The Remco Evenepoel is the next Eddy Merckx thread

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The stage profiles for the tour of San Juan are available. https://vueltaasanjuan.org/recorrido-2020

It looks a bit trickier than last year, especially the time trial which has an uphill finish this time. Remco and Alaphilippe are favourites for that stage. Ganna will probably be less suited because of his weight. I also look forward to Majka’s performance on Alto Colorado.
One important question remains. Will Remco aim for overall victory, long breakaways or both?
I had already posted the profiles in the San Juan thread, and looking at the ITT course, i think it might actually suit Ganna more than i initially thought. The climb is not something he will lose 30 seconds on. He was third on a bumpy WCC course. If he starts the season with a better form than most, he can still take this. But he isn't the biggest favorite probably.
 
How would a ITT without Tt bikes impact the result?
They are slower (less aero, less stiff, and i think different wheelbase as well), but easier to handle (front wheel fork angle), lighter and more comfortable compared to an ITT bike. An ITT bike is something not many riders specifically train on, except GC riders and ITT specialists.

I think
in this case, it is not so much an issue for smaller guys like Alaphilippe & Evenepoel, but might be a disadvantage for a (tall) guy like Ganna who will suffer more from the exponential loss of aero, the taller you get. Also, the more specialized you are, the bigger your advantage would otherwise be compared to those who are not specialized to ride on an ITT bike. Meaning the gap between the first and the last could theoretically be smaller if everybody has to ride on a regular bike.
 
Finally, it's official: Remco will ride the Giro d'Italia 2020.
It's been known for a while, but only made official today in Gazzetta dello Sport.

"No stress, no ambitions for particular results or other. The idea is to be there and make experience. Two weeks, three, maybe just 10 days if I'll be already empty and I don't want to finish myself. I'll try to give the best of me every time."


View: https://twitter.com/giroditalia/status/1215558745947877376
 
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Mar 14, 2019
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I'm concerned about the hype he is on and the pressure. He is basically the biggest star in Belgium currently. At his age this is something that is really dangerous. Not a lot of young people can cope with this kind of stardom. It would be completely different if he was danish, Italian, German or American. In those countries there would still be dozens or hundreds of athletes that are under much more attention.

Hope his parents, management and team protect him.
 
I'm concerned about the hype he is on and the pressure. He is basically the biggest star in Belgium currently. At his age this is something that is really dangerous. Not a lot of young people can cope with this kind of stardom. It would be completely different if he was danish, Italian, German or American. In those countries there would still be dozens or hundreds of athletes that are under much more attention.

Hope his parents, management and team protect him.

Is he bigger than Kevin De Brunye and Edin Hazard?
 
Mar 14, 2019
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Is he bigger than Kevin De Brunye and Edin Hazard?
Even if there's two or three bigger ones you get my point and if he does win something really big at his young age like Liege or Amstel it will be him at the top. He has also become "Man of the year" in Belgium. Not just Sportsman of the year. CRAZY
 
Is he bigger than Kevin De Brunye and Edin Hazard?
At the moment, there is certainly more buzz around Evenepoel than De Bruyne and Hazard. That will likely change when the Belgian National Team will be labeled favorites this summer, to take the European Championship. He also won "Sportsman of the Year" last month, ahead of both of them, by a large margin.

He seems to handle the media attention very well though.
 
Lefevre on Evenepoel riding the Giro:
(from Sporza, translated by moi)

"Only God knows"

Remco Evenepoel makes his debut in 2020's Giro d'Italia. His first Grand Tour. What can we expect of the supertalent? "He's got a lot of ambitions, but they need to be controllable", says Lefevere.

"Getting schooled from time to time, like last year in Romandie, can't hurt. That blow did him some good last year and he realized he's not alone in the peloton. People are lining up to remind him of his goals when he doesn't reach them. We'll try to help him to the best of our abilities."

"He's still only 19, we have to help him remember that if something doesn't work out. He was sending (me) a lot of Italian flags over Whatsapp. I tried to delay the decision as much as possible, regarding the Giro, but he's so strong in his head, it's difficult to disconcert him."

"When i see his candle is dying, i'll personally grab him by his collar and pull him out of the Giro. Towards the future, we're trying to support him with young talented riders. Can he win a Grand Tour one day? Only God knows."
 
Reactions: Joelsim
I hope that he rides at least two weeks of the Giro.
I still thinks that Dennis is a bit stronger in the time trial but if Remco continues to develop himself or Dennis is below his best its going to be very tight. Campenaerts will be a factor especially for the first time trial.

Some of those hilly stages also look quite good for him but in order to do that, it would be better for to lose some time in the first week and sacrifice the overall, which would make sense for someone will already so many goals next season.
 
Do you think Evanopoel will be riding for GC ? Doubt it very much.
He said they're gonna take it day by day. I actually believe that. I think he'll try to follow the big boys in the first week, and based on how that goes, decide what makes most sense. Perhaps they feel even a top 20 is worth pursuing (and why not), or maybe he'll get knocked back 20 minutes in one stage and focus on a stage win, or just freewheel towards the ITT's. Had this Giro come one year later (i mean with the same line-up and the same course & ITT's) he'd definitely have gone for GC, but now it is likely too soon to see it through. If it weren't for Pogacar and Bernal, we'd all have more realistic expectations, lol.

By the way, he's also riding Algarve & Tirreno Adriatico.
 
He's going to face Van der Poel in three races at least: Tirreno, Brabantse Pijl and la Flèche Wallonne. Tirreno could be a new reality check, because the list of participants is impressive.
I can't wait.
 
Evenepoel has lost 4 to 5 kilo!! o_O


If he means compared to this time last year, that means he now weighs 58-59kg. If he means compared to August 2019, then he would even weigh 56-57kg.... On winter training camp in December, he was the only one of the team to push over 6.5w/kg in a 12 minute test, and he wasn't going all out. They also did tests above 1800m altitude, and he didn't lose power there either. (EDIT: as seen here, he means compared to this time last year, meaning he should now weigh roughly 59kg)

The idea is definitely to see what he's capable of in the Giro as a GC rider. Not with great expectations, but as reference. So i assume he won't deliberately lose time in order to attack. He'll also go on altitude before the Giro (likely Sierra Nevada).
 
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He said they're gonna take it day by day. I actually believe that. I think he'll try to follow the big boys in the first week, and based on how that goes, decide what makes most sense. Perhaps they feel even a top 20 is worth pursuing (and why not), or maybe he'll get knocked back 20 minutes in one stage and focus on a stage win, or just freewheel towards the ITT's. Had this Giro come one year later (i mean with the same line-up and the same course & ITT's) he'd definitely have gone for GC, but now it is likely too soon to see it through. If it weren't for Pogacar and Bernal, we'd all have more realistic expectations, lol.

By the way, he's also riding Algarve & Tirreno Adriatico.
I wondered about that and thought getting experience of Italian roads and racing conditions would be sensible ahead of the Giro.

With regard to the Giro I hope there will be no intentional time loss at least until a situation arises where he is over 5 minutes down. If top 15 looks out of reach then sure conserve energy and tank a couple of stages in the grupetto to allow some rest and freedom to pick a stage to attack in the breakaway.

The course suits him better than a typical Vuelta would.
 
... Because with Remco, it seems as if the unimaginable does not exist and that his crazy teenage pipe dreams are just realistic goals for a generational talent.


Sporza:
Don't expect Evenepoel to finish on the podium straight away.
 
I wondered about that and thought getting experience of Italian roads and racing conditions would be sensible ahead of the Giro.

With regard to the Giro I hope there will be no intentional time loss at least until a situation arises where he is over 5 minutes down. If top 15 looks out of reach then sure conserve energy and tank a couple of stages in the grupetto to allow some rest and freedom to pick a stage to attack in the breakaway.

The course suits him better than a typical Vuelta would.
The Giro is a backended route with barely a mountain to be seen in the first 12 stages - With 2 ITT's by this stage then Evanapoel should be at the pointy end - There's a decent chance he could finish the race with the backended route.
 

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