Teams & Riders Offical Wout Van Aert isn't a new Zdenek Stybar

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His form wasn't bad in the Giro, and yet he "should" have lost the final/main (long) ITT, but Cavagna decided to go off-road instead. As a result, Ganna won the main ITT with less than 15 seconds on the second, third and fourth rider! And that ITT was as flat as a pancake. In fact, the gap to the fourth rider, was smaller in the main/long ITT (30k) than it was in the prologue (8k). Longer doesn't suit Ganna more, nor do 15k of climbing.
Don't forget that Ganna had a flat that 'robbed' him of at least 20 seconds and he also did a lot of work for Bernal during the whole Giro.

I still think that he has little chance of winning the Olympic gold in this course but he should be a strong podium contender nevertheless.
 
Yeah, Ganna was clearly tired from his dom duties at that point. His shape was fine at first.

His form wasn't bad in the Giro, and yet he "should" have lost the final/main (long) ITT, but Cavagna decided to go off-road instead. As a result, Ganna won the main ITT with less than 15 seconds on the second, third and fourth rider! And that ITT was as flat as a pancake. In fact, the gap to the fourth rider, was smaller in the main/long ITT (30k) than it was in the prologue (8k). Longer doesn't suit Ganna more, nor do 15k of climbing.
No one expected him to win the first TT in such a dominant fashion. Although, yes, it was a short one. But many posters on here said that he likely wouldn't win because his form was bad, IIRC. I know I was laughing out loud when it became apparent that he blitzed the course and made the rest of the field look like amateurs.

Of course, I may be overrating his TT abilities because he looks more machine than man. If he's too heavy for this TT, then he's too heavy. I have Van Aert as my #1 with Ganna in 3rd.

On paper no one comes close to WVA unless Dennis finds his best 2018 - 2019 TT legs.

You can make a reasonable argument for anyone as to why they won't win. An off-day not included. Not for Van Aert, IMO.

The "the parcours is too climb-heavy" is not an argument anymore, I don't think.
 
Don't forget that Ganna had a flat that 'robbed' him of at least 20 seconds and he also did a lot of work for Bernal during the whole Giro.

I still think that he has little chance of winning the Olympic gold in this course but he should be a strong podium contender nevertheless.
That's true, i forgot about that. Let's say the difference between him and Cavagna could have been a tad bigger, but it would have been relatively close nevertheless.

Yeah, Ganna was clearly tired from his dom duties at that point. His shape was fine at first.

No one expected him to win the first TT in such a dominant fashion. Although, yes, it was a short one. But many posters on here said that he likely wouldn't win because his form was bad, IIRC. I know I was laughing out loud when it became apparent that he blitzed the course and made the rest of the field look like amateurs.

Of course, I may be overrating his TT abilities because he looks more machine than man. If he's too heavy for this TT, then he's too heavy. I have Van Aert as my #1 with Ganna in 3rd.

On paper no one comes close to WVA unless Dennis finds his best 2018 - 2019 TT legs.

You can make a reasonable argument for anyone as to why they won't win. An off-day not included. Not for Van Aert, IMO.

The "the parcours is too climb-heavy" is not an argument anymore, I don't think.
To be fair, i didn't disregard him for the Giro, but his TT's so far this year had been a whole lot less convincing than post-lockdown 2020, so i didn't see him as the out and out favorite per se. Lost to Van Aert & Küng in Tirreno, lost to a dozen of guys in Romandie. Good for him getting his mojo back in the Giro, but clearly, the Italian Nationals again proved this is not the same Ganna (or these aren't the same circumstances) as in 2020.

And i do think a climb-heavy course is still actually an argument. For a guy his size he climbs very well, but let's be real here, it's not on Van Aert's level, or Dennis, Roglic... So while 2020 Ganna might have taken some time on Van Aert in a mainly flat ITT, i think the gap he had might have vanished even on a flat course, and i would think he'd be bleeding time as soon as the road goes up. It seems like people are putting too much stock in his climbing based on his Giro stagewin last year. As impressive as that was, that wasn't to be compared to Dennis dragging Tao to Giro victory, or Van Aert dropping GC climbers in last year's Tour. Personally i'm not expecting him to take a medal, if the competition is bringing their A-game.
 
Reactions: 18-Valve. (pithy)
And i do think a climb-heavy course is still actually an argument.
Yeah, I was talking about Van Aert. Some people think / thought the TT had too much climbing in it even for WVA. Even WVA himself, IIRC. The ITT may not be ideal for him, but IMO he's still the favorite.

More or less agreed about Ganna (though I expect him to medal), if the ITT has actually that many kms at around 6% average. That's probably too much.
 
Yeah, I was talking about Van Aert. Some people think / thought the TT had too much climbing in it even for WVA. Even WVA himself, IIRC. The ITT may not be ideal for him, but IMO he's still the favorite.

