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

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I guess Extinction's reasoning is that 2 years ago, Evenepoel was walking on crutches, while Pogacar was being heralded as the "true" new Merckx. Since then Pogacar has hit his limits and not really progressed and got a big dent in his shining armor, while Evenepoel, after 9 months of recovery and an extra season to get back on track, has since made huge strides, now being one of three riders in history to win a monument, GT and WCC in one season. It's reasonable to assume Pogacar has indeed hit his limit or at least a point where any progression will be marginal, while we don't know about Evenepoel since he's still on an upward trajectory.

Doesn't mean anything is set in stone. For all we know Pogacar will drop the "vroom vroom" racing and turn into a cynical rider, wasting no energy and taking a more clinical approach to boost his efficiency even further. Maybe Evenepoel doesn't have any headroom either and we'll find out in a few months. But i guess at least the assumption that Pogacar is no longer on an upward trajectory, doesn't seem completely unreasonable. If Pogacar on the other hand had the same bad luck Evenepoel had two years ago, or that of Bernal on multiple occasions, he could also find the best part of his career behind him.
All your logic is sound and you may be proven correct. Except also, as you put it, nothing is set in stone. I still think Pogacar is an equal talent and assuming he will decline at a younger age is speculation lacking evidence. There are two reasons Pog lost last year’s Tour. One of those reasons can’t be discussed here.
 
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Evenepoel has progressed fantastically since his injury. He hopefully has more upside as that would be exciting for fans to witness. It is, however premature to expect him to "dominate" everyone. The kind of generational talent that used to have a grip on results for a decade are becoming a thing of the past and racing is becoming a situation of budget-driven team and a certain parity of form preparation by more and more riders. Results do the talking, as you have noted and Tadej has the depth that speaks for itself.
Your impressions and opinion are exactly those and there is very little to support the premise that " Tadej has been much more fortunate and thus will not improve significantly in the future." It may your wishful fandream that he will be dominated by Remco but he's not the only challenger out there. Moreover; I doubt you would ever hear that from any current GT competitor because they know what Tadej's done to them all and again, as you said: the results do the talking. He's not Egan Bernal with a remanufactured back or Primoz Roglic with a remanufactured shoulder.
First of all, it is you who are saying that it is my "wishfull fandream" (which is a good insult, by the way) that Evenepoel will dominate Pogacar, not me. And I'm not so dilussional, nor arrogant, as to think, let alone believe, that this will inevitably become the case. No, all I've been saying, and have been since his comeback, when so many were putting limits on his potential (that he couldn't climb, win a GT, let alone the Tour, etc.), is that, look, wait a minute, the kid has had a very serious setback, let's not jump to hasty conclusions, especially when it was all mostly driven by those who simply wanted to see him fail. In fact, all along I was not being governed by any particular bias, but only a rational assessment of the situation and you would have to either be stupid or in bad faith to say I was wrong.

Actually I was simply convinced that, despite an egregious mistake in bringing him to that Giro, QS knows what they are doing and what kind of talent they have in their possesion. Moreover, it was reasonable to assume that eventually Evenepoel would get back on the upward trajectory he was showing before the terrible Lombardia incident. Yet even I honestly didn't expect him to win the Vuelta, do a good performance yes, but win it no. The fact that he then went on to dominate Worlds has led me to conclude he, once again, goes beyond expectations and that, rather than overestimating his capabilities, the issue seems to be quite the opposite.

I recall before his setback a certain Landa at the Tour of Poland saying we'd better get some wins in now before this kid starts winning everything and thinking, now that's quite a statement. No less sensational was Valverde's assessment of him recently. I have heard other top level pros talk of Remco in terms of that type of talent that is born only "every 30 years" or so. If in today's cycling, as you say, being able to dominate for a decade has become less likely, all I'm suggesting is that we have yet to see peak Remco and that this is a frightful scenario for the competition in the forseeable future. But the level is so high in the sport right now that this doesn't guarantee winning multiple Tours in succession. Although it does suggest huge performances from him are still to come. Thus when people say he's won the Vuelta, but he won't beat Pogacar or Vingegaard at the Tour, I start reaching for my wallet and think how much I'm willing to bet on him.
 
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I still think Pogacar is an equal talent and assuming he will decline at a younger age is speculation lacking evidence.
More than equal, I'd say different talent, while it remains to be seen on the balancing sheet (Pog is clearly a faster finisher, Remco a stronger TTer) which is bigger. Valverde gave his opinion on the matter and it was shockingly categorical. But this is the fun in watching. Only time will tell how things shall pan out. As to your second point, clearly Pogacar can maintain this level for several years to come, however, can he improve much? I wasn't suggesting him declining any time soon, but, given he's already done 3 Tours history suggests he should be at peak power or thereabouts now and not 5 years down the road.
 
