts about his potential in GTs.
but there has always been a group here that has suffered from RDS, Remco Derangement Syndrome. They appear to take great pleasure when he misses the mark and consistently change the goal posts. for Itzulia, they said he would never survive the queen stage, he would get crushed, ship minutes upon minutes. but when he loses only 24 seconds, he should give up stage racing...!? Huh, what!? it's a very odd fixation, but oh well...
did these same people know that G Thomas was going to win the TDF and finish second. When he was 22, did he climb with the best?
the other thing that no one has remarked is that he seemed to "strengthen" or at least "weaken less" over the course of the week. while he was dropped by at least a dozen or more riders on the steeper slopes on the first day, he came over the longest 10+% slope on the last day in much better place having dropped riders who had previously dropped him...
he also has clearly learned to pace himself better on climbs, though he has certainly not learned how to save energy during a race by limiting his attacks -- he attacked every single day, nuts, but damn exciting.
I still have doubts about the long climbs above 2000, simply because he has not done this competitively. but those climbs are not 10+%.
i also have major doubts about his team. if he ever gets in the leader's jersey, how does that team possibly defend it, without leaving him completely isolated in the mountains.
Opponents will know now that they have to drop him on the steep stuff, because if they do not wear him out, he is likely to take advantage of the first shallower gradient right after to demolish them.
i really do hope that being the top climber on 13+% slopes does not become a pre-requirement for GT success. That would mean that the bastardization of GT riding was complete.