More or less agreed about Ganna (though I expect him to medal), if the ITT has actually that many kms at around 6% average. That's probably too much.
Ah, i thought you were talking about Ganna. I also don't know how his preparation for the track will influence his performance.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Wout put in a good TT performance today at the Olympics, but wasn't quite there with the medalists after Roglic. I think Wout's form has finally begun to slip just a bit after a phenomenal TDF and a huge (very huge) effort at the Olympic road race for silver.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I guess 50 is overstating it. But let's consider he wins a stage from a breakaway and that his only other top 20 on a mountain stage was also from the breakaway.
In your defense one could probably make a list of 50 riders who are arguably better climbers than Wout. But let's take a look at Kruijswijk for example. On paper he is without a doubt a better climber than WvA. But is he really at the moment? I can't remember his last strong climbing performance. So in the last couple of years there's nothing wrong to consider Wout a better climber.

Barguil is another similar example.
 
I bet you can as easily name 50 better climbers at present than Van Aert as Ryo could name 20(?) better Colombian climbers than Nibali.
Alright this is just for the memes

For some reason the formatting doesn't allow me to keep counting and instead it starts a new count after every team. Pogacar was #54.
Ineos

  1. Egan Bernal
  2. Richard Carapaz
  3. Jonathan Castroviejo
  4. Rohan Dennis
  5. Tao Geoghegan Hart
  6. Michal Kwiatkowski
  7. Dani Martinez
  8. Richie Porte
  9. Pavel Sivakov
  10. Geraint Thomas
  11. Adam Yates
Jumbo Visma

  1. George Bennett
  2. Tom Dumoulin
  3. Tobias Foss
  4. Steven Kruijswijk
  5. Sepp Kuss
  6. Primoz Roglic
  7. Jonas Vingegaard
Astana

  1. Jakob Fuglsang
  2. Ion Izagirre
  3. Alexey Lutsenko
  4. Alexander Vlasov
Bahrain

  1. Pello Bilbao
  2. Damiano Caruso
  3. Jack Haig
  4. Mikel Landa
  5. Mark Padun
  6. Wout Poels
Bora
  1. Emanuel Buchmann
  2. Wilco Kelderman
  3. Patrick Konrad
Cofidis
32. Guillaume Martin

DQS
  1. Julian Alaphilippe
  2. João Almeida
  3. Remco Evenepoel
EF
  1. Hugh Carthy
  2. Rigoberto Uran
Groupama FDJ
  1. David Gaudu
  2. Thibaut Pinot
ISU
  1. Dan Martin
  2. Mike Woods
BikeExchange
  1. Esteban Chaves
  2. Simon Yates
Movistar
  1. Miguel Angel Lopez
  2. Enric Mas
  3. Marc Soler
  4. Alejandro Valverde
Team DSM
  1. Romain Bardet
  2. Jai Hindley
Trek Segafredo
  1. Giulio ciccone
  2. Bauke Mollema
  3. Vincenzo Nibali
UAE
  1. Rafal Majka
  2. Tadej Pogacar
Note, I've only browsed through WT teams, so Nairo Quintana isn't included and I guess some others end up missing as well.
 
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Alright this is just for the memes

For some reason the formatting doesn't allow me to keep counting and instead it starts a new count after every team. Pogacar was #54.
How is Mollema a clearly better climber than Van Aert after being outclassed by him on Mont Ventoux? There's another five to ten riders on that list who haven't done a climbing performance of that magnitude any time this season, and with the exception of Pinot that isn't down to injury.
 
Reactions: hayneplane
  1. Egan Bernal ---Ineos---
  2. Richard Carapaz
  3. Jonathan Castroviejo
  4. Rohan Dennis
  5. Tao Geoghegan Hart
  6. Michal Kwiatkowski
  7. Dani Martinez
  8. Richie Porte
  9. Pavel Sivakov
  10. Geraint Thomas
  11. Adam Yates
  12. George Bennett ---Jumbo Visma---
  13. Tom Dumoulin
  14. Tobias Foss
  15. Steven Kruijswijk
  16. Sepp Kuss
  17. Primoz Roglic
  18. Jonas Vingegaard
  19. Jakob Fuglsang ---Astana---
  20. Ion Izagirre
  21. Alexey Lutsenko
  22. Alexander Vlasov
  23. Pello Bilbao ---Bahrain---
  24. Damiano Caruso
  25. Jack Haig
  26. Mikel Landa
  27. Mark Padun
  28. Wout Poels
  29. Emanuel Buchmann ---Bora---
  30. Wilco Kelderman
  31. Patrick Konrad
  32. Guillaume Martin ---Cofidis---
  33. Julian Alaphilippe ---DQS---
  34. João Almeida
  35. Remco Evenepoel
  36. Hugh Carthy ---EF---
  37. Rigoberto Uran
  38. David Gaudu ---FDJ---
  39. Thibaut Pinot
  40. Dan Martin ---ISN---
  41. Mike Woods
  42. Esteban Chaves
  43. Simon Yates
  44. Miguel Angel Lopez
  45. Enric Mas
  46. Marc Soler
  47. Alejandro Valverde
  48. Romain Bardet
  49. Jai Hindley
  50. Giulio ciccone
  51. Bauke Mollema
  52. Vincenzo Nibali
  53. Rafal Majka
  54. Tadej Pogacar

I didn't bother with all the team names.
 
