Teams & Riders Offical Wout Van Aert isn't a Belgian Pozzato?

Page 7 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Re:

tobydawq said:
Yeah, how strange that people compare the two. Not natural at all...
Apart from their origin as CX riders, they are pretty different riders. I understand why people compare them, i just don't agree. I'm sure by now both have shown their pedigree as road racers and what they are capable of.

Dekker_Tifosi said:
It's almost weird how we, or at least I, expected Van Aert to be up there, and the didn't disappoint. Hard to forget it's only his 2nd real road season and first entry in many big races.

I already count him as one of the regulars in all the big classics (expect lbl/lombardia, that's probably too much uphill)
As i stated before, he's been very consistent since he started his road carreer. At 24, he's already much more consistent than guys 3-4 years older. I think that's also part of why you "expect" him to be up there.
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
tobydawq said:
Yeah, how strange that people compare the two. Not natural at all...
Apart from their origin as CX riders, they are pretty different riders. I understand why people compare them, i just don't agree. I'm sure by now both have shown their pedigree as road racers and what they are capable of.
Van Aert has shown himself to be quite fast, good on cobbles and on gravel.

Van der Poel has shown himself to be quite fast, good on cobbles and on gravel.

Maybe van der Poel is slightly punchier but they are certainly made for the same races, and I wouldn't be able to pin-point one rider in the peloton that reminded me more of either of the two than the two do of one another.
 
And they both have "van" in their name ;)

Sure. Again, i understand, i just don't really agree. It's not just that Mathieu is more punchy and Wout is heavier and more muscular, it's also about the way they race and prepare. Wout seems very focused, is able to set his goals, doesn't leave things to chance quite as easily. While Mathieu sometimes seems to race with the spirit of a 12 year old and faces problems as they present themselves.

And there are other things that often bug me about the people comparing them, because it very quickly turns into fanboy drivel.
 
Feb 20, 2019
324
28
1,330
Re:

Dekker_Tifosi said:
I also think of Van Aert of being more of a 'powerhouse' and able to keep tempo better (like in a time trial). While vd Poel is more of a 'springveer', a punchy guy like Sagan with a good sprint.
That seems to be the general consensus. With that being said though, I wonder where exactly Mathieu has shown to have an inferior "engine" or being less of a "powerhouse" compared to Wout. Seems to me they both have big engines. Keeping a constant high tempo and being technically gifted is what CX is all about. Based on that fact and the last two CX seasons it would indicate that Mathieu has the bigger "engine". I'm not saying that it's true, I'm just saying that going by those metrics one would think that the opposite of the general consensus is true.

What is apparent, though, is that Mathieu has that edge of being technically superior and being the "punchier" of the two. That's not to say that the one is better than the other per se. Especially on the road, Wout has proven his worth among the elites of the peloton as well as in the biggest of races. So Mathieu has some catching up to do as far as road racing is concerned. Mathieu has done incredibly well so far in both Nokere (I thought he had that in the bag before he fell), and in GP Denain (Solo win, an riding very impressively on cobbles while taking quite the tumble 4 days prior in Nokere). Of course he had some impressive showings in the past as well; junior RR World Champion, National RR Champion, Silver Medalist RR European Championship (Wout 3rd).

What can be concluded is simply that they are both VERY talented bike riders and that the comparison, in terms of their long-time rivalry in CX, is inevitable albeit being different type of riders. However, after yesterday, I'd say they will be meeting each other more often next season as Mathieu looked very smooth on those cobbles so PR is a given next year. I also think Mathieu would do amazing in Strade. It's hard to think of a race he wouldn't excel in, such is the talent he has shown up to this point, and you'd always fancy him having a better finish than Wout if it comes down to it. However, if Wout really has the bigger "engine" than he'd simply have fresher legs and would be able to beat Mathieu in a sprint. I guess we'll have to wait and see in order to settle the "powerhouse/bigger engine" argument.

I'm just glad that Wout and Mathieu are proving that CX isn't an "inferior" sport. Stybar has also been a testament to this. It's also amazing to see that after grueling CX season they still manage to remain in top condition to race on the road. Can't wait for RVV.
 
