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The Next Eddy Merckx? | The Cycling Race News Show

The Next Eddy Merckx? | The Cycling Race News Show

Welcome to the GCN Racing News Show. Coming up this week, we have the inaugural
women’s San Sebastian Classic which was followed by a phenomenal men’s race, we
head to London for the Ride London Classic, take in the Tours of Wallone, Poland and Alsace
and dip into the world cup mountain biking from the weekend. Saturday saw the hotly anticipated women’s
Donostia Klasikoa or the San Sebastian classic take place and what a race it was. With live TV, great crowds and plenty of drama,
we can say it’s a big thumbs up from us. 126.7km in length taking in famous climbs
such as the Jaizkibel, the Murgil Tontora before the fast descent and flat run to the
finish. You may remember Mitchelton Scotts Lucy Kennedy
who was caught on the line in the Giro Rosa by Marianne Vos. This day belonged to her, but it wasn’t
plain sailing by any means! After an early breakaway by Lourdes Oyarbide
of Movistar and BTC-City Lubjiana’s Anastasia Chursina they were caught approaching the
penultimate climb, where over the top Kennedy was now solo in the lead. She must have wondered if her luck had deserted
her again, when she punctured and was left at the side of the road waiting for her team
car, by the time she got a wheel she was a minute behind. Janneke Ensing of WNT Rotor was solo heading
towards the brute that is the Murgil Tontora, Kennedy was joined by a chasing group that
included team mate Georgia Williams who brought her team mate into the climb with a workable
gap to close, Kennedy launched her move and while Ensing was battling her way up the climb,
the difference in speed was noticeable and the Aussie caught and passed her cresting
the summit with a gap that she extended on the descent soloing into the finish to become
the first ever winner of the Klasikoa Donostia ahead of Ensing who hung on for second with
CCC Livs Pauliana Roojakers in third. Giro Rosa demons definitely exorcised! With every generation from any country that
has had one of the legends of the sport, a new young star is always going to be marked
as the next, Merckx, Hinault etc. Cue Remco Evenepoel, the double junior world
champion, who at 19 in the Deceuninck Quickstep has skipped the U23 ranks completely, but
in the San Sebastian classic at the weekend in his first one day world tour race…pretty
blew everyone’s minds! After being dropped on the penultimate climb,
he found his way back, only to go clear with Trek Segafredo’s Toms Skujins. The two hit the Murgil Tontora with a decent
gap, but not something that you would have put your house on that it was a nailed on
victory for one of these two. As the slopes really started to bite the teenager
cracked the Latvian champ, behind the “big names” and pre race favourites were being
lead by the familiar blue of Movistar with two time winner Alejandro Valverde poised
and ready. Incidently, Valverde rode his first San Sebastian
classic in 2002, Remco was born in 2000…makes you feel old doesn’t it. On the descent it became clearer and clearer
that they weren’t coming back and an understandably emotional Evenepoel crossed the line arms
aloft, behind it was Greg Van Avermaet who outsprinted under 23 world champ Marc Hirschi
for second. So this poses the question….just how good
can this young Belgian who only started racing in 2017 become? Is there a percentage gain we can expect as
he matures into adulthood and how do we as a community protect him? Of course ‘The next Eddy Merckx’ is a
tag that is being cast around, Belgium like France are looking for their next Tour de
France winner. But is it fair to continue to tag emerging
talent with this sort of label, and yes you can say i’m guilty of that right now just
by saying it. Remco came into cycling after a promising
career in football, where he also could have gone professional, but footballs loss is cyclings
gain and his performances in the junior ranks last year, were on a different planet compared
to his peers. He won the European road champs by a snip
under 9 minutes and 44 seconds! Amazing! He had 27 victories in 2018 including double
European and World junior road race and time trial titles. So when it was announced that he was turning
pro for Deceuninck Quickstep, there were more than a few eyebrows raised, but! Let’s not forget that Egan Bernal our new
Tour de France Champion also turned pro at 19 and it’s becoming more and more common. A team like Deceuninck Quickstep have one
of the best structures both on and off the bike than any team out there. They might seem a bit old school in some ways,
but they have a sports science background dating back over two decades. I asked physiologist and coach Steve Benton
if there was a number that we might be able to put to the future potential of Remco given