Reactions: Red Rick
How is Mollema a clearly better climber than Van Aert after being outclassed by him on Mont Ventoux? There's another five to ten riders on that list who haven't done a climbing performance of that magnitude any time this season, and with the exception of Pinot that isn't down to injury.
Taking that stage as the end-all be-all of climbing ability just ignores all consistency and day-to-day variation. I've included a few guys based on results from 2020 and 2019 if there's no reason other than injuries they couldn't do a similar level.

It's also not like I went by GTs of the last 2 years and just included the entire top 10 or top 15. I've have excluded some guys that got top 10s in GTs in the last 12 months, and I've excluded some other guys I could've possibly included as well, like Schachmann who wins PN twice and finished 5s from Rogl on the MTF etc. Last but not least I managed to forget Ben O'Connor who won a MTF in this Tour and who finished 4th overall.

Overall my main point however is that Van Aerts climbing reputation is based on a limited sample where all the times he drops and does nothing got ignored. 50 just happened to be a number I pulled out of my bum but I figured it wouldn't take that long to try and if I find say 30 guys who are obviously better and another 30 where it's kinda blurry then I think my overall point stands all the same.
 
Taking that stage as the end-all be-all of climbing ability just ignores all consistency and day-to-day variation. I've included a few guys based on results from 2020 and 2019 if there's no reason other than injuries they couldn't do a similar level.
That's fair. My point wasn't that Van Aert is a clearly better climber than Mollema, but rather that it shows that Mollema isn't clearly better and therefore that they're roughly in the same bandwidth of climbing ability at this stage of their respective careers, as far as we can tell based on a limited sample size on Van Aert's end in particular.

Overall my main point however is that Van Aerts climbing reputation is based on a limited sample where all the times he drops and does nothing got ignored. 50 just happened to be a number I pulled out of my bum but I figured it wouldn't take that long to try and if I find say 30 guys who are obviously better and another 30 where it's kinda blurry then I think my overall point stands all the same.
Hence I also understand this reasoning and mostly agree with it, although I'd rate Van Aert's climbing a bit more highly. I'd say we haven't seen enough of Van Aert as a climber to accurately judge whether he makes this cut, because a) the sample size is small, b) the sample is fairly mixed, and c) he doesn't have the top-end performances to compensate that someone like Mark Padun does. I think he's shown enough pedigree to say that he probably makes the cut somewhere in the not-too-distant future, but it's too early to draw a conclusion either way for the time being.
 
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Reactions: Red Rick
Alright this is just for the memes

For some reason the formatting doesn't allow me to keep counting and instead it starts a new count after every team. Pogacar was #54.
Ineos

  1. Egan Bernal
  2. Richard Carapaz
  3. Jonathan Castroviejo
  4. Rohan Dennis
  5. Tao Geoghegan Hart
  6. Michal Kwiatkowski
  7. Dani Martinez
  8. Richie Porte
  9. Pavel Sivakov
  10. Geraint Thomas
  11. Adam Yates
Jumbo Visma

  1. George Bennett
  2. Tom Dumoulin
  3. Tobias Foss
  4. Steven Kruijswijk
  5. Sepp Kuss
  6. Primoz Roglic
  7. Jonas Vingegaard
Astana

  1. Jakob Fuglsang
  2. Ion Izagirre
  3. Alexey Lutsenko
  4. Alexander Vlasov
Bahrain

  1. Pello Bilbao
  2. Damiano Caruso
  3. Jack Haig
  4. Mikel Landa
  5. Mark Padun
  6. Wout Poels
Bora
  1. Emanuel Buchmann
  2. Wilco Kelderman
  3. Patrick Konrad
Cofidis
32. Guillaume Martin

DQS
  1. Julian Alaphilippe
  2. João Almeida
  3. Remco Evenepoel
EF
  1. Hugh Carthy
  2. Rigoberto Uran
Groupama FDJ
  1. David Gaudu
  2. Thibaut Pinot
ISU
  1. Dan Martin
  2. Mike Woods
BikeExchange
  1. Esteban Chaves
  2. Simon Yates
Movistar
  1. Miguel Angel Lopez
  2. Enric Mas
  3. Marc Soler
  4. Alejandro Valverde
Team DSM
  1. Romain Bardet
  2. Jai Hindley
Trek Segafredo
  1. Giulio ciccone
  2. Bauke Mollema
  3. Vincenzo Nibali
UAE
  1. Rafal Majka
  2. Tadej Pogacar
Note, I've only browsed through WT teams, so Nairo Quintana isn't included and I guess some others end up missing as well.
Motion to rename this thread to 'Offical Wout Van Aert is the 55th best climber in the world'
 

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