Re: Re:

He sent Sven Nys a text message, to rectify earlier statements about his weight. Apparently, he currently weighs 77.4 kgs.

Mavic said:
Based on that fact and the last two CX seasons it would indicate that Mathieu has the bigger "engine". I'm not saying that it's true, I'm just saying that going by those metrics one would think that the opposite of the general consensus is true.
Based the last two CX seasons... I'm sorry, but it has been painfully obvious that since the summer of 2017, Wout has been working towards his carreer on the road, and looking at CX as a stepping stone. In September 2017, in the opening races in the USA, Wout was comepletely out of shape, he got passed left and right by riders that he would normally beat on one leg. That entire season was a build up towards his first spring season on the road. The fact that he won the WC, and how, is testament to that. He knew very well he couldn't do a regular CX season from September to Februari, and be fresh in March.

The past winter there was also too much going on to conclude anything. He even got surpassed by Aerts. So, unless you are going to argue that Aerts has a bigger engine than Wout, your assessment holds little water. What he have seen though, the 3 years prior, is that in hard CX races on long climbs, Wout has usually been superior to Mathieu. We have also seen Wout beat Tony Martin in an ITT 3 years ago, and we have seen him finish second by 8 seconds in an ITT in August, handily beating Bjerg by half a minute. The same Bjerg that would become World Champion ITT U23 one month later by a huge margin. The same Bjerg that attacked Wiggins' Hour Record two months later and came up short about 700 meters.

I refuse to believe that Wout has raced the past 2 CX seasons at full potential, because that would indeed mean, that guys like Aerts (who mainly beat Wout on power) would be even better than Wout on the road. And there is just no way. Clearly, the Van Aert from Strade or San Remo, isn't the same Van Aert that was left for dead by Mathieu on a straight easy riding pitch in November.

As for Mathieu, i've said that before. He's not only punchier, he's also technically a few levels better than Van Aert. A CX race lasts one hour, and there are give or take 9 laps to complete. With each of them maybe 40 corners, obstacles, sandboxes... Because his technical superiority, he can attack each of those at a higher speed. Because he is punchier, he can accelerate faster as well, on top of being able to maintain a higher speed throughout the corner/obstacle... Let's say he gains 0.2 second on average (and honestly, i think it's more) per corner/obstacle or technical passage. That's easily 8 seconds (and again, it's going to be more, but for arguments sake) per lap. That's 8 seconds per lap any competitor has to make up for by sheer effort if you want to keep up. That's well over a minute throughout the entire race. And nobody can keep making up for that. Wout would have to be physically superior by quite a margin, to still be able to beat Mathieu. You could even say that it's somewhat of a miracle that he beat him so often in the past.

So, as far as road racing goes, they both start from scratch. CX comparisons simply go out the window because they each had a different aproach the past few seasons, and because the advantage that Mathieu has in CX (due to technique and punchiness), is of little importance in a 260km road race.

They have been my two favorite CX riders (along with Meeusen, for comical reasons) and i hope they do well on the road, but i won't be comparing them or making judgement calls on "who is the best" out of both. Is Alaphilippe a better rider than Sagan? Is Van Avermaet a better rider than Terpstra? It's pointless and context is everything.
 
Feb 20, 2019
324
28
1,330
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
He sent Sven Nys a text message, to rectify earlier statements about his weight. Apparently, he currently weighs 77.4 kgs.

Mavic said:
Based on that fact and the last two CX seasons it would indicate that Mathieu has the bigger "engine". I'm not saying that it's true, I'm just saying that going by those metrics one would think that the opposite of the general consensus is true.
Based the last two CX seasons... I'm sorry, but it has been painfully obvious that since the summer of 2017, Wout has been working towards his carreer on the road, and looking at CX as a stepping stone. In September 2017, in the opening races in the USA, Wout was comepletely out of shape, he got passed left and right by riders that he would normally beat on one leg. That entire season was a build up towards his first spring season on the road. The fact that he won the WC, and how, is testament to that. He knew very well he couldn't do a regular CX season from September to Februari, and be fresh in March.

The past winter there was also too much going on to conclude anything. He even got surpassed by Aerts. So, unless you are going to argue that Aerts has a bigger engine than Wout, your assessment holds little water. What he have seen though, the 3 years prior, is that in hard CX races on long climbs, Wout has usually been superior to Mathieu. We have also seen Wout beat Tony Martin in an ITT 3 years ago, and we have seen him finish second by 8 seconds in an ITT in August, handily beating Bjerg by half a minute. The same Bjerg that would become World Champion ITT U23 one month later by a huge margin. The same Bjerg that attacked Wiggins' Hour Record two months later and came up short about 700 meters.

I refuse to believe that Wout has raced the past 2 CX seasons at full potential, because that would indeed mean, that guys like Aerts (who mainly beat Wout on power) would be even better than Wout on the road. And there is just no way. Clearly, the Van Aert from Strade or San Remo, isn't the same Van Aert that was left for dead by Mathieu on a straight easy riding pitch in November.

As for Mathieu, i've said that before. He's not only punchier, he's also technically a few levels better than Van Aert. A CX race lasts one hour, and there are give or take 9 laps to complete. With each of them maybe 40 corners, obstacles, sandboxes... Because his technical superiority, he can attack each of those at a higher speed. Because he is punchier, he can accelerate faster as well, on top of being able to maintain a higher speed throughout the corner/obstacle... Let's say he gains 0.2 second on average (and honestly, i think it's more) per corner/obstacle or technical passage. That's easily 8 seconds (and again, it's going to be more, but for arguments sake) per lap. That's 8 seconds per lap any competitor has to make up for by sheer effort if you want to keep up. That's well over a minute throughout the entire race. And nobody can keep making up for that. Wout would have to be physically superior by quite a margin, to still be able to beat Mathieu. You could even say that it's somewhat of a miracle that he beat him so often in the past.

So, as far as road racing goes, they both start from scratch. CX comparisons simply go out the window because they each had a different aproach the past few seasons, and because the advantage that Mathieu has in CX (due to technique and punchiness), is of little importance in a 260km road race.

They have been my two favorite CX riders (along with Meeusen, for comical reasons) and i hope they do well on the road, but i won't be comparing them or making judgement calls on "who is the best" out of both. Is Alaphilippe a better rider than Sagan? Is Van Avermaet a better rider than Terpstra? It's pointless and context is everything.
So basically we agree with each other, then. There's no way anyone can say who the bigger "powerhouse" is using historical data. That was my main point. I don't know how Wout being the "powerhouse" out of the two became a general consensus. Even if we don't take the last two CX seasons into account, there's still not enough proof to separate the two in terms of being the "powerhouse". Mathieu dominated in the junior ranks, then after a growth spurt, little Wout got big, increasing both his physical and winning capacity. Even then, though, Wout never really blew Mathieu out of the water.

I remember a particular season where Mathieu started the season late due to injury, so Wout, in his absence, won most races before Mathieu recovered enough to start racing, rendering his chances of winning any competition slim to none. However, what was intriguing in that season were the numbers for the outcome of every direct 1-on-1 duels between Mathieu and Wout that season. I think Wout only managed to win 1, and it was due to a mechanical if I remember correctly. Mathieu’s uncanny ability, to find a way where there seems to be none has made for some amazing finishes to the races that season vs Wout. Of course racing on the road isn’t CX, but the point is that there’s nothing really separating them in terms of physical capablities, they are both "powerhouses". However, as mentioned by both you and I, Mathieu has more "tools" he can rely on in order to make the difference vis-a-vis Wout. That's all I'm saying, nothing more nothing less.
 
Re: Re:

Mavic said:
So basically we agree with each other, then. There's no way anyone can say who the bigger "powerhouse" is using historical data. That was my main point. I don't know how Wout being the "powerhouse" out of the two became a general consensus. Even if we don't take the last two CX seasons into account, there's still not enough proof to separate the two in terms of being the "powerhouse". Mathieu dominated in the junior ranks, then after a growth spurt, little Wout got big, increasing both his physical and winning capacity. Even then, though, Wout never really blew Mathieu out of the water.

I remember a particular season where Mathieu started the season late due to injury, so Wout, in his absence, won most races before Mathieu recovered enough to start racing, rendering his chances of winning any competition slim to none. However, what was intriguing in that season were the numbers for the outcome of every direct 1-on-1 duels between Mathieu and Wout that season. I think Wout only managed to win 1, and it was due to a mechanical if I remember correctly. Mathieu’s uncanny ability, to find a way where there seems to be none has made for some amazing finishes to the races that season vs Wout. Of course racing on the road isn’t CX, but the point is that there’s nothing really separating them in terms of physical capablities, they are both "powerhouses". However, as mentioned by both you and I, Mathieu has more "tools" he can rely on in order to make the difference vis-a-vis Wout. That's all I'm saying, nothing more nothing less.
Yes and no. My point was that you can't take the past two seasons as a reference. My opinion on why people probably consider Wout to be more of a powerhouse than Mathieu is because, like i said, Wout beat Tony Martin in an ITT when he was 21 years old, he beat Bjerg (an ITT prodigy) in an ITT, the times he beat Mathieu in CX, it was more often on power than anything else (he basically doesn't have any other tools, unlike Mathieu). He made a big impression in top tier races like Ronde VV, Paris Roubaix, Strade... the likes of which Mathieu simply hasn't raced yet, so you can't compare, just that was impressive for a 23yo rookie. And like i said, the seasons when he did beat Mathieu, you have to take into account the "free" time Mathieu could take, simply on technique. In order to beat Mathieu then and there, he simply had to be stronger. If he wasn't stronger, he would never have beaten Mathieu even then.

It think that's the general idea. I think Mathieu's "toolset" gives him a clear edge in the field. Whether or not it will also give him an edge on the road remains to be seen. Just as much as it remains to be seen if Wout actually does have an edge as a "powerhouse". So in that sense i agree with you. Just that i do understand where the notion of Wout being more of a powerhouse, comes from. And from what i've seen in the past (in the really hard CX races in those first few seasons, as well as his performances in ITT's and long & hard classics) there may be some truth to it. But sure, a lot of it is impression and perception. When Mathieu wins, it often seems effortless with a lot of flair and style. The first thing you think about when talking about Mathieu, isn't "power". It's "flair". So i also do think it's a matter of perception. I think this is also what you are saying.

As for the season where Mathieu was injured, that's correct. But Wout has proven to be a very pragmatic rider. He sets his goals and he was already leading in all classifications, the only thing that still interested him was become WC again that season. There was also a season when Wout was struggling with his bike every race, usually chain and gear issues, that cost him a lot of races (or the chance to compete).

I 'm secretly hoping that they would join efforts in one of the upcoming classics and ride to the finish together. As a duo.
 
Feb 20, 2019
324
28
1,330
Re: Re:

It think that's the general idea. I think Mathieu's "toolset" gives him a clear edge in the field. Whether or not it will also give him an edge on the road remains to be seen. Just as much as it remains to be seen if Wout actually does have an edge as a "powerhouse". So in that sense i agree with you. Just that i do understand where the notion of Wout being more of a powerhouse, comes from. And from what i've seen in the past (in the really hard CX races in those first few seasons, as well as his performances in ITT's and long & hard classics) there may be some truth to it. But sure, a lot of it is impression and perception. When Mathieu wins, it often seems effortless with a lot of flair and style. The first thing you think about when talking about Mathieu, isn't "power". It's "flair". So i also do think it's a matter of perception. I think this is also what you are saying.
That's what it boils down to yes. Mathieu hasn't really had the opportunity to prove his worth on a "long & hard classic" so the notion of him being less of a "powerhouse" doesn't carry much weight until het gets the opportunity, which he will this season. I'm not saying the general consensus isn't true per se, I'm just saying the data on which to base that argument on is skewed due to a lack of opportunity on Mathieu's side to disprove it. Oh well. RVV will be very telling.

As for the season where Mathieu was injured, that's correct. But Wout has proven to be a very pragmatic rider. He sets his goals and he was already leading in all classifications, the only thing that still interested him was become WC again that season. There was also a season when Wout was struggling with his bike every race, usually chain and gear issues, that cost him a lot of races (or the chance to compete).
Be that as it may, Wout is a warrior, and he always says in interviews that he never starts a race with the intention of coming in second, though he could hardly say otherwise I suppose. I also remember him being somewhat frustrated at the fact that it was so extremely hard to best Mathieu in direct 1-on-1's that season (It was 2016 if I remember correctly). As far as having mechanicals go, I think they've both had their fair share. I'm certain Bieles still haunts Mathieu to this day.

I 'm secretly hoping that they would join efforts in one of the upcoming classics and ride to the finish together. As a duo.
We share that hope then. That would be epic. :)
 
In winter 2017, Wout himself said he was tired from his summer campaign on the road. His build-up for the cx season was the same as other years but he couldn't go as deep in training as usual and that's why it took a bit longer to get into top shape. Still, except for the USA races, he wasn't very far from optimal shape either throughout the cx season. It's just that Mathieu was a class above in most races, but he was way ahead of the others guys, and not just at the Worlds. Think of Zeven, Namen etc.

So I don't agree he was already making significant sacrifices in cx to become a better road racer in 2017/2018 and it's very much the best possible reference when it comes to comparing Wout and Mathieu. This winter, yeah, it's hard to deny when you look at him in Strade and Sanremo after such a meh winter.
 
Re:

Flamin said:
...but he was way ahead of the others guys, and not just at the Worlds. Think of Zeven, Namen etc.
This is simply not true. Wout gradually improved throughout that season, and he wasn't a class above guys like Aerts at all, certainly not untill December. In fact, at that time the dominance of Mathieu seemed as if Mathieu was much more impressive than the years before, while it was just that Wout dropped out from in between. The gap between Mathieu and the rest (Aerts, Vantourenhout...), didn't increase, it just seemed bigger, because unlike the seasons that Wout could compete, Mathieu had no competition. If you take Wout out of the equation, and compare, then you will see. Wout simply dropped out (as did Sweeck at a lower level). From i think December, Wout started closing the gap. There was even a statement by Adrie in i think it was Extra Time Koers leading up to the WC, who countered Nys and Wuyts, saying he could see Wout improve week over week, but that he also saw that Wout wasn't going full gas in every race, but picking out races to test himself. On those days, Wout was closing the gap, finishing 8-10-12 seconds from Mathieu, instead of 40-50-60.

The past winter, Wout performed much more constantly, better in September throughout November, but not improving in the second half of the season. There were two races in December in which it seemed he would again close the gap, but those turned out to be anomalies, and not a trend.

Mavic said:
Be that as it may, Wout is a warrior, and he always says in interviews that he never starts a race with the intention of coming in second, though he could hardly say otherwise I suppose. I also remember him being somewhat frustrated at the fact that it was so extremely hard to best Mathieu in direct 1-on-1's that season (It was 2016 if I remember correctly). As far as having mechanicals go, I think they've both had their fair share. I'm certain Bieles still haunts Mathieu to this day.
Bieles was one race and Mathieu lost due to the stupidity of his entourage imho. Even if they have always brushed it off as "luck". This is documented very well in the documentary "Kroonprinsen" where they filmed inside van der Poel's caravan, and they were laughing at Van Aert for using those old tubes, because they all knew those tubes, and they did not roll smoothly at all. They even had them in stock. You'd have to push a lot more watts to maintain your speed. They all knew from the junior, espoirs and womens races, that there were a lot of punctures. They chose to go with an easy rolling tube instead. Obviously Mathieu could ride away on those tubes, but he also had 4 punctures. This issue has been blown way out of proportion, Wout won that WC fair and square, by being able to push harder and by anticipating. Wout also lost a WC due to a mechanical, the first one Mathieu won.

I was talking about mechanical (gear/chain) issues almost every week. I don't remember exactly when this was, either last year or two years ago. Wout simply got denied the chance to compete in many races often in the first few laps.

As for Wout being a warrior, yes. But he's also a pragmatist. Read about the statement Adrie made about Wout picking out his races, leading up to the WC 2018.
 
Feb 20, 2019
324
28
1,330
Re: Re:

Bieles was one race and Mathieu lost due to the stupidity of his entourage imho. Even if they have always brushed it off as "luck". This is documented very well in the documentary "Kroonprinsen" where they filmed inside van der Poel's caravan, and they were laughing at Van Aert for using those old tubes, because they all knew those tubes, and they did not roll smoothly at all. They even had them in stock. You'd have to push a lot more watts to maintain your speed. They all knew from the junior, espoirs and womens races, that there were a lot of punctures. They chose to go with an easy rolling tube instead. Obviously Mathieu could ride away on those tubes, but he also had 4 punctures. This issue has been blown way out of proportion, Wout won that WC fair and square, by being able to push harder and by anticipating. Wout also lost a WC due to a mechanical, the first one Mathieu won.

I was talking about mechanical (gear/chain) issues almost every week. I don't remember exactly when this was, either last year or two years ago. Wout simply got denied the chance to compete in many races often in the first few laps.

As for Wout being a warrior, yes. But he's also a pragmatist. Read about the statement Adrie made about Wout picking out his races, leading up to the WC 2018.
Wout won fair and square in the sense that he can only beat what is put in front of him, so in that regard he did what he had to do. Mathieu's woes weren't his fault. However, 4 punctures, whoever's fault it was, dramatically affects your chances of at least contesting for the win. So in that sense it wasn't "fair and square". I never said Mathieu was a sure-win had he not had 4 punctures, but he would have at the very least been up there contesting for the win and I wonder how many have argued the opposite had the roles been reversed. Tabor comes to mind in that regard, people still argue that Mathieu was lucky to win due to Wout's woes in that race. Oh well, I'm just happy CX riders are doing so well in the pro peloton. I'm rooting for Wout today in E3. :razz:
 
Feb 20, 2019
324
28
1,330
Darn it. Wout just missed out. He's doing so good man. Basically confirming that least season was no fluke, for the ones that actually believed that. Don't get me wrong, it's still a win for CX cause Stybar won, however, I would have rather it been Wout. He made some big efforts in the last kms in order to neutralize attacks and still managed to pull out a great sprint. Chapeau, Wout.
 
Re:

Bardamu said:
Looked the strongest today with Greg and Bettiol, followed every move with ease.
Well... and Jungels. And we can't really say how strong Stybar was, because he got a free ride. But what amazes me with Wout is that he's so consistent. Since he rode his first "big" road race last year, he's always been in front of the race, riding the final and making a huge impression. Two times Strade, Ronde, Roubaix, E3, San Remo... not even Sagan, Van Avermaet, Naessen, Van Marcke, Terpstra... have been this consistent.
 
@Logic

First of all, Zeven was at the end of November and he crushed everyone there. Second of all, "certainly until December" sounds like it's about a small part of the season while in reality December til the Worlds is like 2/3rd of the season (looking at length and importance of the period). I already came up with a valid argument as to why he was a bit subpar during the first 1/3th. But you saying he was clearly working towards a transition to the road from summer 2017, is pure speculation in my book.

Furthermore, are you suggesting that Mathieu wasn't a better rider in 2017/18 compared to 16/17? When in the latter, he had a double knee surgery at the end of July?!

Edit: oh yeah, and what an amazing ride again today.
 
Re:

Flamin said:
@Logic

First of all, Zeven was at the end of November and he crushed everyone there. Second of all, "certainly until December" sounds like it's about a small part of the season while in reality December til the Worlds is like 2/3rd of the season (looking at length and importance of the period). I already came up with a valid argument as to why he was a bit subpar during the first 1/3th. But you saying he was clearly working towards a transition to the road from summer 2017, is pure speculation in my book.

Furthermore, are you suggesting that Mathieu wasn't a better rider in 2017/18 compared to 16/17? When in the latter, he had a double knee surgery at the end of July?!

Edit: oh yeah, and what an amazing ride again today.
Last season had more highs and more lows than this season. Also, December is smack dab in the middle of the season. After the WC at the end of January or the beginning of February, there are only a few races left. Season starts in September, not November.

As for the "speculation", looking for that quote of Adrie i was talking about earlier, i saw a part of that Extra Time Koers episode, where Nys en Adrie outright said (in a reply to Wuyts) that his (Wout's) training sessions mid season were geared towards the spring, not towards the rest of the CX season. So... yeah.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS