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

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Two of his WCH titles were won in the sprint after 260 km or so, and from there it´s pretty close to 300 km.
Its more about how hard the overall day was and how recent the last hard effort. Sagan has really underperformed in sprints a lot in Sanremo, Roubaix and RvV in cases when he was the only real sprinter in a group or had the best recent sprint pedigree.
 
Has anybody noticed for Wout that he tends to underperform about a week after the end of a stage race? Even though he didn't try to tear this year's PN apart, he still had to show up every day and put in the miles, and he really had to put in massive efforts on the Sunday.

Without looking at previous results and going purely by memory, I can think of last year's worlds, and the races that followed last year's TA.

I'm curious what others have seen here, because if it's obvious to us, the fact that he and his team have not figured us out is strange.
Yes, I've said the same thing. In 2021, TA ruined his spring classics and in the fall Tour of Britain ruined his World Championship and Paris Roubaix. This spring, his maximum efforts to secure the win for Primoz in Paris Nice took the snap from his legs for MSR. If these guys truly want to win the Monuments, they need to skip the preceding stage races and just focus on the appropriate training/recovery.
 
In 10 sprints against those guys he'll win more sprints then he loses.. He has beaten both Pogacar (sprint for Olympic medail) and Alaphilippe (MSR) and lost to MVP (RVV). So I think it's logical he goes for his biggest weapon.

Btw, it's not like he never attacks. He has won classic races ending solo like Omloop and Strade.



I'm not sure if you remember Tom Boonen correctly. I can hardly imagine any real attacks on final climbs like the Muur, Paterberg or Kwaremont... he usually just tried to follow to finish in the sprint.

tbh, I only remember his first RVV where he finished solo. The roubaix he won solo he dropped his team mate Terpstra, hardly a real attack.

PS I'm a Boonen fan to, there's nothing wrong with wanting to win a classic in a sprint!
MVDP and WVA have sprinted plenty of times (at least 10) head to head for the win (between CX and road) and MVDP has a big advantage. I will give you that Wout's clearly the more accomplished of the two when it comes to big bunch sprints.
 
As good as WvA his positioning is in bunch sprints and just before (and on) the crucial climbs, I hate to say I am often thinking he should just go 3-4 positions more to the back when he is in 2nd or 3rd position, wearing that hi-viz Belgian championship jersey. In MSR he countered allmost all Pogacar attacks, and in and after the descent, he was taking more than 50% of the initiative to chase Mohoric.
It seems he feels obliged (and others expect him) to do the burden of the work in those situations, and he dutifully does it but he'll not win in this way.
 
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As good as WvA his positioning is in bunch sprints and just before (and on) the crucial climbs, I hate to say I am often thinking he should just go 3-4 positions more to the back when he is in 2nd or 3rd position, wearing that hi-viz Belgian championship jersey. In MSR he countered allmost all Pogacar attacks, and in and after the descent, he was taking more than 50% of the initiative to chase Mohoric.
It seems he feels obliged (and others expect him) to do the burden of the work in those situations, and he dutifully does it but he'll not win in this way.
He belongs to the old school of riders who think it's more important to ride in a macho way than take the win. So does Van der Poel.
 
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I really wonder what people in here actually expect from Wout...

Tadej and Wout basically cancelled each other out.
Tadej did multiple brutal attacks, what else was there for Wout to do besides trying to hang on for dear life?
The others can be lucky Wout was able to do so, because the only reason the others were able to come back was because Wout didn't let Tadej go so he would slack up again.

This destroyed Wout for sure, but it also destroyed Tadej.

And the fact that Tadej, or MVDP or whoever finished in front of Wout after it was clear they were not sprinting for the win, who cares really?
 
And the fact that Tadej, or MVDP or whoever finished in front of Wout after it was clear they were not sprinting for the win, who cares really?
I honestly think it's quite arrogant to sit up in a sprint for the top placings in a monument. As soon as he saw that he would be beaten by Mathieu, he just didn't try anymore and probably lost three placings. I don't get it, how hard is it to ride to the finish? If he had lost a cross race because he had been dropped by Mathieu, he wouldn't suddenly go to a nearby café and take a break.
 
