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.
 
Kurt Van de Wouwer (Lotto U23 manager, former top 10 finisher in TDF) isn't a fan of other teenagers following in Evenepoel's footsteps by skipping the U23.



More and more teenagers in professional peleton: "Not a fan of the Evenepoel effect".

Will Ilan Van Wilder, Quinn Simmons and Carlos Rodriguez ever step out of the shadow of Remco Evenepoel?


Last year we were amazed when Remco Evenepoel decided to skip the U23 category, now one young rider after another follows his example. A worrying trend, according to Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports director of the Lotto-Soudal espoirs.

Leaving aside Axel Merckx's team, Remco Evenepoel was the only teenager in the professional peloton last year. In 2020 that number has already increased to 10 teenagers.

It's remarkable that following the example of Evenepoel 5 riders skip the U23 category: Quinn Simmons (to Trek), Carlos Rodriguez (to Ineos), Carlos Canal (to Burgos) and the "cyclo-cross duo" Ben Tulett and Ryan Cortjens (Corendon-Circus).

"That will not be a coincidence", says Kurt Van de Wouwer to Sporza. "The good performance of Evenepoel in his first professional year will certainly have something to do with this trend. "I don't applaud that. Evenepoel is an exceptional case. Other riders now think they're ready for that step too, but that might be a disappointment."

Quinn Simmons became world champion in the juniors in a powerful way. (img)

"Intermediate step to the U23 is really necessary"

As coach of the Lotto-Soudal U23, Kurt Van de Wouwer believes that this category is crucial for the training of a rider. "At the juniors they ride races of 120 to 130 kilometers, at the U23 the number is increased and now and then they also ride races together with the pros. That intermediate step is really necessary."

"A few years ago there were riders like Bakelants, Hermans and De Gendt, who were with the promises for the full 4 years. Now riders like Evenepoel, Simmons and Rodriguez skip that step, while others already after 1 or 2 years at the promises. You have to be very talented to digest that."

"You really have to stand out from the promises to be able to play a role with the pros. Some people forget that. So I'm pretty sure that among the riders who are already making the switch, there will be guys who will quickly fade away. That's also normal. Not all of them can grow into top talents."

"There is also a mental aspect. If you change trains and you're not physically or mentally ready for it, you might get some blows from the pros.

If you change trains and you are not physically or mentally ready, you will suffer. (quote)

"The best juniors are already working with a manager."


From the point of view of the teams, Van de Wouwer understands the appeal of all these young talents. "They are interesting from a budgetary point of view, because their wages are not that high yet."

Money also plays an important role for the riders themselves. "The best juniors already work with a manager. As soon as you perform well, the manager will go around the market with his riders. And then you're off."

"Some riders are also afraid that after less than a year with the promises they might not get a chance again with the pros. They want to forge the iron when it's hot. You also notice that more and more young riders are impatient, among other things because they mirror themselves on an Evenepoel.

Ilan Van Wilder finished 3rd in the Tour of the Future. (img)

"Too bad we can't reap the fruits of Van Wilder ourselves."

Among the 10 teenagers for 2020, Ilan Van Wilder (19) is also a Belgian top talent. Last year he was trained by the team of Van de Wouwer, but already after 1 year he chose for a professional adventure with... Sunweb.

"That was a disappointment for me and the team. You put time and money in the riders and then you can't reap the rewards yourself. In the past many of our youngsters did choose Lotto, like Benoot, Wellens and Lambrecht. For once, it's not."

Is Van Wilder's switch too early? "That is a case of doubt. He is someone who has to succeed. But is he doing the right thing to make the switch so quickly...? By choosing Sunweb, he also chooses a totally different environment. That would have been different for the familiar Lotto. But as with all those young riders, we'll just have to wait and see what it gives the pros."
 
Kurt Van de Wouwer (Lotto U23 manager, former top 10 finisher in TDF) isn't a fan of other teenagers following in Evenepoel's footsteps by skipping the U23.



More and more teenagers in professional peleton: "Not a fan of the Evenepoel effect".

Will Ilan Van Wilder, Quinn Simmons and Carlos Rodriguez ever step out of the shadow of Remco Evenepoel?

Last year we were amazed when Remco Evenepoel decided to skip the U23 category, now one young rider after another follows his example. A worrying trend, according to Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports director of the Lotto-Soudal espoirs.



Do people realize just how much of an outlier Evenepoel actually is? During his final junior year, he proved that he could match the top of U-23, even with restricted gears. Nobody has ever won junior road and ITT races with such margins. Karel Vacek, who beat Evenepoel a few times last year, moved to Hagens Berman Axon, but he'll set a step back because this season was disappointing.

Unless you blow everyone away at the juniors, you better go through the U-23 ranks. You learn more by being a genuine competitor at the U-23 than by being dropped at every pro race.
The only exception seems to be Pogacar, but I'll keep my opinion about him to myself.
 
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Kurt Van de Wouwer (Lotto U23 manager, former top 10 finisher in TDF) isn't a fan of other teenagers following in Evenepoel's footsteps by skipping the U23.



More and more teenagers in professional peleton: "Not a fan of the Evenepoel effect".

Will Ilan Van Wilder, Quinn Simmons and Carlos Rodriguez ever step out of the shadow of Remco Evenepoel?

Last year we were amazed when Remco Evenepoel decided to skip the U23 category, now one young rider after another follows his example. A worrying trend, according to Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports director of the Lotto-Soudal espoirs.

Leaving aside Axel Merckx's team, Remco Evenepoel was the only teenager in the professional peloton last year. In 2020 that number has already increased to 10 teenagers.

It's remarkable that following the example of Evenepoel 5 riders skip the U23 category: Quinn Simmons (to Trek), Carlos Rodriguez (to Ineos), Carlos Canal (to Burgos) and the "cyclo-cross duo" Ben Tulett and Ryan Cortjens (Corendon-Circus).

"That will not be a coincidence", says Kurt Van de Wouwer to Sporza. "The good performance of Evenepoel in his first professional year will certainly have something to do with this trend. "I don't applaud that. Evenepoel is an exceptional case. Other riders now think they're ready for that step too, but that might be a disappointment."

Quinn Simmons became world champion in the juniors in a powerful way. (img)

"Intermediate step to the U23 is really necessary"

As coach of the Lotto-Soudal U23, Kurt Van de Wouwer believes that this category is crucial for the training of a rider. "At the juniors they ride races of 120 to 130 kilometers, at the U23 the number is increased and now and then they also ride races together with the pros. That intermediate step is really necessary."

"A few years ago there were riders like Bakelants, Hermans and De Gendt, who were with the promises for the full 4 years. Now riders like Evenepoel, Simmons and Rodriguez skip that step, while others already after 1 or 2 years at the promises. You have to be very talented to digest that."

"You really have to stand out from the promises to be able to play a role with the pros. Some people forget that. So I'm pretty sure that among the riders who are already making the switch, there will be guys who will quickly fade away. That's also normal. Not all of them can grow into top talents."

"There is also a mental aspect. If you change trains and you're not physically or mentally ready for it, you might get some blows from the pros.

If you change trains and you are not physically or mentally ready, you will suffer. (quote)

"The best juniors are already working with a manager."

From the point of view of the teams, Van de Wouwer understands the appeal of all these young talents. "They are interesting from a budgetary point of view, because their wages are not that high yet."

Money also plays an important role for the riders themselves. "The best juniors already work with a manager. As soon as you perform well, the manager will go around the market with his riders. And then you're off."

"Some riders are also afraid that after less than a year with the promises they might not get a chance again with the pros. They want to forge the iron when it's hot. You also notice that more and more young riders are impatient, among other things because they mirror themselves on an Evenepoel.

Ilan Van Wilder finished 3rd in the Tour of the Future. (img)

"Too bad we can't reap the fruits of Van Wilder ourselves."

Among the 10 teenagers for 2020, Ilan Van Wilder (19) is also a Belgian top talent. Last year he was trained by the team of Van de Wouwer, but already after 1 year he chose for a professional adventure with... Sunweb.

"That was a disappointment for me and the team. You put time and money in the riders and then you can't reap the rewards yourself. In the past many of our youngsters did choose Lotto, like Benoot, Wellens and Lambrecht. For once, it's not."

