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

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It is heavily rumoured, although I slightly doubt it is actually the case, that Alaphilippe will not ride the ardennes this season.
Then if Remco is not riding Fleche, and Julian is not riding Fleche, who will be leading the team there? I know Van Wilder isn't riding Fleche, so that basically leaves only Bagioli who could try to get a top 10. Can't see Mauri pull that off, unless from a break, which isn't happening.
 
Then if Remco is not riding Fleche, and Julian is not riding Fleche, who will be leading the team there? I know Van Wilder isn't riding Fleche, so that basically leaves only Bagioli who could try to get a top 10. Can't see Mauri pull that off, unless from a break, which isn't happening.
Why do you think they signed Merlier?
 
Then if Remco is not riding Fleche, and Julian is not riding Fleche, who will be leading the team there? I know Van Wilder isn't riding Fleche, so that basically leaves only Bagioli who could try to get a top 10. Can't see Mauri pull that off, unless from a break, which isn't happening.
Why wouldn't that be happening? I can still see Mauri come very close to winning Fleche if he didn't crash.
 
Number one, fractured vertebrae require months, not weeks, to heal (I know, because I've had them), but compressed vertebrae, depending on the severity, could take far less time. Secondly, an out of form Roglic gets dropped on the winning TTT, that he didn't indicates the form was more than decent at the start of the Vuelta. Thirdly a "far from best" Roglic doesn't loose just 1"22' to Remco and Mas on stage 6, but like 12 minutes and drops completely out of contention. Thirdly, an out of shape Roglic doesn't suddenly become the best climber in the race after Remco's fall. None of these things make logical sense.

So the narrative that doesn't add up to me, based on his actual performances, is the one that says a half-ass Roglic showed up at the Vuelta. I will concede that in the beginning he wasn't at his very best, but again he could not have been far off the mark to ride strongly in the TTT and then keep himself in contention after the first mountain stages, to then get himself up to full flight, doubtless as was planned, by the end of week two. Moreover, with the numbers Remco was putting up, Primoz would have had to been near top shape to remain in the GC race.
I hesitate to spend too much time on this since I don’t disagree with your overall conclusions too much, but I think we’re somewhat disagreeing about the definition of “close to peak.” To me, “close to peak” is Froome winning the 2017 Tour by a minute over Uran. Still in winning form with no obvious injuries or training issues but clearly not quite his dominant self.

Vs. clearly performing below norm and dropping early on climbs unexpectedly where the conclusion to me is “off form.” I guess I view it slightly more in binary terms. Are you at peak form or not? Roglic was not. Maybe he only lost 1:22 on that stage, but he dropped early and was nowhere, which was very uncharacteristic.

Having said that, Remco was very good in the Vuelta.
 
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I hesitate to spend too much time on this since I don’t disagree with your overall conclusions too much, but I think we’re somewhat disagreeing about the definition of “close to peak.” To me, “close to peak” is Froome winning the 2017 Tour by a minute over Uran. Still in winning form with no obvious injuries or training issues but clearly not quite his dominant self.

Vs. clearly performing below norm and dropping early on climbs unexpectedly where the conclusion to me is “off form.” I guess I view it slightly more in binary terms. Are you at peak form or not? Roglic was not. Maybe he only lost 1:22 on that stage, but he dropped early and was nowhere, which was very uncharacteristic.

Having said that, Remco was very good in the Vuelta.
Well as much as I like Rigoberto Uran, Evenepoel is made of another stuff. As I've been suggesting, there is a huge difference between "far off his best" and losing only 1"22' on stage 6, to then bounce back in week two. To me that speaks of arriving at the start slightly below optimal form, to then get there in 10 days or so.
 
Well as much as I like Rigoberto Uran, Evenepoel is made of another stuff. As I've been suggesting, there is a huge difference between "far off his best" and losing only 1"22' on stage 6, to then bounce back in week two. To me that speaks of arriving at the start slightly below optimal form, to then get there in 10 days or so.

And had he not just won stage 4?

he was not “far off his best”.
 
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This discussion is going nowhere fast.

Seriously though, half of it is based on subjective interpretations of what "far off his best" means in this context. For all you know you could be agreeing for the most part. For a regular human being like myself, when i feel 99%, i 'd be having the best day of the year. When a GT podium contender feels 99%, that means he's gonna lose 10 minutes in the mountains that he would not lose if he were 100%.

Secondly, nobody knows the exact extent of Roglic' injuries nor was it possible to predict even for Jumbo since being off for only 1%, could mean the difference between winning or falling out of the top 10. One broken pelvis is not the same as another broken pelvis. Taking Evenepoel's injury as an example, had the fracture been 1mm more to one side, he might not have been able to walk again, according to what he said doctors told him. So how can anyone gauge the exact effect of Roglic' injuries? That's how relative and how subjective the entire discussion is.

