So, since we're still waiting for Logic's return, I'll fill in a gap here.
Remco is turning 23 today. Two days ago, Het Nieuwsblad had an article with 7 important people talking about his evolution.
I Google translated it and refined it here and there. Some are really interesting, like Pelgrim and Keisse for instance.
From fickle teenager to world champion: these seven mentors saw Remco Evenepoel become a world champion in four years
Four years ago, Remco Evenepoel made his professional debut in the Tour of San Juan at the age of 19. In 2023, on the same ground, he kicks off his season as world champion. The level of performance increased over the years. But in addition to the triumphs in Liège and the Vuelta, there was also that terrible crash in Lombardy and the disappointment of the 2021 Giro. Seven people, who have always been close to him in recent years, paint a picture of how they saw the fickle teenager turn into one of the class acts of the peloton at lightning speed.
Patrick Evenepoel, father: "We learn more from him now than the other way around"
"You notice he has got more in control and is a lot less stressed out. At first, he thought he could handle it all and kind of shut himself off. Which is not so strange. His mother and I are both self-employed, so as a child he had to think for himself rather soon. Fortunately, with Iljo Keisse and Philippe Gilbert, he immediately got the right people around him who showed him that he cannot do it alone. As a result, his respect for the other people in the team has grown rapidly and he is now showing it much better. He will always have his character and it will certainly clash here and there, but in the meantime we actually learn more from him than the other way around."
Koen Pelgrim, trainer: "His explosiveness has increased enormously"
"Remco now knows much better what he can do and what he should not do. In his first year as a pro he always did more in training than we told him to, because he was never completely satisfied. Today he hardly deviates from his training schedule. He can now also drop his weight in a steady way, before he used to do that quite often by training very hard and limiting his intake of food extremely. It goes without saying that his numbers have improved. His wattage per kilo, his absolute power, efforts of one minute, twenty minutes, after a four-hour race… Perhaps he made the most progress in explosiveness. That was really almost zero in the first year, now he has developed a nice kick and he can also win a sprint against a not too large group. That was impossible four years ago."
Teammate/DS Iljo Keisse: "Ten years more mature than his peers"
"We are talking about a completely different rider today than at the start of his carreer. The boy has become a man. Remco had to take very big steps very quickly. He was already quite mature for someone barely 19 years old, but now he is ten years ahead of all his peers in that area. He was very nervous early on. In the 2019 Tour of San Juan, he absolutely wanted to show what he was capable of, show that he could do more than just follow in a professional peloton."
"The urge to prove he already had then is still there, but he deals with it completely differently. He has also come to realize that cycling is an individual sport, but you approach it as a team. In that sense, he has quickly become a good people manager. Even a leader has to compromise now and then and he has understood that. That way he got everyone on the same page within the team."
Press secretary Phil Lowe: "He no longer puts energy into useless things"
"I remember the UAE Tour right after that first Tour of San Juan. He immediately crashed and had to give up. I tried to protect him and kept him away from the press, told him not to say anything about it. Moments later, he lost his cool on Twitter. (laughs) Of course you say stupid things when you're nineteen. Who doesn't? I still can."
"He has now become much more comfortable with the press. He would like you to think with him beforehand about what he wants to say and how he best phrases it, but everything else goes very naturally. Discipline and determination are Remco's greatest assets. He knows perfectly well what he wants. Many people are looking for that today, but Remco is now only concerned with where he wants to go and no longer puts energy into useless things."
DS Davide Bramati: "He will only get better"
"When we first came here with Remco, he was of course still very young, but everyone already realized that it wouldn't be a problem for him to take the step to pro cycling. He crashed in the first stage. It was a matter of waiting to see how he would react to that, but he didn't lose his moral. In his participation in 2020 he was too far behind on the Alto Colorado, but he hit back very hard and even became the overall winner. He already showed signs of intelligence and professionalism that you did not see with his peers. Today he is still very young and still has a great future ahead of him. The experience he already has in his pocket is extremely important. He's only going to get better."
Mecanic Dirk Tyteca: "Just like other greats, he doesn't change a thing on his bike"
"Remco looks at everything. He discusses what can be done more aerodynamically or lighter with Nicolas Coosemans. Remco has always remained Remco towards us. If something is not right, he brings it up in a human way. A super guy to work with. Apart from thegear, we never really have to adjust the settings on his bike. That is something typical for the really great riders. They realize that those things aren't the reason, where other riders start fiddling with their bikes when things go a bit less. Even if it is not necessary at all, he occasionally gives us a present and treats us to dinner. After the Vuelta and the World Cup, we all received a signed red jersey and rainbow jersey, with a personal thank you for everyone. His playfulness will always remain a bit, but that's also nice, that's how he keeps us young, even though he already calls me uncle." (laughs)
Soigneur David Geeroms: "We now talk more about Anderlecht than about the course"
“In those four years, Remco has grown into an adult. The impulsivity and stress has gone and inner peace has taken its place. However, his ambition has not changed. He still always wants to win. Since his victory in Liège, he is much more relaxed and a bit more calculated. In terms of care, his diet did undergo an evolution. He doesn't ask for anything specific in terms of massages or anything, but he always wants a good chat. We talk less and less about the races. In the last few days, football club Anderlecht was always on the agenda. We are both fans, but as an ex-player it really hurts him what is happening there.”