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

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From an interview with Het Nieuwsblad:
So he weighed 66.5 kg in Valencia, and we were wondering why he struggled on the steep sections :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:

The plan/idea of only a year ago has gone out the window, because clearly it was his weight that caused him to collapse after 2 weeks, and not his rehab and short prep without racedays that were to blame. Two months ago his trainer, Koen Pelgrim said we should expect a completely different Evenepoel in the Vuelta, now Evenepoel himself says not to expect a completely different Evenepoel. Seems like they have it all figured out. What a joke.
 
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From an interview with Het Nieuwsblad:
“Before the Basque Country, I worked very specifically on climbing for a month and I really felt that. The difference was big with Tirreno-Adriatico, which I started without any specific climb preparation. Then I also weighed a kilo more and that gives a completely different feeling uphill. I have found that as a rider I get the most pleasure from good climbing. In combination with the best possible time trials. I also think that I can still make the most progress in that area.”

How much margin do you have left in weight?
“I now weigh 64 kilos, which is already two and a half kilos less than in Valencia and the Algarve. But I'm never going to go under 60. You should not expect a major metamorphosis for the Vuelta either. The aim is to be there at 63 kilos. Last year I looked like a pure climber in the Giro, but we won't do that anymore. We know I have strong muscles, there's no point in changing that unnaturally. I have to make sure that my time trial remains a weapon.”
I don't think the weight of 66.5 kg was used here in this thread when interpreting his power numbers from the pre-season. Which is why a power file in itself doesn't tell you how many W/kg a rider pushes.
 
I don't think his climbing has fluctuated nearly as much as the weight supposedly has over time. Even at the supposed 60.5kg the patterns of struggling on steeper climbs and doing better on shallower ones was still consistent.

IMO he should've just stuck to whatever was working well in the 2nd half of last year, and then make slight adjustment maybe after the Vuelta.
 
Here is another example. Of course Evenepoel didn't weight 61 kg on January 9. So all the hype based on power numbers clearly has to be revised.
Ilan van Wilder could really bring a lot to Remco and the team this year, sharing the spotlight and taking the role of Almeida on key races (Lefevered mentioned the Giro).
They did a 15' test 2 days ago during the team stage :
  • Remco : 14'50"i - 430Wii - 7W/kg if 61kgiii
  • Ilan : 15'00"i - 402W i- 6.3W/kg if 64kgiii
Remco's power numbers seem too high for such a small time difference meaning that either the numbers aren't accurate (not the first time) or that Ilan did the first part of the climb in Remco's wheel (seems possible since they have the same climbing time for the first 3km of this 6km segment, then Van Wilder lost 10' on the second part of the climb).

Anyway, Van Wilder finished second of this all-out test with really nice numbers so early in the season and lost only a few seconds on Evenepoel, meaning he probably closed the DSM chapter, ready to open a very nice new one.

i Source : Strava
ii Remco hid his power data but some followers saw it before he did and shared it in the Strava comments
iii Source : ProCyclingStats
 
Another one:
Some dude supposedly saw Evenepoel's Strava power data before he deleted it, saying 423W for the climb. Assuming he is a bit heavier (62-63) than his normal weight (61), that would still put him at 6.8 to 6.7 W/kg. If those guys of Cycling Graphs are using his "mid season" weight (61) then that would indeed mean over 6.9W/kg.

EDIT:

View: https://twitter.com/Samuele19665287/status/1488959696715321344
If you use 66.5 kg instead, 423 W equals 6.36 W/kg. Not exactly out of this world for 10'.
 
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So he weighed 66.5 kg in Valencia, and we were wondering why he struggled on the steep sections :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:

The plan/idea of only a year ago has gone out the window, because clearly it was his weight that caused him to collapse after 2 weeks, and not his rehab and short prep without racedays that were to blame. Two months ago his trainer, Koen Pelgrim said we should expect a completely different Evenepoel in the Vuelta, now Evenepoel himself says not to expect a completely different Evenepoel. Seems like they have it all figured out. What a joke.
I'm not sure if I follow your logic here.
  1. Valencia was 2 1/2 month ago. Remco was 66,5 kg and in the interview he said he was the same in Algarve which is 2 months ago.
  2. Two months ago (in Valencia - Algarve period) his trainer said we should expect a completely different Evenepoel in Vuelta.
  3. Remco now says he aims to be around 63 kilos in the Vuelta.

To me Remco at 63 kg would be something completely different than 66,5 kg Remco.
64ish (as he is now) to 63ish is not a major difference, so Remco is right in his interview.
66ish as he was two months ago to 63ish is a major difference, so the coach was right in his interview.

Or what am I missing?
 
Weight matters but getting so granular starts to get into the weeds. At the end of a stage he’s 3kg lighter just from fluid loss alone. An extra water bottle or two can make up the whole difference of 65 vs 63.5 or whatever numbers. The point is he probably needs to be lighter to be a better climber and even then may still be a notch away but that’s a good starting point.
 
I don't think his climbing has fluctuated nearly as much as the weight supposedly has over time. Even at the supposed 60.5kg the patterns of struggling on steeper climbs and doing better on shallower ones was still consistent.

IMO he should've just stuck to whatever was working well in the 2nd half of last year, and then make slight adjustment maybe after the Vuelta.
He weighed 60.5 during the Giro, which going by your post seems still needs to be said of that it was the first race after his crash, after a relapse in his rehab and a short prep without racedays, and he lost 90 seconds to Bernal after 15 days on Zoncolan. Only some seconds behind Vlasov who finished 3rd in Huy this week, and Carthy who both have a better track record on steep climbs. Considering the conditions, i don't think you should use his weight here as a point of reference. I think it's quite peculiar that the team now comes to the conclusion that his weight for a GT should be 63 instead of 60, based on the Giro where a lot of things went wrong, but him being too light didn't appear to be one of them.

During Burgos he weighed 61-62 going from interviews at the time. He won on Picon Blanco and finished 3rd on Lagunas de Neila, right after Landa and not too far behind Sosa who had been wheelsucking the entire climb and outpunched him and Landa in the final 500 meters. He finished ahead of a lot of other top rated climbers.

In Valencia he got dropped like a brick. In Tirreno he didn't even make it beyond the foot of the climb. I think it's fair to say his weight showed to be a big factor.

Him being more of a tempo climber and a TT'er has always been the case. However what we saw in Valencia and Tirreno was highly atypical. I think the strongest we've seen him is still the period in 2020, as well before the covid lockdown in San Juan and Algarve, as after the lockdown in Burgos and Poland. A good mix of TT, rouleur and climbing abilities.

Or what am I missing?
Weighing 63 for a 1m71 guy would obviously be a big improvement over 66.5kg, which was downright ridiculous. But it is still far from what i would say is a big transformation, considering other GC guys of his height (and a lot taller even) weigh (a lot) less. So i would say that the ''improvement'' is still very subjective. Kuss, 1m80 / 61kg. Mas, 1m77 / 61kg. Bernal, 1m75 / 60 kg. I'm not saying he should aim to be 58kg, but 63 still seems like more than enough considering how few TT km there are in GT's currently. And i wouldn't call dropping from 66 to 63kg a complete transformation. More like the bare minimum.
 
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He weighed 60.5 during the Giro, which going by your post seems still needs to be said of that it was the first race after his crash, after a relapse in his rehab and a short prep without racedays, and he lost 90 seconds to Bernal after 15 days on Zoncolan. Only some seconds behind Vlasov who finished 3rd in Huy this week, and Carthy who both have a better track record on steep climbs. Considering the conditions, i don't think you should use his weight here as a point of reference. I think it's quite peculiar that the team now comes to the conclusion that his weight for a GT should be 63 instead of 60, based on the Giro where a lot of things went wrong, but him being too light didn't appear to be one of them.

During Burgos he weighed 61-62 going from interviews at the time. He won on Picon Blanco and finished 3rd on Lagunas de Neila, right after Landa and not too far behind Sosa who had been wheelsucking the entire climb and outpunched him and Landa in the final 500 meters. He finished ahead of a lot of other top rated climbers.

In Valencia he got dropped like a brick. In Tirreno he didn't even make it beyond the foot of the climb. I think it's fair to say his weight showed to be a big factor.