So Tadej vs Remco fan wars are underway? I hope we will see more clashes between them, both in monuments and stage-races, and the next year should provide them. As for peaking Pogi won 2020 and 2021 Tours thanks to out of this world performances so opinions that he already peaked aren't groundless. That being said, Remco was already very strong in 2020 and can be close to his peak as well (his amazing progress this year was more of a "lower base" effect due to an earlier setback).
 
More than equal, I'd say different talent, while it remains to be seen on the balancing sheet (Pog is clearly a faster finisher, Remco a stronger TTer) which is bigger. Valverde gave his opinion on the matter and it was shockingly categorical. But this is the fun in watching. Only time will tell how things shall pan out. As to your second point, clearly Pogacar can maintain this level for several years to come, however, can he improve much? I wasn't suggesting him declining any time soon, but, given he's already done 3 Tours history suggests he should be at peak power or thereabouts now and not 5 years down the road.
What did Valverde say?
 
So Tadej vs Remco fan wars are underway?
Nothing of the kind, but only some taking out of context things that were stated. The issue was about limits, not x vs y, although I can see why it has been taken that way. In Remco's case, as you suggest, it's about where he was versus where he is going. As I see it he's back on course from the pre-accident period, although having to come back from such a setback has probably built his character in a more formidabile way than had things just gone smoothly.

Now I suppose the big issue is was the show of form from San Sebastian to Worlds hitting a ceiling? Put differently, without the accident does he reach that level sooner and then have no more growth potential by the time he is 22? Considering he hasn't even gone to the Tour yet, where, in theory, he will reach his highest level, I'd say no. If the opposite were true QS hasn't a clue about how they are developing him, but I can't believe that. So let's say he's still got a considerable margin for growth. After his showing at San Sebastian-Vuelta-Worlds, what should this mean for the sport? Only time will tell, but I'll be watching with great interest, just like every time Pogacar is at the start, as well as some others.
 
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Interesting. Valverde should know having been one of the most dominant riders for a very long time. If it comes true then Remco will really be something to behold.
Yea, well, it's funny how the Remco naysayers responded with he, Valverde, was out of his mind. Granted it was a bold assertion, but coming from arguably the most experienced rider in pro cycling, you'd be a fool to dismiss it as just cockamamie.
 
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All your logic is sound and you may be proven correct. Except also, as you put it, nothing is set in stone. I still think Pogacar is an equal talent and assuming he will decline at a younger age is speculation lacking evidence. There are two reasons Pog lost last year’s Tour. One of those reasons can’t be discussed here.
I didn't say he would decline at a younger age, i simply said he didn't improve much over the last 2 seasons anymore and that it seems he no longer is on an upward trajectory. I didn't say he was on a downward trajectory. It's possible he will be able to ride at this level for the next decade. It's possible Evenepoel will eclipse him briefly, and take a nosedive much sooner. We don't know. But from what we're seeing, it is certainly not unreasonable to assume that Pogacar is "about" as good as he's gonna get. How long he can stay that good, remains to be seen. For Evenepoel, we don't know... yet. Maybe next year we'll see Evenepoel has also hit his peak, and turns out not to be even on Pogacar's level. That's also possible, but we don't know. But given his history (coming late into cycling, having dominated juniors and pros out of the gate, his crash and recovery...) it stands to reason that he might still have more margin to improve.
 
And what if vingegaard beats remco and pogacar on uae tour, tirreno adriatico and tour de france? It wouldn't be a surprise.
It would be a huge surprise, because Vingegaard doesn't seem like the rider who can keep his form that high throughout the year or peak multiple times. It wouldn't be a surprise if he manages to have the highest peak of the three, but it would be a surprise if he can beat the others all through the year. We have not seen anything of Vingegaard that suggests that.
 
Yea, well, it's funny how the Remco naysayers responded with he, Valverde, was out of his mind. Granted it was a bold assertion, but coming from arguably the most experienced rider in pro cycling, you'd be a fool to dismiss it as just cockamamie.
He is not the only one openly stating that Remco is a once in a generation talent. Cyrille Guimard, for example, believes that this thread title is an understatement. It's not that they are crazy fans. They believe it from actual experience or from following his progress since the day he got a number on his back. Anyone who checks his performance closely would agree that these statements, while bold, are not crazy at all. His short but incredible junior career and his results untill the summer of 2020 are arguably the greatest performance of any rider at his age at that time. And its not just his results that count. The crash and the mountain of mental pressure put on him are challenges that would destroy most talents but he conquered them and how! With a list of outstanding performances in some of the biggest races, some not seen in the last 30-40 years, and an incredible success-rate (e.g. check his wins and BC, EC an WC medals), he is currently living up to that statement.
 
