Offical Wout Van Aert isn't a new Zdenek Stybar

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Not only that, but let's not forget Covid19 made this a very peculiar season. Alaphilippe would have been in much better shape without the Lockdown. He wouldn't have cracked Colombian riders in the Tour. We would already have had the classics and Mathieu would have peaked for those.
Van Aert used the Lockdown to his benefit, getting back after his injury. Most other riders were in constant doubt due to Covid19.

I think the season would have been less impressive for him. He would still have been a top contender, but might not have won San Remo or his stage in the Dauphiné, for instance.
 
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I was just looking at the TT photo of WVA and though: that's not a Bianchi. Its on their website so I'm wrong. I wonder how it compares to other TT bikes? I still think that if you can get a "perfect" position, and slippery kit (helmet, suit), the bike doesn't make much difference, but a few seconds could make the difference I guess. Wout obviously makes his go pretty good!
 
So... two silver medals. He is going to be suffering from the Sagan problem now on - no one will want to drag him to the line. How he combats this will be crucial. Sagan has missed out on so many big wins because of this, might end up being the same for WVA. It's much easier when the expectations aren't as high.
 
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So... two silver medals. He is going to be suffering from the Sagan problem now on - no one will want to drag him to the line. How he combats this will be crucial. Sagan has missed out on so many big wins because of this, might end up being the same for WVA. It's much easier when the expectations aren't as high.
I think this year Alaphilippe was being given that treatment - until van Aert became the overwhelming sprint favourite. And if van Aert should suffer from this more often, he won't win that much and others will take that place, for instance should van der Poel win Amstel again and Flanders... then van Aert will have a bit more freedom next year.
But his sprint was still way superior to Kwiatkowski and Hirschi, although they have a very good sprint, too, so maybe he'll get the treatment, but still win. He's on a very strong team with lots of possible support, too, in Belgian colours and in bee-outfit.
 
It's mostly about timing and taking them on the perfect routes for you. This wasn't a perfect route for van Aert tbh, although on easier routes you'd expect him to have to deal with guys who can potentially beat him in a sprint.
 
He also joins a rather exclusive club of riders who have won medals in both the ITT and the RR at the Elite World Championships; the others being Indurain, Olano, Jalabert, and Küng. He's the first to get two medals the same year since Indurain and Olano in 1995, when they shared the titles - and the silver - between them.
 
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His sprint certainly doesn't seem to diminish after a hard race, holy crap.

But yeah, he wasn't able to follow Alaphilippe when he attacked. Whether that's a worse level than in the Tour I find difficult to judge. He had been policing the attacks for a few minutes before the French explosion.
 
He was not able to directly follow Alaphilippe in San Remo either. He just got back to him. Actually I had expected him to today, too. Although Alaphilippe was very strong I think this extremely strong group of descenders and time trialers could have been expected to get back to him on the descent and the flat. Alaphilippe is technically a great descender, but so is van Aert (and Hirschi and Kwiatkowski and Fuglsang, Roglic not too bad, either), and Alaphilippe is rather light, so on the not so technical parts the heavier guys should be able to catch up... they obviously looked at each other quite a lot and did not go all in. All props to Alaphilippe, but I'm not sure he could never get caught.

In a weird way I am glad van Aert did not win this. What he has done these past weeks is incredible nonetheless (two silver medals within two days after Strade, San Remo and two stage wins o_O) and he should have a very good chance to win next year, as well.
 
He was not able to directly follow Alaphilippe in San Remo either. He just got back to him. Actually I had expected him to today, too. Although Alaphilippe was very strong I think this extremely strong group of descenders and time trialers could have been expected to get back to him on the descent and the flat. Alaphilippe is technically a great descender, but so is van Aert (and Hirschi and Kwiatkowski and Fuglsang, Roglic not too bad, either), and Alaphilippe is rather light, so on the not so technical parts the heavier guys should be able to catch up... they obviously looked at each other quite a lot and did not go all in. All props to Alaphilippe, but I'm not sure he could never get caught.

In a weird way I am glad van Aert did not win this. What he has done these past weeks is incredible nonetheless (two silver medals within two days after Strade, San Remo and two stage wins o_O) and he should have a very good chance to win next year, as well.
A chase group consisting of five riders, of which none are teammates, can (due to tactics) never catch a rider who rode away from them on a tough section in a big one-day race, unless that rider is Sep Vanmarcke.
 
His sprint certainly doesn't seem to diminish after a hard race, holy crap.

But yeah, he wasn't able to follow Alaphilippe when he attacked. Whether that's a worse level than in the Tour I find difficult to judge. He had been policing the attacks for a few minutes before the French explosion.
I don't think there are many riders who can follow Ala in that kind of attack it's nothing to do with form. If WVA maybe got something wrong it was the chase but sometimes when a favourite like Ala pulls off his tactics perfectly there is nothing really to read into
 
Phenomenal ride again today. Just one guy who was a little bit stronger on a course that hardly suited him very well. Tbh I didn't expect him to do this great beforehand, but maybe the toughness was a bit too hyped after all.

Such a shame he had to go all out for 3 weeks in the Tour instead of taking a day off here and there. Might have cost him a World title but we'll never know.

I can't wait for the classics now.
 
So... two silver medals. He is going to be suffering from the Sagan problem now on - no one will want to drag him to the line. How he combats this will be crucial. Sagan has missed out on so many big wins because of this, might end up being the same for WVA. It's much easier when the expectations aren't as high.
Slight difference in that Wout rides for a stronger team; Sagan has always been isolated in these instances, whereas there actually were 2 Jumbo riders in the final selection today...

I think (in 20/20 hindsight) he should have gone all-in to catch Alaf over the top, like he did in San Remo. Even with the other guys along for the ride (of whom, Hirschi and Kwiat both might be just good enough to take him if he leads out a sprint), if he just gets the group to within 5 seconds or so of Alaphilippe, then the jumps to get across start, and if someone had bridged with 5km to go then suddenly the lead group is in a position of having to play cat and mouse and the come-from-behind chance would be back in play.
 
See some Belgians are fuming Roglic couldn't close a 15 second gap for his non teammate while he got dead last in the sprint.
It is about the Lack of a real attempt rather than the Lack of result.

But yeah, considering the poor showing in the sprint, I am not going to argue with you if you say Roglic could not have done much more.
 

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