Him being more of a tempo climber and a TT'er has always been the case. However what we saw in Valencia and Tirreno was highly atypical. I think the strongest we've seen him is still the period in 2020, as well before the covid lockdown in San Juan and Algarve, as after the lockdown in Burgos and Poland. A good mix of TT, rouleur and climbing abilities.


Weighing 63 for a 1m71 guy would obviously be a big improvement over 66.5kg, which was downright ridiculous. But it is still far from what i would say is a big transformation, considering other GC guys of his height (and a lot taller even) weigh (a lot) less. So i would say that the ''improvement'' is still very subjective. Kuss, 1m80 / 61kg. Mas, 1m77 / 61kg. Bernal, 1m75 / 60 kg. I'm not saying he should aim to be 58kg, but 63 still seems like more than enough considering how few TT km there are in GT's currently. And i wouldn't call dropping from 66 to 63kg a complete transformation. More like the bare minimum.
I think one of the issues regarding a rider's weight is that there's so much PR/BS involved. The truth is, oft times we don't really know what a rider's exact weight is, we only know the information that we are given.

Another issue is that the information we are getting from both QS and Remco seems both counterintuitive and against any information we've been provided by other teams over the past, what, 10+ years? We know that if riders get too light, they get sick and injured, but generally speaking, going up hills and mountains is obviously much quicker when you weigh numerous kg lighter. And while 1-2 kg of muscle could make a difference on sprints and very short climbs, it is not going to be a game changer for a rider like Remco on time trials.

Who knows, maybe his baseline weight is now higher than it was because of growth. Perhaps he's had some other health issues. Perhaps he's enjoyed too much beer in the off season. But the logic that is being presented by him and his team does not make much sense.
 
So he weighed 66.5 kg in Valencia, and we were wondering why he struggled on the steep sections :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:

The plan/idea of only a year ago has gone out the window, because clearly it was his weight that caused him to collapse after 2 weeks, and not his rehab and short prep without racedays that were to blame. Two months ago his trainer, Koen Pelgrim said we should expect a completely different Evenepoel in the Vuelta, now Evenepoel himself says not to expect a completely different Evenepoel. Seems like they have it all figured out. What a joke.

Ullrich 2.0 is on target.

Did he go to Ullrich's strudel shop and eat a dozen strudels or something?
 
Weight matters but getting so granular starts to get into the weeds. At the end of a stage he’s 3kg lighter just from fluid loss alone. An extra water bottle or two can make up the whole difference of 65 vs 63.5 or whatever numbers. The point is he probably needs to be lighter to be a better climber and even then may still be a notch away but that’s a good starting point.
If you drop 2% in body weight in fluid performance starts going down.
 
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Ullrich 2.0 is on target.

Did he go to Ullrich's strudel shop and eat a dozen strudels or something?

Good post. I thought the same, few days ago. Remco is Ullrich 2.0:

Big talent.
Everyone is talking about him.
Everyone is talking about his weight.
He disappoints as often as he succeeds.
He is a stage racer who is best at time trialing.

:)
 
Weight matters but getting so granular starts to get into the weeds. At the end of a stage he’s 3kg lighter just from fluid loss alone. An extra water bottle or two can make up the whole difference of 65 vs 63.5 or whatever numbers. The point is he probably needs to be lighter to be a better climber and even then may still be a notch away but that’s a good starting point.
And....and...let the kid grow as much power as he can, now. Long careers are not built out of turning power riders into skinny waifs at the first signs of success. He strikes me as more Lemond-like by the day.
 
Weight matters but getting so granular starts to get into the weeds. At the end of a stage he’s 3kg lighter just from fluid loss alone. An extra water bottle or two can make up the whole difference of 65 vs 63.5 or whatever numbers. The point is he probably needs to be lighter to be a better climber and even then may still be a notch away but that’s a good starting point.
Good point, but I expect professional athletes / team to have control over standarized weight measuring. Example: always weigh yourself first thing in the morning after a quick visit to the toilet.
If you have standarized weight measuring you should be able to look past outliers.
 
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From January:
A good schedule and a good winter without problems, so we should get a good impression of his climbing talents this year. No Les Forges in Liège, so it's straightforward that he should attack on/just after La Redoute. I certainly have higher expectations for him in Liège (where he has an outside chance to win) than Tirreno and Itzulia (where I think he's likely in the 3rd-6th range).