his age. While you may think, ok could it be 2%, 5%,
10% even as he matures, Steve’s answer was well yes and no, while yes, you would expect
him to improve further – in all the various areas (aerobic physiology, race tactics, daily
recovery etc) – but in physiological terms, it’s impossible to predict. As you would do with any athlete, the trainers
and coaches will set particular targets that they feel are appropriate to him but actually
backing up expectations with hard evidence (in the way that you could potentially do
with more ‘average’ riders looking to improve FTP, short duration/capacity power,
sprint power etc) is almost impossible to predict. Otherwise the one size fits all coaching would
be more common, or one programme that works for one person won’t work for another, yes
basic coaching, but there are teams and squads out there that do apply this approach. We are all individuals, our physiology is
of course different. Steve also said that, alot of a riders potential
as a junior depends greatly upon their endocrinology, their hormones, that elite athletes of that
age, that we’ve seen in other sports, are physically as mature as they will get. Remember Peter Sagan when he turned pro and
would romp away on any terrain that he felt like, there were many suggesting he was a
potential grand tour winner. So for Remco in essence we’re on a magical
mystery tour that we can just sit back and enjoy the ride. He is clearly a phenomenon and there are many
future battles that we can’t wait to see. With his team, I would say he’s in the right
place. Had he gone to third division continental
team, he might have been over raced, thrown into races that really don’t suit him, might
not have access to the right back up medically after crashes or illness and to monitor him
to make sure he is not getting over tired, stressed physically and mentally that might
lead to injuries. He will have the best travel, the best conditions
and some pretty experienced mentors to attempt to keep his feet as close to the ground as
he can. Because therein lies the danger, 19! A world beater in a cycling mad nation where
on Flanders Sunday, in the region of 90% of the population are watching by the road side
or on TV. Can we as a cycling community do our best
to protect this young man from flying too close to the sun with all the trappings that
come with fame, and burning our, to make sure we’re still watching him awestruck in 15
years! While 19 is young Ammatti Pyöräily pulled
some Procycling stats together on Twitter and it shows us that he’s not the youngest
winner of some current World Tour Classics. Although you do have to go right back to the
1920s to find such embryonic talent. While one young superstar was winning in Spain,
another was setting the Tour of Alsace alight! Tom Pidcock, world junior time trial champ,
world cyclocross champion as a junior and under 23, and also British U23 cross country
MTB champ to name just a few, but you get the idea. Most interesting of the results though was
Pidcocks victory at the top of Planche des Belle Filles, remember that on from the Tour
de France? Tom and his Team Wiggins team mates defended
the lead to the end in a race that also saw Corended Circus take the opening day’s team
time trial and newly crowned Belgian champion and cross rider Tim Merlier take two stages. Pidcock like Evenpoel poses that question,
just how good will be? On to the Tour de Wallonie, This race in the
French speaking Walloon region of Belgium can sometimes get lost in the mellieu that
is the last weekend of the Tour de France, but it’s a great race and ultimately this
year gave one of the hardest working teams in the peloton a victory. We had stage wins for Timothy Dupont who after
a phenomenal 2016 has struggled to find consistency over the past few seasons, Wanty Groupe Gobert
team mater Loic Vliegen followed this up with a win on the hill top finish the following
day, Davide Cimolai put some personal problems behind him to win stage 3 while we had stage
wins for both Arnaud Demare and Tosh Van der Sande with Vliegen taking the overall victory. The Prudential RIDE London Classique is one
of two legacy events of the London 2012 Olympic games, it’s set to lose its world tour status
in 2020 despite boasting the biggest prize purse of any single day women’s race. The centre of London is flat, despite the
route taking in Constitution Hill, which isn’t a hill. As part of one the worlds largest if not now
the largest festival of cycling, (the organisers claim not mine) with over 100 thousand people
taking part in events over the weekend. The Classique unlike the men’s race on the
Sunday is little more than a criterium where no one really got more than 20-50 metres on
the bunch and it came down to a bunch sprint! Props to Abby Mae Parkinson and Dani Christmas
for attempting to break clear, but with a big prize purse on the intermediate sprints
as well, NOTHING was going away! It came down to the inevitable bunch sprint
where unfortunately it was marred by a mass pile up that saw Kirsten Wild who crossed
the line ahead of Lorena Wiebes, DQ’d for as they say, deviating from her line. She moved left as she tried to find a gap
only to take out Chloe Hosking behind her which then saw a pile up accross the Mall,
which is pretty wide! Wiebes continued her phenomenal season after
being awarded the victory. One of the riders who came off worst was Elinor
Barker broke her collarbone, and who tweeted this afterwards…. And also this one from Chloe Hosking
There are rumours of a change of course ahead and it needs it, hopefully that will come
to fruition, because the women’s road race on the olympic course was one of the most
exciting events of the 2012 games! A change of course for the Surrey Classic
with multiple ascents of the now world famous box hill, did look like it might change the
race quite considerably. A fast start gave way to a break of three
containing Katushas, Alex Dowsett, Lotto Soudals Stan Dewoolf and Jumbo Vismas Pascal Eenkhoorn. This trio never enjoyed more than a two and
a half minute advantage, and after one pre race favourite Caleb Ewen was dropped and
Mike Teunissen went off in chase of the break, we thought there was a possibility of a different
outcome. It is very much a sprinters classic even if
Adam Blythe did win from a break in 2014, but after the break fought for the king of
the mountains points atop Box Hill on the final time, they lost the much needed power
of Dowsett who was crowned the winner of that competition, Dewoolf was the final rider to
be caught after starting the breakaway, cue bunch sprint! Despite a crash inside the final 2km Michael
Morkov delivered Elia Viviani to the line for the victory ahead of Sam Bennett with
the Dane hanging on for third. THIS though I think, is the essence of the
weekend… is this a future winner? That’s the true legacy, surely! Even more WorldTour action kicked off this
weekend with the Tour Of Poland. The first two stages were dominated by the
sprinters, with Pascal Ackermann taking the opening day in Krakow, before a rare victory
for Luka Mezgec on stage 2, made all the more impressive by the fact that it could be one
of the fastest sprints…ever! The Slovenian hit speeds of around 82kph with
200m still to go on the notorious finish at Katowice, which runs gently downhill for the
final kilometre. Absolutely eye watering speeds. SO our good friends over at GMBN spent a day
training with Nino Schurter, by their accounts it nearly killled them…on the day it wasn’t
good enough with Mathieu Van der Poel taking the victory. There was also a welcome return to winning
ways for Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Pauline of course at one time held the road,
cyclocross and mountain at the same time, which must have made packing for races much
easier! We are 9 days into the Transcontinental Race,
a gruelling unsupported race across Europe. and with the Alps behind her, Fiona Kolbinger
is bearing down on the finish line in Brest. She passed checkpoint 4 at Alpe D’Huez nearly
8 hours ahead of 2nd placed Ben Davies, and as we record this, she’s just outside Angers. Only about 400km to go then! Some early business has been confirmed in
the cycling transfer market, which officially opened on the 1st August. And we’ve some big ones already! Mikel Landa has been freed by Movistar and
will team up with Bahrain Merida in 2020. It will be interesting to see if the team
build their Grand Tour aspirations around him – a leading role which he never quite
got at Team Sky or Movistar. After 3 years with Team Sunweb, Lucinda Brand
will race cyclocross and road with Telenet Fidea Lions and Trek Segafredo respectively,
starting on January 1st. Recent Tour De France stage winner Matteo
Trentin will make the switch to CCC in 2020, Brandon McNulty has had some solid early season
results with Rally UHC and has been rewarded with a WorldTour spot with UAE Team Emirates. Talented British youngster Gabriel Cullaigh
moves from Team Wiggins to Movistar on a two year deal next year. And 2-time U23 cross country world champion
Sam Gaze has been picked up as a stagiaire by Deceuninck Quickstep – he will ride a select
number of road races around his MTB commitments. On the rumour mill is Elia Viviani – in great
form with Deceuninck Quickstep, but according to Gazzetta Dello Sport, negotiations broke
down with the Belgian team and he’s on his way to Cofidis. We’ll wait for official word on that in
the coming days. This week, European Championships LIVE on
GCN Racing, don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell icon so that you’re notified
when we go live or upload a new video and you can check out that GMBN meets Nino Schurter
by clicking the link on the screen now. Have a great week bye for now!

65 comments on “The Next Eddy Merckx? | The Cycling Race News Show

  1. “Decunik quickstep might seem a little bit old skool” oh yeah. Their team doctors are certainly old skool using methods popular in the late nineties and early 2000. 😉

  2. Hi. I appreciate your work, as I did during the Tour. One thing that would really help, both for video and audio formats: allow for some breathers in your commentary! It becomes difficult to follow the continuous stream of words with little interruptions, especially when you jump from one race or topic to another seamlessly. 🙂

  3. Do we want the next Mercx though? Correct me if im wrong, but he was a druggie? Cant really hold up and comers to enhanced standards

  4. VDP has the cyclocross world championship, 2 classics wins and 2 WC Mtb wins, just in the last 8 months. Hard to compete with that!

  5. Hay que ver a Renco contra el reloj, carreras de tres semanas y puertos altos … Este chico promete, incluso él no sabe cuál es su especialidad, para el mismo han sido sorpresa sus logros.

  6. ¿Egan Bernal es el nuevo Eddy Merckx?.. (Entrevista poco antes del TDF). El propio Merckx lo elogió y dijo: Es un gran corredor. futuro ganador del Tour de Francia, de seguro … Tiene un gran talento y creo que es el futuro del ciclismo en las carreras por etapas. Tiene una chispa increíble y mucha potencia en las subidas. He visto etapas en las que se va sin mirar atrás y no pueden alcanzarlo … Egan puede marcar una era e ir más lejos que yo.

  7. Next Eddy?
    Sure all he has to do enter the TdF and take the yellow, green, polka-dot and white jersey.
    (There was no white jersey back then but Eddy would have taken that too obviously).
    No pressure at all…

  8. "the next Merckx?…that's a little like asking …'Who will be the next Beatles?'
    …there won't be any next, because one of a kind things only happen once.

  9. 1) there will never be another Eddy Merckx 2) Evenepoel is 19yo and he will crack under all media interest and pressure if you continue like this

  10. I heard ne of remcos teammates apparently said due to him only racing for 18 months and last year going solo quite often his bunch positioning is actually quite bad but his ability to judge breaks and judge his own could potentially already be one of worlds best at getting in brekaways less a mercx more a de gendt I see and that's by no means a bad person to become. Also at his rate of growth to become more than just a breakaway specialist isn't beyond his reach too small however to become clasiccs specialist imo so to see what he does become will be very interesting.

  11. He's not the next Eddy Merckx he is Remco Evenepoel and he will probably win the big races but not as a successor!

  12. Parece que você tem um grande problema com ciclistas sul americanos. Você enumera apenas competidores europeus como sucessores de Merckx e exclui o campeão do Tour de France 2019 e demais ciclistas de Colômbia e Equador. What fuck in going on, mate?

  13. Nice that you're trying to pronounce Sagan's first name the right way as [peter] and not [pi:tə]. If you want to try even harder, the stress in his surname is on the first syllable, SAgan not saGAN, with the "a" in both syllables sounding the same, close to the "a" in French "la".

  14. I think you should do a test to see whether a horse or a bicycle is faster, short distance and long distance. That'll be interesting and it makes me wonder whether Medieval people would've used bicycles as their main form of transport instead of horses in Medieval times had bicycles been invented in Medieval times or earlier.

  15. Why not just let him ride, enjoy some success and celebrate his achievements as an individual without creating excess expectations by comparing him to the past?

  16. Remco Evenepoel has the most unusual brake lever positioning I've ever seen. The first time I saw a video of him riding I thought he'd had an accident.

  17. Meh, boring nationalism. Who cares where the kid is from, hopefully he can just enjoy the sport without boring comparisons

  18. Maybe the next Boonen… never gonna be another Merckx. Eddy was special, and the times have changed. Way too specialized of a sport now. Looking forward to a great career, and I think he has a tremendous upside on tactics more than anything.

  19. Seems like a super nice bloke, but straight up can't watch this guy anymore. As soon as I see or hear him (TDF 19), have to close the page and go elsewhere.

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