• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

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

Page 703 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

Should we change the thread title?


  • Total voters
    117
Is podium at the Tour worth more than a Vuelta win? Cause it's really not in my book.
I agree with you, a win in any GT is better than a second or third at the TDF. However, a win at the TDF is worth at least 3 Giro , Vuelta or combination thereof wins in my opinion. Winning the TDF is the ultimate prize. I also know if you don't ride it, there is zero chance for you to win it.

I think back to 2014 when Nibali wins the TDF after Froome and Contador are both forced to abandon due to crashes. Nibali was lucky that he didn't ride the Giro that year as he probably wouldn't have won the TDF if he had (although he did win by over 7 minutes). Furthermore, Quintana won the Giro in 2014, but passed on the TDF. Could he have beaten Nibali that year in the TDF? I wonder if Nairo looks back and asks himself "what if?"

Therein lies the dilemma, do you go for glory and try for the TDF win? or do you go a "safer" route, which, of course, doesn't guarantee victory either. Again, my opinion, but I don't believe one can be considered to be a "great" GC rider without winning the TDF at least once.
 
Who really cares about the Italian fall classics though outside of cycling aficionados? Not many, I can tell you that, and its basically only one prestigious one day race in that block and he will miss a lot more than he swings at that.

If I had Vingegaard characteristics I'd just go to la Vuelta as 1a/1b with Roglic and then call it a season after Madrid instead of that nonsense. Good long break on top after.
Remco is a collecor of sorts. He wants to win all the GTs, all 5 monuments, and the two WCs.

Remco has unfinished business at Lombardia. If he is on form he has an excellent chance of winning the race.

He also has unfinished business with the World ITT having finished 2nd, 3rd, 3rd.
 
Im talking fully prepared Ayuso, Mas and Roglic, and then riders like Bernal, C-Rod, Carapaz and especially Pogacar are also very interesting if he decides to give it a go.

Wouldn't rule Vingegaard completely out either as he dropped one day races completely this year after getting spanked in Lombardia again. What else is he gonna do? Vacation into one day races in Italy and realizing that Evenepoel and Pogacar are not one, but two levels above again? He'd rather not Im sure.

Can turn out to be a rather weak field, but also the complete opposite.

And the route doesn't favour Evenepoel as it did last year. This time around he will really be tested in the high mountain, on steep gradients, further on into the race. Still don't know how he exactly copes with that.
We'll have to see what Ayuso is capable of first. Mas, Roglic... they were there last year as well. Bernal, C-Rod, Carapaz... if those are the guys that are going to stop Evenepoel, then why are we even discussing him going to the Tour at all. If those are too much for him to handle at the Vuelta, he definitely shouldn't go to the Tour. Neither Pogacar nor Vingegaard could start at the Vuelta as well prepared as Evenepoel. So if he goes for it 100%, if he doesn't crash or gets sick, and if he is as good as everybody thinks (because why else DOES HE HAVE TO go to the Tour?) then who is going to beat him in the Vuelta? If Pog and Vinge will beat him there (with him being better prepared) then why on earth would someone assume him to beat them at the Tour (with them being better prepared)?
 
We'll have to see what Ayuso is capable of first. Mas, Roglic... they were there last year as well. Bernal, C-Rod, Carapaz... if those are the guys that are going to stop Evenepoel, then why are we even discussing him going to the Tour at all. If those are too much for him to handle at the Vuelta, he definitely shouldn't go to the Tour. Neither Pogacar nor Vingegaard could start at the Vuelta as well prepared as Evenepoel. So if he goes for it 100%, if he doesn't crash or gets sick, and if he is as good as everybody thinks (because why else DOES HE HAVE TO go to the Tour?) then who is going to beat him in the Vuelta? If Pog and Vinge will beat him there (with him being better prepared) then why on earth would someone assume him to beat them at the Tour (with them being better prepared)?
200 people start the race and only one wins the GC. Should all the other ones not even start?
A sportsmen competes. He might not always win but he competes nonetheless.
 