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I honestly think it's quite arrogant to sit up in a sprint for the top placings in a monument. As soon as he saw that he would be beaten by Mathieu, he just didn't try anymore and probably lost three placings. I don't get it, how hard is it to ride to the finish? If he had lost a cross race because he had been dropped by Mathieu, he wouldn't suddenly go to a nearby café and take a break.
If not top 3 then what does it matter if you're 4th or 8th? I actually understand.
 
Sep 6, 2021
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I honestly think it's quite arrogant to sit up in a sprint for the top placings in a monument. As soon as he saw that he would be beaten by Mathieu, he just didn't try anymore and probably lost three placings. I don't get it, how hard is it to ride to the finish? If he had lost a cross race because he had been dropped by Mathieu, he wouldn't suddenly go to a nearby café and take a break.
I strongly disagree with the arrogance argument. If you´re Wout then you don´t care about other places like second, third and so on. At that very moment, I suppose he was just dissapointed that he couldn´t capitalize another chance as a huge favourite. That saying, it means he was probably emotional and kinda pissed so no wonder that he resigned to fight for other positions.
 
I really wonder what people in here actually expect from Wout...
Easy. More monument or championship victories. Van Aert is a fantastic and unique rider in many ways. His versaility is tremendous. He can sprint, time trial, ride cobbles, attack in short hills and ride long mountains like no one else in modern cycling history. And his performances in many races are convincing. Both GC in one-week races, single stages in stage races, time trialing and the tier 2 one-day races like GW, Amstel and Omloop. But he hasn't won or even sprinted for victory in a monument (or worlds/olympics) since he was beaten by VdP in the Ronde in 2020.

That makes 6 of the biggest one day races without a win or sprinting for the win. Given his amazing level in so many other races, that is certainly a bit disappointing. Last year one could argue that he spent too much energy on competing in about every race he started, and that his hampered his performance in the very biggest races, but I can't see that this is the case this season. So unless something happens in the coming weeks, I certainly expect him winning or being real close to a victory in RVV and/or PR.
 
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I strongly disagree with the arrogance argument. If you´re Wout then you don´t care about other places like second, third and so on. At that very moment, I suppose he was just dissapointed that he couldn´t capitalize another chance as a huge favourite. That saying, it means he was probably emotional and kinda pissed so no wonder that he resigned to fight for other positions.
I think this makes sense as an explanation as to why he did it, but it's basically equivalent to a 5th place GC rider taking a gruppetto ride on the last mountain stage of a GT without good reason.
 
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Easy. More monument or championship victories. Van Aert is a fantastic and unique rider in many ways. His versaility is tremendous. He can sprint, time trial, ride cobbles, attack in short hills and ride long mountains like no one else in modern cycling history. And his performances in many races are convincing. Both GC in one-week races, single stages in stage races, time trialing and the tier 2 one-day races like GW, Amstel and Omloop. But he hasn't won or even sprinted for victory in a monument (or worlds/olympics) since he was beaten by VdP in the Ronde in 2020.

That makes 6 of the biggest one day races without a win or sprinting for the win. Given his amazing level in so many other races, that is certainly a bit disappointing. Last year one could argue that he spent too much energy on competing in about every race he started, and that his hampered his performance in the very biggest races, but I can't see that this is the case this season. So unless something happens in the coming weeks, I certainly expect him winning or being real close to a victory in RVV and/or PR.
Wout is so strong, in so many ways, that it's hardly unreasonable to expect him to win 4 out of 5 monuments (think Lombardia is out of reach). IDK what his "problem" is -- I wonder if he doesn't have the same racing instincts as MvDP or Pogacar, or even Alaphilippe -- I'd love to see him try some audacious attacks; even if they don't stick all the time we've seen that they do succeed often enough if you're as powerful as Wout is. It might be that he is counting on his sprint too much, but planning for a reduced bunch sprint in every race is a too-conservative strategy in my view.
 
I honestly think it's quite arrogant to sit up in a sprint for the top placings in a monument. As soon as he saw that he would be beaten by Mathieu, he just didn't try anymore and probably lost three placings. I don't get it, how hard is it to ride to the finish? If he had lost a cross race because he had been dropped by Mathieu, he wouldn't suddenly go to a nearby café and take a break.
I'm glad Boonen didn't sprint for 2nd in the 2014 Roubaix, instead finishing last in the chase group. Then again, he had the palmarès to back such an attitude (and a teammate in front).
 
MVDP and WVA have sprinted plenty of times (at least 10) head to head for the win (between CX and road) and MVDP has a big advantage. I will give you that Wout's clearly the more accomplished of the two when it comes to big bunch sprints.
in small sprints it's more about who has more energy left or who has the bigger acceleration.

Obviously WVA in MSR blew his best legs already. In RVV 2020 it was close but WVA left it too late so couldn't overhaul VDP acceleration in time. In bunch sprints WVA is simply much better (holding top speed + positioning). But in small group sprints I'd say VDP has the slight advantage. Although even VDP is susceptible to overestimating himself (what happened with Asgreen, spent too much power and was left for dead)
 
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I'm glad Boonen didn't sprint for 2nd in the 2014 Roubaix, instead finishing last in the chase group. Then again, he had the palmarès to back such an attitude (and a teammate in front).
Why on Earth were you glad about that? Just because Cancellara was collecting a huge amount of podium placings at the time and you needed an argument to support the notion that it wasn't impressive because real champions don't care about secondary placings?
 
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I honestly think it's quite arrogant to sit up in a sprint for the top placings in a monument. As soon as he saw that he would be beaten by Mathieu, he just didn't try anymore and probably lost three placings. I don't get it, how hard is it to ride to the finish? If he had lost a cross race because he had been dropped by Mathieu, he wouldn't suddenly go to a nearby café and take a break.
Road cycling (one day races particularly) is all about winning and basically all the other positions aren't that meaningful. Cycling is I'd say quite unique on this matter among other sports and this confuses many people who come from other disciplines and sometimes wonder "why they don't fight for every single positions?! ". Fans' perspective is quite different than the riders' themselves, especially if you're a guy like WvA. If you'd ask him, he'd probably say there's no difference if he finishes 2nd or 10th in a race like this and I totally agree with that. Then of course the situation looks slightly different if you're let's say Turgis or even MvdP this year, where this was his first race this season, he wasn't the top favorite and he had something to prove for himself and by sprinting for 3rd gain confidence before the upcoming races. Van Aert had none of these motivations and I can't see anything what could triggered him in his mind to sprint for that 5th place.
 
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Road cycling (one day races particularly) is all about winning and basically all the other positions aren't that meaningful. Cycling is I'd say quite unique among other sports and this confuses many people who come from other disciplines and sometimes wonder "why they don't fight for every single positions?! ". Fans' perspective is quite different than the riders' themselves, especially if you're a guy like WvA. If you'd ask him, he'd probably say there's no difference if he finishes 2nd or 10th in a race like this and I totally agree with that. Then of course the situation looks slightly different if you're let's say Turgis or even MvdP this year, where this was his first race this season, he wasn't the top favorite and he had something to prove for himself and by sprinting for 3rd gain confidence before the upcoming races. Van Aert had none of these motivations and I can't see anything what could triggered him in his mind to sprint for that 5th place.
How often do you see people not sprint for a monument podium? Apparently two times in a decade. It is arrogant to put yourself above that, and no, a 2nd and a 10th spot is not the same thing.
 
How often do you see people not sprint for a monument podium? Apparently two times in a decade. It is arrogant to put yourself above that, and no, a 2nd and a 10th spot is not the same thing.
Your question should rather sound like "How often do you see people with the pedigree and ambitions of van Aert's not sprint for a monument podium", cause I think that's a key detail here.

And if the 2-10 postions are decided by a chaotic sprint after the solo win, then yes, from my personal pov, 2-10 positions mean basically the same. I mean, who cares about all those sprints for 2nd and further places in 1-day races won by Matthhews or GvA. Like, it's nice when riders race all the way to the finish line but if they don't, I really don't care and don't see it arrogant.
 
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