Jan 31, 2019
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First of all, it is you who are saying that it is my "wishfull fandream" (which is a good insult, by the way) that Evenepoel will dominate Pogacar, not me. And I'm not so dilussional, nor arrogant, as to think, let alone believe, that this will inevitably become the case. No, all I've been saying, and have been since his comeback, when so many were putting limits on his potential (that he couldn't climb, win a GT, let alone the Tour, etc.), is that, look, wait a minute, the kid has had a very serious setback, let's not jump to hasty conclusions, especially when it was all mostly driven by those who simply wanted to see him fail. In fact, all along I was not being governed by any particular bias, but only a rational assessment of the situation and you would have to either be stupid or in bad faith to say I was wrong.

Actually I was simply convinced that, despite an egregious mistake in bringing him to that Giro, QS knows what they are doing and what kind of talent they have in their possesion. Moreover, it was reasonable to assume that eventually Evenepoel would get back on the upward trajectory he was showing before the terrible Lombardia incident. Yet even I honestly didn't expect him to win the Vuelta, do a good performance yes, but win it no. The fact that he then went on to dominate Worlds has led me to conclude he, once again, goes beyond expectations and that, rather than overestimating his capabilities, the issue seems to be quite the opposite.

I recall before his setback a certain Landa at the Tour of Poland saying we'd better get some wins in now before this kid starts winning everything and thinking, now that's quite a statement. No less sensational was Valverde's assessment of him recently. I have heard other top level pros talk of Remco in terms of that type of talent that is born only "every 30 years" or so. If in today's cycling, as you say, being able to dominate for a decade has become less likely, all I'm suggesting is that we have yet to see peak Remco and that this is a frightful scenario for the competition in the forseeable future. But the level is so high in the sport right now that this doesn't guarantee winning multiple Tours in succession. Although it does suggest huge performances from him are still to come. Thus when people say he's won the Vuelta, but he won't beat Pogacar or Vingegaard at the Tour, I start reaching for my wallet and think how much I'm willing to bet on him.
After his wonder year Tom Boonen let himself go (party drugs,...) . What does Remco do ? He trains even harder. He never gets enough of winning and he wants to improve himself : Sprinting, cobble stones, dirt roads, finishing, ... I really doubt Remco can't improve anymore. He still lacks certain elements. But it's clear he has the personality of a champion.
 
After his wonder year Tom Boonen let himself go (party drugs,...) . What does Remco do ? He trains even harder. He never gets enough of winning and he wants to improve himself : Sprinting, cobble stones, dirt roads, finishing, ... I really doubt Remco can't improve anymore. He still lacks certain elements. But it's clear he has the personality of a champion.
He seems to have grown up a bit. Maybe after having everyone tell him he was going to be bigger than Eddy, getting hurt and having to fight back it also taught him perspective and patience. That would go a long way but it's mostly my hopeful projection....
 
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He seems to have grown up a bit. Maybe after having everyone tell him he was going to be bigger than Eddy, getting hurt and having to fight back it also taught him perspective and patience. That would go a long way but it's mostly my hopeful projection....
He admitted that prior to his crash, he was a bit egotistical. The crash calmed him down. He also took the time to reflect and read to improve his mindset. It is partly a natural process that many go through gradually but in his case the crash might have accelerated it as it gave him an opportunity to learn a lot. The speed that he learns skills to reach his goals is amazing. It may be his greatest asset in the future. Talents are everywhere and our ability to find them and nurture them has exploded but to find somebody who combines physical abilities, mental strength and drive like Remco does is less easy to find.
 
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It would be a huge surprise, because Vingegaard doesn't seem like the rider who can keep his form that high throughout the year or peak multiple times. It wouldn't be a surprise if he manages to have the highest peak of the three, but it would be a surprise if he can beat the others all through the year. We have not seen anything of Vingegaard that suggests that.
Yup, Vinge may win more TdFs and end up as one of the best GT riders of modern era but it's Pogacar and Evenepoel who seem to have potential to end up among greatest cyclists ever.
 
He seems to have grown up a bit. Maybe after having everyone tell him he was going to be bigger than Eddy, getting hurt and having to fight back it also taught him perspective and patience. That would go a long way but it's mostly my hopeful projection....
Maybe. He has of course matured like anyone his age. I also think that a LOT of the reaction to him was that he was SUPER young and a lot of folks saw his expectation to win and dominate as arrogance. Always seemed more to me as warranted confidence and the spirit of a champion. When a 19-year-old kid exhibits this it's going to rub some of the old guard the wrong way. He just expected to win, expected others to get on board, and rode like a kid possessed. I always thought the "immature" or "arrogant" label seemed overblown.
 

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