We'll have to see what Ayuso is capable of first. Mas, Roglic... they were there last year as well. Bernal, C-Rod, Carapaz... if those are the guys that are going to stop Evenepoel, then why are we even discussing him going to the Tour at all. If those are too much for him to handle at the Vuelta, he definitely shouldn't go to the Tour. Neither Pogacar nor Vingegaard could start at the Vuelta as well prepared as Evenepoel. So if he goes for it 100%, if he doesn't crash or gets sick, and if he is as good as everybody thinks (because why else DOES HE HAVE TO go to the Tour?) then who is going to beat him in the Vuelta? If Pog and Vinge will beat him there (with him being better prepared) then why on earth would someone assume him to beat them at the Tour (with them being better prepared)?
Roglic, of course...
 
200 people start the race and only one wins the GC. Should all the other ones not even start?
A sportsmen competes. He might not always win but he competes nonetheless.
In a GT there really are only a select few that could win. Even 5 is pushing it. And i don't know if there is really much sense in competing in a race where your chances are very limited, while taking part in itself, basically slashes your chances in 3 other races that you could otherwise compete at with a high chance of winning. But i feel we're debating in circles. You value a potential 3rd place in the Tour over potential a 1st place in the WCC (TT) + potential 1st place in the Vuelta. Ok, i don't, and clearly neither does Evenepoel.
 
Last edited:
I find it interesting that it is mostly our long-standing Remco detractors that want him at the TDF ill-prepared. Haha, I wonder why…(rhetorical).
  1. I am inclined to want him never to do more than one GT a year. There are too many other races that we could enjoy him at. And in one-day and weeklong races he is not forced to race conservatively. GT racing requires such prep nowadays that we do not see the greats as much as I would like. Time at altitude has replaced the disappearing that happened in more nefarious times. Look at Carapaz and G. Neither was seen the entire spring. However, G was great at the Giro and Carapaz looks like he will be perfectly prepped for the TDF. Remco needs the freedom to express his prodigious talents over more races. I am glad he is doing TDS. However, the rest of the season should be focused on Worlds and Lombardia. Whether he does the Vuelta means little to me. People are acting like his season has been a failure. Lol! He has won UAE, two stages of Catalunya and LBL. He then won two stages and held the pink jersey before being felled by illness. This could still be a fantastic season whether he wins a GT or not. He is just 23 and could eventually be the only rider who wins his National, the euro and worlds road and TT championships in a career. No one else has even come close…
  2. I don’t particularly like Ineos, but if he really wants to pursue GTs, he should move over. They have the quality, depth and experience to immediately support him at the TDF. Also, G is a friend (and also seems like a genuinely great guy). He could learn so much from him and perhaps benefit from G being the team captain. G also clearly knows exactly how to prepare to be at his best fora GT.
  3. Lastly, all the hair-pulling over his exit at the Giro. LOL. It is abundantly clear that he started to be affected by COVID on stage 8. Then he barely scraped the win in the TT and looked horrible at the end. He also had very little body fat (if he had 1-2 kgs more -which I doubt - it must have been muscle). When you are running on minimum body fat you are particularly susceptible to illness or an inability to overcome illness. And for those who declared loudly that he should have gone on no matter, LOL and LOL again. How absolutely ridiculous. Does no one remember Hinault disappearing from the TDF in 1980 after regaining the yellow jersey in the ITT midway. His knee was hurting and he did not want to risk career damage. He left in the middle of the night without telling anyone. 6 weeks later he dominated and won his only WC.
 
