Teams & Riders Ilan Van Wilder - rivals' road to ruin.

There was already a "Van Wilder" thread, but considering the OP was not informative and really just to make a joke, moderators decided it was ok for me to post a new thread. This guy deserves a solid OP. He's a class act.

Unfortunately for Ilan Van Wilder, telling his story - or at least his origin story - is impossible without referring even briefly to an early rival, who pushed him out of the limelight. One he doesn't like being compared to. For all the physical similarities, as well as similar strengths between them, they have vastly different personalities. Van Wilder is rather quiet, and patient. He doesn't need the attention now, his goals come later. One, two or maybe three years down the road. He knows what he wants and where he wants to go. Incredibly self-aware, he is confident in his abilities, but not blind for his weaknesses.

Born in 2000, living near Brussels, only 1m71 tall, a gifted time trialist - especially considering his height and weight - his aero position is a trademark, he's very nimble and agile. Coming from a different sport, obviously. Not soccer or ski-jumping, but swimming. The aim is to become a complete GC rider. It sounds so familiar. He could lose some weight, he knows, but doesn't want to rush that. He's 63kg currently, not heavy, but considering his height, it's enough reason to assume his climbing can certainly improve.

So why is this kid special.

Sometime around 2015, the Belgian cycling federation started recruiting riders at a young age, in order to test their climbing abilities. Something that had been neglected in Belgium for decades with cobbled classics taking center stage. It also meant decades without Belgian GC contenders. The federation started organizing climbing tests in the Ardennes. Van Wilder was also invited to participate in 2017. Erwin Koninckx, the guy responsible for the project, states that currently the best test results aren't those of Bjorg Lambrecht, Harm Vanhoucke, Cian Uijtdebroeks, Mauri Vansevenant or Remco Evenepoel. They belong to Ilan Van Wilder. (Truth be told, at the time of participation, Evenepoel had only been riding his bike for a few months and was 9kg heavier than he should have been.)

As a junior, he was runner up national champion ITT. Runner up European champion ITT. Runner up in GC of Giro della Lunigiana, a junior benchmark for future GC specialists. Runner up in Route des Géants. Second most earned points in the junior ranks. Everybody knows, who the rider was who finished first.

The real breakthrough came as a first year U23/espoir. Van Wilder got top 10 spots in GC in basically every important GC race he entered (except in Aosta, where he got sick and finished 14th). He won the queen stage in Course de la Paix U23, and was 4th in GC. He finished 7th in Ronde de l'Isard, 3rd in Orlen. By the time Tour de l'Avenir came, he was considered an outsider for the win. And hadn't it been for a mechanical in stage 7, making him drop back to the group of the later winner (Foss), he might have been able to compete. Nevertheless, he finished 3rd and the only rider born in 2000 in the top 20.

He then left Lotto U23 a year later, signed for Sunweb (DSM) moved to the pros and immediately finished 17th in GC of Algarve, still only 19 years old. Won bronze in the Euro championships ITT U23, with the riders in front of him being 2 and 1 years older. The rider he pushed off the podium, former junior world champion ITT... Thomas Pidcock. Pidders. The Pidmeister.

And now finally, the world knows him as the guy who started beating world class time trialists like Ganna, Dennis, Thomas, Porte, Küng, McNulty, in his two most recent ITT's in Romandie and Dauphiné. Currently he's wearing the white jersey in the Dauphiné.

So let's get the thread started, but remember, he doesn't want too much hype, so if you want to go nuts, please use a small font!

He can be easily recognized in the peloton, he has a very specific style and position on the bike, especially when climbing. He is rather small, usually stays in the saddle, spinning a small gear, and hunches over his handlebar, arms rather wide.


 
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How does he compare to Evenepoel though?

Just kidding, I bet Lotto is salty that he left them lol.
I can get a bit annoyed with how they portrayed him leaving, as some backstabbing act. As if they made him into the rider he is. The guy was the second best junior and rode for Van Moer Logistics for years. He was at Lotto for exactly one season, when he was U23. They simply weren't able to persuade him to stay, and at that time, it's easy to understand why. Since then Van de Wouwer has taken on a more important role within the team, and had they done that sooner, maybe it would have been easier for him to have stayed. Now they have to work with guys like Grignard, Crass and Moniquet, who don't play in the same league.
 
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Any connection to Brent?
Yes. Sponsored by Brent's father's company.

Edit, too slow.
Am I the only one hoping, that a 3rd person will now start a Van Wilder thread?

We cannot get enough Van Wilder!

:cool:
You must really love that movie. Personally, i never saw it, seemed like a lame joke "boys movie". So i never bothered.
 
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I can get a bit annoyed with how they portrayed him leaving, as some backstabbing act. As if they made him into the rider he is. The guy was the second best junior and rode for Van Moer Logistics for years. He was at Lotto for exactly one season, when he was U23. They simply weren't able to persuade him to stay, and at that time, it's easy to understand why. Since then Van de Wouwer has taken on a more important role within the team, and had they done that sooner, maybe it would have been easier for him to have stayed. Now they have to work with guys like Grignard, Crass and Moniquet, who don't play in the same league.
Let me rephrase that as 'couldn't keep him' :)
 
I once stated that there was no need for a Van Wilder thread, because Logic would make sure to mention him in any other thread, and I still stand by that. But at least he only has one thread (for now).

I wonder how well he will do tomorrow. La Plagne is a little shorter than Thyon 200 and it doesn't have long sections of more than 9 and 10%. There seems to be a high risk of rain though, and that didn't appear to help him in TdR.

To a Dane it's a little funny that he comes from a town called Jette
 
I once stated that there was no need for a Van Wilder thread, because Logic would make sure to mention him in any other thread, and I still stand by that. But at least he only has one thread (for now).

I wonder how well he will do tomorrow. La Plagne is a little shorter than Thyon 200 and it doesn't have long sections of more than 9 and 10%. There seems to be a high risk of rain though, and that didn't appear to help him in TdR.

To a Dane it's a little funny that he comes from a town called Jette
He said the cold and rain got to him on Thyon 2000. I tend to believe him considering his performance the next day definitely wasn't off-form. He started his season late, and he should be better than in Romandie. If tomorrow is cold/rain again, i'll keep my fingers crossed.
 
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He said the cold and rain got to him on Thyon 2000. I tend to believe him considering his performance the next day definitely wasn't off-form. He started his season late, and he should be better than in Romandie. If tomorrow us cold/rain again, i'll keep my fingers crossed.
I don't think it will be too cold tomorrow, so hopefully he'll be able to cope a little better.

Any plans for him to ride a GT (most likely the Vuelta) this year (and not in the way they made him do it last year?
 
I don't think it will be too cold tomorrow, so hopefully he'll be able to cope a little better.

Any plans for him to ride a GT (most likely the Vuelta) this year (and not in the way they made him do it last year?
I can't imagine him not doing a GT this year. But it hasn't been decided whether it would be the Tour or Vuelta (or neither). I'm thinking the next two days will teach them a lot, and whether he's ready for the Tour already, or better to wait for the Vuelta. Personally i think the Vuelta would be a better fit, since he didn't get to ride it last year, and the Tour might be a bit much. But he didn't flat out say TDF is off the table. In an interview earlier this week he said he didn't like to lose time deliberately, in order to pick a stage to go in the break. It doesn't jive with him, and he doesn't think he learns as much from it as trying to follow the big boys and see how they behave. With that in mind, i think the Vuelta is the better fit at the moment.
 
I can't imagine him not doing a GT this year. But it hasn't been decided whether it would be the Tour or Vuelta (or neither). I'm thinking the next two days will teach them a lot, and whether he's ready for the Tour already, or better to wait for the Vuelta. Personally i think the Vuelta would be a better fit, since he didn't get to ride it last year, and the Tour might be a bit much. But he didn't flat out say TDF is off the table. In an interview earlier this week he said he didn't like to lose time deliberately, in order to pick a stage to go in the break. It doesn't jive with him, and he doesn't think he learns as much from it as trying to follow the big boys and see how they behave. With that in mind, i think the Vuelta is the better fit at the moment.
Although he could end up losing time during the Tour in nondeliberate ways, too, I also think it would make better sense for him to give the GC a try in the Vuelta at first.
 
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