I'm sure Jumbo saw that there was a chance that he might bounce back in time and that they could ballpark predict the possibility of him being competitive, which is why they decided to send him. But whether he 'd be 99% ready, or 99,9% i don't think they knew. Even if you all agree on how far "far off his best" exactly is, then you still don't know enough about his injury to form any kind of opinion. Further more, stuff like this happens in every GT. There hasn't been a GT in history that saw every favourite in top shape from start to finish. There is no reason to put an asterisk next to Evenepoel's Vuelta win. Just as there is no reason to put one next to Pogacar's Tour wins, or Vingegaard's for that matter, just because Roglic crashed out, or because Roglic had his bad day the day before Paris. What if Dumoulin never had his knee issues? Let's now put an asterisk next to Carapaz' Giro win.
 
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It's really much simpler, at least as far as the point I was trying to make all along. "Far off his best," considering also the types of numbers Remco (and for that matter Mass, Ayruso, etc.) was generating, means he's out of the GC battle, period. But this was not the case, ergo he had to be close to top shape.

And we don't need to know the extent of his Tour injuries or how he was able to prepare for the race to come to this conclusion. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Simply the fact that he didn't lose 12 minutes on any one of the first mountain stages says enough. By contrast, he contributed in fine fashion to his team winning the opening TTT, won a tough uphill run-in to stage 4, lost just 1"22' to a flying Remco on stage 6, some more time (29') at Les Praeres, but again contained his losses, then in the TT a further 48' to Remco to arrive at a maximum deficit of 2"41'. As we saw, however, Primoz then went on to claw his way back into GC contention until disaster struck. There's thus enough circumstantial evidence to conclude Primoz's level was actually not too shabby after all.

So had he been "far from his best" (and I take this to mean in the order of 10-15 percent off top form, not 1 percent) he would have already been definitively out of all hopes for a good GC result before the ITT, not standing 2nd overall after stage 10, with no chance at fighting back into a race winning bid. When someone says "far off his best," I'm thinking Fignon Tour 86 and not Roglic Vuelta 22, but call me crazy.

At any rate, the only reason some have said Roglic's level was so far off the mark was evidently to diminish Remco's accomplishment, to put the proverbial asterisk by his GT victory. Well then, if Roglic really was "far from his best" at the last Vuelta, we should expect him to crush Remco et all at the next Giro. Anybody want to bet?
 
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So had he been "far from his best" (and I take this to mean in the order of 10-15 percent off top form, not 1 percent) he would have already been definitively out of all hopes for a good GC result before the ITT, not standing 2nd overall after stage 10, with no chance at fighting back into a race winning bid. When someone says "far off his best," I'm thinking Fignon Tour 86 and not Roglic Vuelta 22, but call me crazy.
That's the thing, i think nobody here was talking about 10-15%. Which is my entire point. With that kind of efficiency he would have lost 5-10 minutes in stage 6. So "far from his best" means different things to different people and especially when it concerns a cyclist who's trying to win a 3 week race. One will express that in time "90 seconds" while another will express that in percentages. And we all know 90 seconds does not equal 15%. If that were the case you could still top 10 in a GT at 75%.

So this is exactly what i meant.
 
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That's the thing, i think nobody here was talking about 10-15%. Which is my entire point. With that kind of efficiency he would have lost 5-10 minutes in stage 6. So "far from his best" means different things to different people and especially when it concerns a cyclist who's trying to win a 3 week race. One will express that in time "90 seconds" while another will express that in percentages. And we all know 90 seconds does not equal 15%. If that were the case you could still top 10 in a GT at 75%.

So this is exactly what i meant.
Got it. As I've said, to me "far from his best" signifies out of contention, like Fignon at the 86 Tour, whereas "lacking a bit of something" (which arguably could have been Roglic's case the first 10 days) means you've still got a GC fighting chance.

However, there's a chasm between "out of contention" versus "having a fighting chance." If I had to put numbers on it then say 85-90 percent of full capacity for the former case, versus 97-98 percent of top form for the latter. Any which way one measures it, I think to say Roglic was "far from his best" doesn't hold up to his actual performances and is mostly to suggest Remco had weak competition.
 
Got it. As I've said, to me "far from his best" signifies out of contention, like Fignon at the 86 Tour, whereas "lacking a bit of something" (which arguably could have been Roglic's case the first 10 days) means you've still got a GC fighting chance.

However, there's a chasm between "out of contention" versus "having a fighting chance." If I had to put numbers on it then say 85-90 percent of full capacity for the former case, versus 97-98 percent of top form for the latter. Any which way one measures it, I think to say Roglic was "far from his best" doesn't hold up to his actual performances and is mostly to suggest Remco had weak competition.
Ok, then the next thing you need to do is make sure you don't apply double standards. For instance, i think it's fair to say Remco was quite a bit removed from his best (1st week Vuelta form) when he was doing Itzulia last year. He was definitely still in contention, since he only lost GC by 20-ish seconds. So how far off his best do you think he was there?

No need to answer that question, since it will just spur a new debate, but you get my meaning. While i agree some people might diminish Roglic' form in order to diminish Evenepoel's performance, the opposite is also true. By presenting Roglic as "almost as good as ever", Evenepoel's performance will look more impressive. And none of us know exactly how far Roglic was from his best level, so you could just as well be debating what "nice weather" means exactly. And it doesn't matter either. He won, he won deservedly, his power numbers were there.
 
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Ok, then the next thing you need to do is make sure you don't apply double standards. For instance, i think it's fair to say Remco was quite a bit removed from his best (1st week Vuelta form) when he was doing Itzulia last year. He was definitely still in contention, since he only lost GC by 20-ish seconds. So how far off his best do you think he was there?

No need to answer that question, since it will just spur a new debate, but you get my meaning. While i agree some people might diminish Roglic' form in order to diminish Evenepoel's performance, the opposite is also true. By presenting Roglic as "almost as good as ever", Evenepoel's performance will look more impressive. And none of us know exactly how far Roglic was from his best level, so you could just as well be debating what "nice weather" means exactly. And it doesn't matter either. He won, he won deservedly, his power numbers were there.
To the bolded, I don't believe arguing for the true measure of Roglic's form as "not far off his best" (meaning "not as weak and unprepared" as some have been suggesting), based on his actual performances, is to paint Remco in more florid colors. Mine was simply a response to address what seemed like a claim of convenience, if not an outright excuse, which did not hold up to his actual performances in the race. At the same time I recognize that Roglic's arrival at the Vuelta was complicated, but that doesn't mean his preparation was inadequite. Yet doubtless it wasn't ideal. So that should lay to rest any notion that I've consciously been overplaying his condition, just to cast Evenepoel's win in a more favorable light (to the extent others have unquestionably claimed Roglic's form was utterly compromised at the start to demean Remco's victory).

At any rate, if his form was as deficient as some have claimed, then, preparation permitting, he should obtain a much higher level at the Giro, destroy Remco and prove me wrong. Let us wait and see.
 
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To the bolded, I don't believe arguing for the true measure of Roglic's form as "not far off his best" (meaning "not as weak and unprepared" as some have been suggesting), based on his actual performances, is to paint Remco in more florid colors. Mine was simply a response to address what seemed like a claim of convenience, if not an outright excuse, which did not hold up to his actual performances in the race. At the same time I recognize that Roglic's arrival at the Vuelta was complicated, but that doesn't mean his preparation was inadequite. Yet doubtless it wasn't ideal. So that should lay to rest any notion that I've consciously been overplaying his condition, just to cast Evenepoel's win in a more favorable light (to the extent others have unquestionably claimed Roglic's form was utterly compromised at the start to demean Remco's victory).

At any rate, if his form was as deficient as some have claimed, then, preparation permitting, he should obtain a much higher level at the Giro, destroy Remco and prove me wrong. Let us wait and see.
I won’t repeat Logics point just above; I’ll just say that my expectation is that Roglic will not lose over a minute on the first mid mountain stage, not that he will destroy Remco.

I don’t think it is inconsistent to say that what we know about prep + results of stage 6 of the Vuelta indicates he was off form but also that if he is at full strength, I am still not sure he is the favorite. Co-favorite sure, but I’d probably bet on Remco.
 
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I won’t repeat Logics point just above; I’ll just say that my expectation is that Roglic will not lose over a minute on the first mid mountain stage, not that he will destroy Remco.

I don’t think it is inconsistent to say that what we know about prep + results of stage 6 of the Vuelta indicates he was off form but also that if he is at full strength, I am still not sure he is the favorite. Co-favorite sure, but I’d probably bet on Remco.
I'm not sure about what your expectation concerning Roglic has to do with Logic's post, but the rest of your assessment seems fair. There is a difference, however, between asserting that Primoz wasn't in top form on stage 6 and he was "far from his best" to diminish Evenepoel's performance and overall triumph, as others have done.

As regards the next Giro, well, we'll have to see, especially now that Remco's got that first grand tour under his belt. In a logical sequence of progression he should be stronger in 23 than in 22, and, with the transformative effects completing a 3 week race (and at what level) is said to have upon a rider's development, the sky would seem to be his limit. Of course, things could not go according to the forecast or plans (an inopportune crash or illness, simply not living up to expectations, etc.).

Roglic, by contrast, has come through now three trying seasons. Defeat at the 2020 Tour when it seemed like yellow was in the bag, followed by two consecutive dnfs in France (and now he may never get another chance to win the Grand Bouclé), despite consolation from an Olympic TT gold and a third Vuelta, was difficult. Crashing out of last year's Vuelta, moreover, at the moment when it seemed things had turned in his favor and the operation/recovery this entailed, will further have been hard to deal with, as Remco had to endure the Lombardia setback (including the Giro debacle) before things turned bright again. Although Roglic seems to be an exceptionally tenatious fighter, who handles adversity well. Nevertheless, all these setbacks and hurdles to overcome could take a toll on him. I don't believe, however, his age will be a factor or not yet anyway, and don't think the operation will hamper his ability to arrive at the Giro in outstanding form. Jumbo-Visma, after all, is the best team to oversee his recovery and prepare him for the occasion.

I don't like making predictions, but let's just say I don't disagree with your final outlook. But it's also possible that another rider wears pink in Roma, only time will tell.
 
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