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Teams & Riders Ilan Van Wilder - Pale Rider

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Patrick Lefevere is excited for the 'opportunity' Ilan Van Wilder. “I'm glad we got Ilan out of the impasse this way. I am also grateful for the way in which we were able to act correctly with Iwan Spekenbrink (of Team DSM, Van Wilder's previous team, ed.), with the knowledge of the UCI. Van Wilder does not need to be introduced. With the juniors it was always: 1. Evenepoel, 2. Ilan. The intention is that he continues to grow with us. In function of Evenepoel? No. There are three Grand Tours in a season. Although Remco was very happy that Ilan is again his teammate.”

Lodewyck also strongly applauds the arrival of Van Wilder. “Ilan is a GC rider. We want to make him better at both time trialing and climbing. We will use next year to get him to a high level again. He will also be allowed to chase his own ambitions. Will he eventually replace Almeida? You can't possibly say that now." Steels agrees: “Ilan is only 21. He also starts with a blank sheet. Once they are both fully grown, as a team you will of course put all your best forces into the same Grand Tour. It's too early for that now."

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It's a bit of an overstatement that Van Wilder was always 2nd after Evenepoel as a junior, but he was usually in the mix, along with Vacek. He was usually better at GC and TT's than Vacek, and also gathered more points throughout the year (2nd behind Evenepoel), but Vacek was the one who managed to beat Evenepoel a few times.

The comment about Evenepoel being happy Van Wilder being his teammate again, is also true. Van Wilder was aware of this before he signed (i know) and that might have influenced his decision (i think).
 
I'm gonna quote these here:

Ilan van Wilder could really bring a lot to Remco and the team this year, sharing the spotlight and taking the role of Almeida on key races (Lefevered mentioned the Giro).
They did a 15' test 2 days ago during the team stage :
  • Remco : 14'50"i - 430Wii - 7W/kg if 61kgiii
  • Ilan : 15'00"i - 402W i- 6.3W/kg if 64kgiii
Remco's power numbers seem too high for such a small time difference meaning that either the numbers aren't accurate (not the first time) or that Ilan did the first part of the climb in Remco's wheel (seems possible since they have the same climbing time for the first 3km of this 6km segment, then Van Wilder lost 10' on the second part of the climb).

Anyway, Van Wilder finished second of this all-out test with really nice numbers so early in the season and lost only a few seconds on Evenepoel, meaning he probably closed the DSM chapter, ready to open a very nice new one.

i Source : Strava
ii Remco hid his power data but some followers saw it before he did and shared it in the Strava comments
iii Source : ProCyclingStats
Yep, already saw this. I have also heard Ilan looks lean, so he might have lost some weight, which could help with those power numbers.
Compare his numbers to those of Bagioli who did the same test with them, who pushed way higher numbers than Van Wilder and supposedly weighs 4kgs less... yet finished way behind Ilan. In fact, looking at all three of their numbers, it's not Remco's that seem off. But indeed Van Wilder might be one of the few that could actually benefit in Evenepoel's wheel.

Furthermore, Lefevere said Ilan hasn't been training as long as the others, so he might have some more room to improve as well.

But they won't ride a lot of races together this year it seems. Different prep races and different GT.
Doing some more digging, it seems Van Wilder already did this same test with Sunweb two years ago, in 2020, his first wintercamp with the pros. The strange part is, his watts seem to be roughly the same, but his time is completely off. Pushing the same numbers at a similar heartrate, he "lost" 6 minutes on that climb. When "analyzing" the Strava segment, it seems he had stopped (0 km/u) on two occasions during that climb, but somehow he was still pushing watts? I'm not sure what went wrong there.


Anyway, it seems Benoot and Arensman 's times weren't that far off of what Evenepoel and Van Wilder did, so maybe those are simply "very good training numbers" but nothing more? It's like Pogacar with his recent Strava ride, looking like a monster nobody could ever beat, just to notice his 19 year old teammate was only a few seconds behind him.
 
It's scary to see how similar they are. They both did 23.9km/h for their 3' test (remco did not aligned his effort on the KOM) a few days after they completed their 15' test with a 10" gap. Same size, same FTP, same explosivity? (It wout be unfortunate for Ilan...).
Which 3' segment are you speaking of exactly?

Maybe they'll end up more alike than the Yates twins. Seriously though, i think Evenepoel has the bigger sustained effort potential, Van Wilder might be a bit more zippy on shorter efforts. That's my impression. But the biggest difference might be their personality.
 
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Reactions: Sandisfan
Which 3' segment are you speaking of exactly?
Van Wilder Started faster, and then lost speed while remco remained more constant.

Van Wilder : average 23.9km/h (516W), start speed 19km/h, first minute 25km/h, last minute 22.6km/h


Remco : average 23.9km/h, start speed 14km/h, first minute 24.2km/h, last minute 23.5km/h


Devenyns 23.3km/h, Bagioli 23.2km/h, Serry 23km/h. Alaf not on Strava but he was more than probably with them.
 
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