In recent days, Belgian cycling fans have been spoiled with the victories of Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel. This morning Michel Wuyts analyzed the triumph of Van Aert in Siena, in this article the number of Evenepoel in Burgos is discussed.
Remco Evenepoel laid the last cornerstone for the foundation to build a great career in Burgos last week. It was no coincidence that I wrote in another contribution: he can climb.
We were all waiting to see that confirmed on screen and that clearly happened last week on the Picon Blanco.
His team will have already seen that on internships, but he now also does it on European soil against specialists. Not only does he follow, he also drives away from it.
What also charmed and intrigued me is that special way of driving uphill. He doesn’t jump from someone else’s back. He takes over, puts out a tooth and forces a hole.
He leaves the rest for the moment in the illusion that they can close it, but that is a disillusion. He has the ability to accelerate again during his exertion. I call that humming. No herb has been washed against that.
You could say it was only Burgos. No, it was Burgos. The occupation was times 10 compared to previous years. Normally that is a side price, but that was different now.
The number of Evenepoel on the Picon Blanco:
“He was guided by the trailer and that reassures me”
Very important: Remco Evenepoel is also practically race intelligent. He made the right decisions on the Picon Blanco. He is also guided by the support car.
I used to think in the past: he might pay a price for being an unguided projectile. That is also allowed for a large part, that he chooses an idiosyncratic path.
But he let the car steer him and waited until the signal came to try something. That turned out very well and that reassures me.
Remco Evenepoel lays the foundation for his overall victory.
“He can go for a classification in the Giro, but tempering becomes essential and failure is allowed”
That fact also teaches me that he can go for a classification in the Giro. With a little insurance I also say that he can fail there. This will be less obvious to the public, but that will not bother me.
He has laid the cornerstone on which he is more likely to succeed than to fail. He has the talent for a classification, he has a formidable recovery capacity, even in full competition, and he is well guided.
If he wins the opening time trial of the Giro or comes second after Rohan Dennis and if he finishes in the top 5 on day 3 on Etna, then he must go for a classification.
Even if tempering then becomes essential. Every now and then he has to hold back, racing with his mind. You have to get that third week and be there at your best.
But there is an important side note: thank God there are still time trials in the Giro and he has to do everything he can. That fact turns against him, because the Tour has had time trials and I think that is outrageous.
It is a wisdom as old as the race: the discipline in which an individual can best distinguish himself is a time trial. So restore it. That does not have to be 70 kilometers, but 40 or 50 kilometers, that is allowed.
Tempering becomes essential. Every now and then he has to hold back, racing with his mind. You have to get that third week and be there at your best.
“What’s more pleasant for a 20-year-old than challenges?”
But as I said before: the challenges come in the 3rd week of the Giro, with trips to Madonna di Campiglio and Sestrières, with a few great guys on the way. But what’s more pleasant for a 20-year-old than challenges?
Giuseppe Saronni won the Giro at 21, Damiano Cunego at 22. Team doctor Vanmol tells me: Saronni was not as complete as Evenepoel. So it is possible.
You can also banish doubts about its progression, because it grows in explosiveness.
His pain threshold is getting higher and higher, he is getting mentally stronger and his greatest strength is that he can maintain his extremely high level on his limit longer than anyone else.
The breed horse has already won the Rounds of San Juan, the Algarve and Burgos this year.
“Everyone is interested: will it remain viable?”
Of course there is also a danger: everyone is interested in Remco Evenepoel. The wave of questions, interest, interviews, participation in programs, that wave will be enormous.
It is perhaps a good thing that people are now somewhat reticent about corona. But will that remain livable? I fear that isolation will have to be chosen to a large extent.
That will be a quest for life in youth.
Remco is playful next to the bicycle, especially in his statements. He does not shy away from the injections, not even to the media. So you doubted me? I don’t. But his behavior on the bike is getting more and more mature.
Everyone is interested. Will that remain viable? I fear that isolation will have to be chosen to a large extent.
“Pogacar becomes his real challenger”
I am often asked if he can handle Tom Dumoulin (29) and Egan Bernal (23) now?
I think they will hardly meet each other this season, but Dumoulin as a 20-year-old was not able to do what this Evenepoel can do. I say that with certainty.
And Evenepoel can do at least as much as 20-year-old Bernal. He can certainly do more as a time trialist. And they are both cool frogs.
I suspect that Tadej Pogacar will become the real challenger of Evenepoel. He will encounter that explosive cannon – I consciously use that double term – so much more.
It is interesting that they have a different style. Pogacar sprints uphill from his opponents, Evenepoel breaks them from his saddle.
Evenepoel is aiming for Lombardy, the World Cup and the Giro in the coming months.
“Evenepoel must become the best possible Evenepoel”
It was also not hit every time with the greatest and I do not pronounce his name.
That makes no sense, again. Evenepoel must become the best possible Evenepoel. That should be the intention.
As a cycling enthusiast it is special to look to the future with that science.