Is Van Wilder's switch too early? "That is a case of doubt. He is someone who has to succeed. But is he doing the right thing to make the switch so quickly...? By choosing Sunweb, he also chooses a totally different environment. That would have been different for the familiar Lotto. But as with all those young riders, we'll just have to wait and see what it gives the pros."
Definitely an overreaction to Evenepoel's and to a lesser extent Pogacar's performances this year.

That being said, I wonder sometimes if the U23s being a seperate category is all that great for a young riders development.
 

Google Translated

Remco Evenepoel after his impressive debut year: "I am a sportsman, not a media figure"

Remco Evenepoel is preparing for the coming cycling season in the mountains around the Spanish seaside town of Calpe.

"Mojito, por favor", he orders in Calpe. For a good understanding: without alcohol. Remco Evenepoel is sober with his strong professional debut. He can win his first Crystal Bike tomorrow.

Patrick Lefevere, manager of Deceuninck-QuickStep, gives him eight out of ten for his first professional season. A correct quotation? "Patrick has more than enough experience to be able to estimate that correctly," says Remco Evenepoel (19). "So yes."

The first months he lived in a dream, he says. “My first waw moment was that fifteenth place in the ride of the UAE Tour with arrival at Jebel Hafeet. Together with Kwiatkowski, I came up with some of the best in the world. But of course that bleached in everything that went on from the Baloise Belgium Tour to the World Cup in Yorkshire. My level of form and self-confidence kept going crescendo. With that final spot in San Sebastián as the absolute high point. It just didn't work out at the World Time Trial World Championship, but that was no disappointment. The difference with Dennis was too big for that. "

2020 will be the year of confirmation. "That won't be easy," warns Lefevere. Do you allow for a relapse?

"No. I have given myself a status that no longer allows a dip. Yet results will come that are not in line with what I had hoped for. Then I will ask for understanding and patience. I learn from my mistakes and make sure I don't commit them a second time. My strength is, I think, that I can race for a whole season at a high level and at certain moments at a very high level. That's how I want to keep doing it. "

What is the most important lesson?

“It was one big lesson. Compare it with a math course. In the beginning you understand the balls, but once you have mastered the formulas, you have left. ”

The temptation to want to go too fast must have been great at times.

“San Sebastián was an example of that. "Take me and we'll see," I insisted. I was right. Very occasionally it is not a disadvantage to listen to me once (laughs). I don't like lost opportunities. Fortunately, everything is negotiable at Deceuninck-QuickStep. Reason why I love cycling for this team. They can be comfortable, you know: I know my body better and better and I will certainly not run past myself. "

Everyone wants something from you. How do you deal with that?

“The team and my personal press attaché Stephanie Clerckx are the ideal catalysts for this. Together we form a triangle within which there is constant interaction. Gert Late Night for example was a very nice experience. Unfortunately I cannot comment on everything. I am primarily a sportsman, not a TV figure. "

"Let the boy grow at ease," the journalists were hurled at your professional debut in San Juan. Try that in the current situation.

"That" quiet development "was done very quickly. I also do not think that further hammer is needed. Yes, I express my ambitions and I do things that make people dream. I realize that. But I still stick with that. "

How are you perceived in the peloton? Have you ever received negative responses?

“They will undoubtedly be there, but I have not been fired at me directly. However, via a teammate who accidentally caught a conversation about me. Well, that is also part of it. Then I will try to drive even faster next time. "

Your Franc-Parler is a blessing to us. "I had to get used to it in the beginning. Mais Remco est vraiment un bon mec, "says Philippe Gilbert. He appreciated the fact that you were waiting for him after his fall at the World Cup.

“Something preceded this. The third stage of the Adriatica Ionica Race was actually one for Gilbert. But when someone attacked and I responded, he spontaneously shouted, "Continue!" I won, he finished second. Which means he could easily have won himself. "

“At the World Championship time trial in Yorkshire I received a message from him on the bus in the last hours before my start while he was training himself: 'Success!' Those were things I didn't forget. Gilbert had a better chance in the road race than I did, so I was fully committed. "

He thinks this is a gesture with which you can claim leadership in the national team in the coming years.

“An opinion that I like to share. At the Olympics in Tokyo and the World Championship in Martigny, two courses that lie ahead, that will undoubtedly be the case next year. In Flanders 2021 I will probably only go for the time trial. "

In addition to the Paris-Roubaix winner, you will compete in the battle for the Crystal Bicycle against the world hour record holder, three Tour-stage winners and the number one in the world ranking of one-day races.

“In addition to my age and my performance, I think that my attractive course style can be an extra asset. The 'crazy punches' that I sometimes stick out and that do not always lead to victories, such as at the Belgian Championship or in the Tour of Germany. And my emotions. I'm not hiding anything. "

How will this story continue in 2020?

"My winter is going well so far. Physically I am on schedule. I am working super motivated towards my big goals: European Championship, Olympic Games and World Cup. If I am spared setbacks, I will be ready. I will start my season at the end of January up again in the Tour of San Juan. We will see how it continues afterwards. "

"Such a phenomenon as Evenepoel, that was impossible 15 years ago," says Thomas De Gendt. "Prove that the sport has become purer". Is he right?

"I think so. I always take my father as a reference. In the period that he became a professional, he belonged to the world top among the then amateurs. After his transfer he suddenly could no longer follow. Then you know it. "

"Dad says it more often:" This is the perfect time to become a pro, take advantage of it. "That also applies to the guys that I will inevitably encounter on my path in the coming years: Bernal and Pogacar. I expect a beautiful and exciting battle in which we will raise each other to a higher level. Of the three, I have the best time trial, but I am not the best climber. That is why I am going to do more on altitude training. In Livigno I felt that I can also keep up my pace above 2,000 meters. ”

Wish yourself one price for 2020.

"Olympic gold."

In the time trial?

“In both disciplines. No greater honor in top sport. Olympic champion, you will be forever. "
 
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Sorry young man. It's a bit early to be talking about battles with Bernal and Pogacar. His results are very impressive, but he has shown nothing to make one believe he will be battling either of those two for a GT victory anytime soon.
 
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He is 19, a top five time trialist of the world and generally an out of this world talent who doesn't weigh much more than 60 kgs.

If that's nothing, I don't know what to say.
When he wins a hilly one week stage race against other GT contenders people can start to speculate about his GT potential. Until then he is merely the super talented 19 yr old that you describe.
 
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When he wins a hilly one week stage race against other GT contenders people can start to speculate about his GT potential. Until then he is merely the super talented 19 yr old that you describe.
I suspect it won’t be long until that happens. He rode away from people at will several times last year, including some very big names.
 
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In which mountains were those again?
I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention any mountains, and I’m pretty sure I said he rode away from people at will [on various parcours].

We’ll see how he gets on this year, last year he was protected by Lefevere, this year he’ll be let off the leash in some stage races with mountains. He can climb very well, and I have no reason to doubt that he can’t transfer his skills to long climbs. Time will tell.
 
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I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention any mountains, and I’m pretty sure I said he rode away from people at will [on various parcours].

We’ll see how he gets on this year, last year he was protected by Lefevere, this year he’ll be let off the leash in some stage races with mountains. He can climb very well, and I have no reason to doubt that he can’t transfer his skills to long climbs. Time will tell.
You are correct that time will tell. I'll simply hold out for the time we are shown his potential. I will not just let people tell me what the future holds. His talents will definitely shine. The totallity of types of races he shines is yet to be seen.
 
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You are correct that time will tell. I'll simply hold out for the time we are shown his potential. I will not just let people tell me what the future holds. His talents will definitely shine. The totallity of types of races he shines is yet to be seen.
Check out the Worlds video on YouTube when he was 2 minutes behind the leaders after a crash, and he single-handedly brought the big bunch of leaders back, then just rode away from them.

Juniors for sure, but it was mightily impressive, rather like CSS.
 
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Check out the Worlds video on YouTube when he was 2 minutes behind the leaders after a crash, and he single-handedly brought the big bunch of leaders back, then just rode away from them.

Juniors for sure, but it was mightily impressive, rather like CSS.
One word. Juniors.
 

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