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

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Honestly I'd be quite shocked if he wins. I know he is phenomenal, but to win a WC ITT title as a 19y.o. neopro, it'd be crazy. I don't believe it, sorry.

Maybe I'm still underrating these youngsters. Even for Pogačar I didn't believe before the last week of the Vuelta that he'll end up on the podium.
If he doesn't fall into the trap of starting too fast and running out of steam... i think it's possible tbh, mainly because of the "big 3", there is none that has had a perfect preparation leading up to the WC. Roglic contested 2GT's this year and is said not to be 100%. Campenaerts didn't race for 3 months after struggling with fatigue, and Dennis is clearly mentally not in the best place and also hasn't raced for 2 months. We also will need to find out if his unbranded BMC will really be big enough of a factor to turn things around. Then there are two guys that would have been a big threat for gold that are injured (van Aert & Dumoulin).

So basically, it's a bit more nuanced than "19 year old kid to beat world's best".
 
A jaw-dropping performance by Evenepoel to finish 2nd at the elite men's level on a really hard TT course. Rohan Dennis was in his top form, totally focused and healthy (mentally there, too). Otherwise, Remco would have been the champion by a substantial margin to the next rider.
 
Given his classic rides I didn't questino the stamina, but I was more inclined to question his form since he'd been amazing since like early August.

That being said, he hasn't had super many race days.
I think many posted (fair) questions about how he'd do over a long course like this at his age. I'm with you, and stamina seems to be his superpower so I didn't think it would be an issue. He had said he was in the best for of his life coming in.

Just got beaten by a super Dennis.
 
It ca be easy to stop noticing just how shocking some of this kid’s performances are as he racks up more of them. This was the strongest performance of his season. Some of his results have been extraordinary already, most obviously San Sebastián and the Euro TT, but this is different. You can win a pretty big hilly classic and while it means you are very good it in no way necessarily implies that you are one of the top 5 hilly classics riders in the world. Similarly with winning the Euro TT and ITT ability. But this really does mean that he’s top 5 in the world already at the ITT and arguably top 3. That’s just outlandish for a rider his age.
 
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It ca be easy to stop noticing just how shocking some of this kid’s performances are as he racks up more of them. This was the strongest performance of his season. Some of his results have been extraordinary already, most obviously San Sebastián and the Euro TT, but this is different. You can win a pretty big hilly classic and while it means you are very good it in no way necessarily implies that you are one of the top 5 hilly classics riders in the world. Similarly with winning the Euro TT and ITT ability. But this really does mean that he’s top 5 in the world already at the ITT and arguably top 3. That’s just outlandish for a rider his age.
I think he's a better pure ITT'er than Roglic. Maybe this will fade once he starts riding real GC's later on though. But Dennis is obviously still (a lot) better. On a flat course, so is van Aert and probably Dumoulin as well. On a hilly course (like today) i assume Dumoulin should still be better too, though Dumoulin seems to have lost some speed by converting to a GC rider. How would an in-form Thomas and Froome compare? Remco's clearly a few levels above Bjerg (or any other U23) already (which was painfully obvious at the Euros on the same course) and while Bjerg did have bad weather yesterday, he had to ride 24km less, and still averaged 4km/h less than Evenepoel. You can avoid a lot of puddles in 4km.

Basically, i started writing this message to tone down the expectations of being one of the 3 -5 best... but after thinking about, that's probably true. lol
 
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I think the question about who the top 5 needs some clarification, as @Logic-is-your-friend alludes. There's best pure TT'er in a one-day event, and there's best TT'er during a GC.

Roglič's peformances may be instructive here. While I think he was cooked from a long season, I also wonder if his recovery ability versus the recovery ability of his competitors is one of his big talents. Near the middle or end of a GT, guys are just tired, and in this environment he seems to excel. Maybe he's just not as good a pure, one-day TT guy, and he's never really going to compete with the Dennis, Dumoulin, and Evenepoel's of the world in a one-day effort, where his recovery gives him a big advantage in a GC TT.

Makes me wonder what Evenepoel is going to be like in a long TT in the middle of a GC. Could be scary good. Incredible rider. Can't wait to see him in the 2020 Vuelta. ;)
 
I think the Ullrich comparison is apt. It was the last time since a young beast of a rouleur just begged the question: what's he going to do in GT's? with every pedal stroke....

We've had once in a generation type talent emerging with sprinters/puncheurs quite a bit in the last few decades. I think most notably with Sagan, now with MVDP.

A bit with climbers too. But not really with rouleurs.
 
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I think the Ullrich comparison is apt. It was the last time since a young beast of a rouleur just begged the question: what's he going to do in GT's? with every pedal stroke....

We've had once in a generation type talent emerging with sprinters/puncheurs quite a bit in the last few decades. I think most notably with Sagan, now with MVDP.

A bit with climbers too. But not really with rouleurs.

Yup, Ullrich was amazing, especially his performances until he was 24 yo. Still, he was much bigger than Remco (183 cm and mass of about 75 kg or more), huuuge engine, one of the biggest ever (alongside Indurain).
 
He seems very short in general. 171 cm for a time trialist. The last one like this I can remember this small was Levi. Most people who win worlds seem to be at least 180.
He packs a lot more power than the average guy of 1.71, and while in absolute terms likely not as much as powerhouses of 1.85-1.95, he trades that off with a very aerodynamic build, his weight (where he gains at every slope) and apparently he's very nimble, which also helps with his position on the bike.

And there is his natural ability for endurance. I wouldn't be surprised, of this kind of ITT were 50km longer, that he would put guys like Dennis minutes behind.