I find it interesting that it is mostly our long-standing Remco detractors that want him at the TDF ill-prepared. Haha, I wonder why…(rhetorical).
  1. I am inclined to want him never to do more than one GT a year. There are too many other races that we could enjoy him at. And in one-day and weeklong races he is not forced to race conservatively. GT racing requires such prep nowadays that we do not see the greats as much as I would like. Time at altitude has replaced the disappearing that happened in more nefarious times. Look at Carapaz and G. Neither was seen the entire spring. However, G was great at the Giro and Carapaz looks like he will be perfectly prepped for the TDF. Remco needs the freedom to express his prodigious talents over more races. I am glad he is doing TDS. However, the rest of the season should be focused on Worlds and Lombardia. Whether he does the Vuelta means little to me. People are acting like his season has been a failure. Lol! He has won UAE, two stages of Catalunya and LBL. He then won two stages and held the pink jersey before being felled by illness. This could still be a fantastic season whether he wins a GT or not. He is just 23 and could eventually be the only rider who wins his National, the euro and worlds road and TT championships in a career. No one else has even come close…
  2. I don’t particularly like Ineos, but if he really wants to pursue GTs, he should move over. They have the quality, depth and experience to immediately support him at the TDF. Also, G is a friend (and also seems like a genuinely great guy). He could learn so much from him and perhaps benefit from G being the team captain. G also clearly knows exactly how to prepare to be at his best fora GT.
  3. Lastly, all the hair-pulling over his exit at the Giro. LOL. It is abundantly clear that he started to be affected by COVID on stage 8. Then he barely scraped the win in the TT and looked horrible at the end. He also had very little body fat (if he had 1-2 kgs more -which I doubt - it must have been muscle). When you are running on minimum body fat you are particularly susceptible to illness or an inability to overcome illness. And for those who declared loudly that he should have gone on no matter, LOL and LOL again. How absolutely ridiculous. Does no one remember Hinault disappearing from the TDF in 1980 after regaining the yellow jersey in the ITT midway. His knee was hurting and he did not want to risk career damage. He left in the middle of the night without telling anyone. 6 weeks later he dominated and won his only WC.

If he is the next Merckx, he needs to be Merckx and do 2 GTs starting next year. Else, he isn't the next Merckx.

Very doable schedule next year.

UAE Tour
TA
MSR
RVV
Amstel
FW
LBL
Giro
TDF
Olympic RR
Olympic TT
Go play with Oumi
 
  • Haha
Reactions: KenFiamingo
In a GT there really are only a select few that could win. Even 5 is pushing it. And i don't know if there is really much sense in competing in a race where your chances are very limited, while taking part in itself, basically slashes your chances in 3 other races that you could otherwise compete at with a high chance of winning. But i feel we're debating in circles. You value a potential 3rd place in the Tour over potential a 1st place in the WCC (TT) + potential 1st place in the Vuelta. Ok, i don't, and clearly neither does Evenepoel.
With this mentality (basically you only go to races you think you can win) he'll never ride the Tour at all. The truth is that for the forseeable future Evenepoel at the Tour will have to deal with Vingeggard and Pogacar. What, then, is the difference between this year and any of the coming 5-6? He has already won the Vuelta, had two failed cracks at the Giro, but has never done the Tour. It's the Tour, however, that's the biggest prize. He could win five more Vueltas and nobody outside Belgium would really care. But if he wins just one Tour anybody around the world even casually watching will take notice.

Yet I doubt when Evenepoel goes to the Tour for the first time, even in optimal condition, he wins against fully prepared and healthy Vingo and Pog. Lemond went to the Tour for the first time in 84 and got 3rd, in 85 and got 2nd, in 86 and finally won, which is to say experience counts greatly. It's extremely rare that a rider wins the Grand Bouclé in his first attempt, all the more so against the likes of generational talents such as Vingo and Pog. Hence, I think if Remco one day is going to win the Tour, he will need to race it more than once.

Not sending him to the Tour because it doesn't follow this year's plan? Fine. However, neither does going to the Vuelta. As I see it, the team should be asking itself: between the Tour and Vuelta, which experience would serve him better at this point in his career? Patrick has said, nobody in Belgium would be happy with sending him to the Tour now only for experience. Really? Would they be any less unhappy when he's sent to the Tour to win and doesn't (also because he's got no experience of the race)? Unfortunately, I think this will be the more likely scenario and again, as he's already won the Vuelta, what's holding him back if the goal is to win the Tour sooner than later? Wouldn't it, therefore, be better to get started now (also for the team, which seems to need much work towards acheiving the Big One)? There is also to consider that if it's stated he starts the Tour with no GC goal in mind, with a legitimate excuse of an abandoned Giro that led to plan B, then he doesn't have any pressure. He could finish 50th or top 3. Either way he gains invaluable experience for future attempts at a possible win. Moreover, in cycling anything can happen during one's career, the perils of the sport and pitfalls of life being what they are. So you never can bank on things always going to plan. Evenepoel has already gone over a bridge, not to mention catching Covid at the worst possible moment, literally ruining months of work; thus Soudal should know this all too well. Lemond got shot. Someone else needed knee surgery, another was hit by a car, etc. Consequently, playing the waiting game can be just as risky, as constant prudence by over-managing and over-protecting your star can lead to missed opportunities. At a certain point, you just have to give it a go, imho.

I hope I'm wrong and that Evenepoel goes to the Tour according to the plan and wins, but something tells me Soudal is being overly cautious. Of course, what Evenepoel wants is paramount. But here too, is the rider being manipulated by those who believe they've got his best interests in mind (with good intentions), but perhaps are actually stifling his growth? I wonder.
 
Last edited:
I find it interesting that it is mostly our long-standing Remco detractors that want him at the TDF ill-prepared. Haha, I wonder why…(rhetorical).
  1. I am inclined to want him never to do more than one GT a year. There are too many other races that we could enjoy him at. And in one-day and weeklong races he is not forced to race conservatively. GT racing requires such prep nowadays that we do not see the greats as much as I would like. Time at altitude has replaced the disappearing that happened in more nefarious times. Look at Carapaz and G. Neither was seen the entire spring. However, G was great at the Giro and Carapaz looks like he will be perfectly prepped for the TDF. Remco needs the freedom to express his prodigious talents over more races. I am glad he is doing TDS. However, the rest of the season should be focused on Worlds and Lombardia. Whether he does the Vuelta means little to me. People are acting like his season has been a failure. Lol! He has won UAE, two stages of Catalunya and LBL. He then won two stages and held the pink jersey before being felled by illness. This could still be a fantastic season whether he wins a GT or not. He is just 23 and could eventually be the only rider who wins his National, the euro and worlds road and TT championships in a career. No one else has even come close…
  2. I don’t particularly like Ineos, but if he really wants to pursue GTs, he should move over. They have the quality, depth and experience to immediately support him at the TDF. Also, G is a friend (and also seems like a genuinely great guy). He could learn so much from him and perhaps benefit from G being the team captain. G also clearly knows exactly how to prepare to be at his best fora GT.
  3. Lastly, all the hair-pulling over his exit at the Giro. LOL. It is abundantly clear that he started to be affected by COVID on stage 8. Then he barely scraped the win in the TT and looked horrible at the end. He also had very little body fat (if he had 1-2 kgs more -which I doubt - it must have been muscle). When you are running on minimum body fat you are particularly susceptible to illness or an inability to overcome illness. And for those who declared loudly that he should have gone on no matter, LOL and LOL again. How absolutely ridiculous. Does no one remember Hinault disappearing from the TDF in 1980 after regaining the yellow jersey in the ITT midway. His knee was hurting and he did not want to risk career damage. He left in the middle of the night without telling anyone. 6 weeks later he dominated and won his only WC.
Fair points, but I don't think focussing on a GT has to compromise a whole season. Look at Pogacar, who wins from February to October. Evenepoel, too, has been no slouch in this regard, but has only had more misfortunes till now, first going over a bridge and now Covid. The moral is sh-it happens. Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men simply don't work out. So you adapt. Sometimes you should even throw caution to the wind. Winning one day races can be achieved basically throughout one's career with Evenepoel's talent, even when he's past his prime. As for eventually winning the Tour, however, there is only a window and while it's open you need to at least be there to benefit.

There is also something else to consider, namely that there have been riders in the past who had to abandon the Giro, who in 28 days or so from its conclusion got back to reasonable fitness to do great things at the Tour, riding into top form by the end. Look at how the very Roglic was going at the Vuelta before crashing out last year, having previously abandoned the Tour due to injury. If Remco's as talented as he appears, he might yet surprise at a Tour in which he has no declared objectives. And for once just doing something for the experience might actually do him some good. For I don't like what seems to be Soudal policy that he only starts races they believe he can win. Since each time he doesn't the sense of failure becomes increasingly burdensome. He needs to have room just to learn.
 
Last edited:
If he is the next Merckx, he needs to be Merckx and do 2 GTs starting next year. Else, he isn't the next Merckx.

Very doable schedule next year.

UAE Tour
TA
MSR
RVV
Amstel
FW
LBL
Giro
TDF
Olympic RR
Olympic TT
Go play with Oumi
Very doable if you don’t want him to win much. I don’t even think people would even think Pog could do well on that kind of schedule. It’d be better to either do the Giro or the Tour next year. Giro if he and the team think skipping the Tour will set Evenepoel up for more success at the Olympics.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lui98
Doing two GTs a year is very much still an option these days, and winning a bucket load or races has proved to still be possible by Pogačar.
But it’s either focus everything on those two GTs with supplemental week races or focus on a bucket load of races with 1 GT. Not 2 GTs, 3 monument, and 2 Olympic races as the main goals with the rest being fluff. Not even Pog could do that.
 
Doing them, sure, but winning them? Your list means he has to be great from beginning of April to end of July... That's not realistic at all.
Obviously it wouldn't be an easy task, but I also don't think you would need to win as much as Merckx did to be regarded as being his equal, because times indeed have changed. If someone is actually capable of doing it, then Remco is at least one of the prime contenders, and I would approve if he decided to take the risk and go for it (not that I expect him to actually do it though)

If you remove UAE, RVV, Amstel and FW from houtdffan's schedule, then I don't think it's too much for him to handle, and it would still be a pretty great accomplishment if he were to win them all or at least get very close to it.
 
Obviously it wouldn't be an easy task, but I also don't think you would need to win as much as Merckx did to be regarded as being his equal, because times indeed have changed. If someone is actually capable of doing it, then Remco is at least one of the prime contenders, and I would approve if he decided to take the risk and go for it (not that I expect him to actually do it though)

If you remove UAE, RVV, Amstel and FW from houtdffan's schedule, then I don't think it's too much for him to handle, and it would still be a pretty great accomplishment if he were to win them all or at least get very close to it.
I think the biggest issue is the Giro in between the classics and the Tour. I don't think it's realistic to do all 3 at a high level, while Pogacar before his fall was proving that it is possible to do a long great classics run and be ready for the Tour. Maybe even WC/Lombardia after it. Doing all of that is imo a Merckx-like schedule in this day and age.
 
The problem with not maximizing his opportunities at the TdF is the imbalance between the TdF and other races. From an insider perception, and I consider us part of that, it's great to have a more balanced career with focus on a large number of races. Even if you just follow UCI points as a quality measure that is still a great idea. Unfortunately, from an outsider perception, the TdF is way above everything else. Together with the Worldcup and the olympics it is the biggest sports event on Earth from a viewership poin of view. It is much more valuable than the giro or vuelta. So, yes, a podium at the tour and even a Van Aert like performance outshines a vuelta or giro win. Having the spotlight on you during the tour is what counts. I hope this changes and we get a more balanced calendar like in tennis for example but today this is not the case.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Extinction
I think the biggest issue is the Giro in between the classics and the Tour. I don't think it's realistic to do all 3 at a high level, while Pogacar before his fall was proving that it is possible to do a long great classics run and be ready for the Tour. Maybe even WC/Lombardia after it. Doing all of that is imo a Merckx-like schedule in this day and age.
He would probably need some good GT routes to pull it off, for instance a Giro route with an easy third week and a Tour with an easy first week and some longer ITTs, but cycling needs dreamers who wants to break the old records.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Berniece
I said a few weeks or months ago, that I would like to see him do...

Valenciana
Andalucia (or Algarve, they seem to like that race but Andalucia would be more fun)
T-A or P-N
Catalunya
Ardennes
Dauphine or Suisse
Tour
Olympics?
San Sebastian
Vuelta
Worlds
Lombardia

If he is too tired after Tour and Olympics... skip San Sebastian and Vuelta. Go on an altitude camp or something instead. Some warm-up race and he will probably be ready. Or just go straight from altitude. Worked before.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan