The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

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So, after being a guest in "Gert Late Night" (staying on/around a boat all day with a talkshow every evening) for 4 days, the most interesting things to know:

Weight is currently between 61 - 61,5.
Main goal for next year is the Olympics. Hopes to podium.
Wants to stay at DQS the rest of his career. Even if another team comes along and offers him double of what he can earn at DQS.
Was really shook by the death of Stef Loos (his former teammate and roommate at Acrog Balen) who was a close friend. Talked about the sport being dangerous.

I was happy to see that Remco is actually quite "open" and not afraid to make a fool of himself, as he showed in numerous instances. Putting in a mouthpiece to recite lyrics. Doing silly dances. Disguising himself as an icecream vendor with a moustache and 80's hair in order to sell icecream to kids, asking who their favorite cyclist is (van der Poel, van Aert... finally Evenepoel, obviously they were informed). He was also very comfortable physically around one of the hosts who is rather openly gay. Not insinuating he might be, just that he doesn't seem held back by male macho prejudice being a cyclist and former footballer.

He also talked about other stuff, but not directly related to cycling (being bullied, uncle dying, coming back from PSV for his mother...)
 
Next season will probably become a difficult one as his competitors will focus more on him. I also don't expect him to reappear in races with a lower class field like San Juan, Turkey or Adriatica Ionica.
What do you guys expect for next season? Where will he make progress and where will he struggle? Which changes to his schedule would you make and when would you consider him to have a successful second season?
Is it realistic to expect him to perform similarly to this season?

Looking forward to your thoughts.
 
Real question is if Evenepoel is that much better as a rouleur/ITTer than as a climber.

For now focusing on championship ITTs is a smart idea imo. I'd throw in the Ardennes as potential goals as well.

Then I'd let him ride probably one of Tirreno/PN and Pais Vasco, not blindly expecting GC but just see where he ends up. Ardennes would be my focus for the the spring.

Harder question is what route you take to Tokyo if you don't want him to ride a GT. Or you could bring him to the Tour and let him ride the first 2 weeks or so.

Edit. Probably ignore spring or Worlds. He can't peak 3 times in one year.
 
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I hope they're going for a WT stage race-heavy program. Something along the lines of...

23.02 - 29.02 UAE Tour
23.03 - 29.03 Catalunya
22.04 Flèche Wallonne
28.04 - 03.05 Romandie
31.05 - 07.06 Dauphiné

national championships RR & ITT

25.07 Olympics RR
29.07 Olympics TT

14.08 - 06.09 Vuelta


OR


23.02 - 29.02 UAE Tour
23.03 - 29.03 Catalunya
22.04 Flèche Wallonne
28.04 - 03.05 Romandie
31.05 - 07.06 Dauphiné

national championships RR & ITT

27.06 - Tour (first 9 to 14 days)

25.07 Olympics RR
29.07 Olympics TT


The latter would make more sense, but Lefevere was pretty clear: no Tour for Evenepoel.
 
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