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

Page 55 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
What a beast, like shooting fish in a barrel. Go for Gold!

When will this odd thread title be changed?! It's frankly baffling to have the best current rider with a super weird reference to another CX rider in the title.
I beg to differ, the best current rider is Pog. Two starts at the Tour and two wins, it gets no better (and at his age). Wout is obviously an incredible rider, but he is too fast to be strong enough in the mountains. And I don't care what anybody says, if you are not strong enough in the mountains to win the Tour, you can't be considered the best current rider.
 
I beg to differ, the best current rider is Pog. Two starts at the Tour and two wins, it gets no better (and at his age). Wout is obviously an incredible rider, but he is too fast to be strong enough in the mountains. And I don't care what anybody says, if you are not strong enough in the mountains to win the Tour, you can't be considered the best current rider.
Lol.

Pogacar certainly has a case but if winning the Tour was the only thing he could do, he wouldn't be better than Wout.
 
Reactions: Cookster15
I read a lot of bs on the forums today, but this one is up there with the best.
Oh, I don't doubt that, but Pog in Tour shape is on another level (of fitness, not swiftness). What is remarkable about Wout is that he is incredibly fast AND can perform so well in a timetrial and from a break in the mountains, but when it really counts in a timetrial or in the mountains he finds his superiors (the Olympics, for example, and, of course, in the gc fight at the Tour).
 
Last edited:
Reactions: Sandisfan
Lol.

Pogacar certainly has a case but if winning the Tour was the only thing he could do, he wouldn't be better than Wout.
The Tour is the ultimate test in the sport. So I'd change your last statement to "Wout would be better than Pog, if only he could win the Tour." But Wout has not demonstrated he can even place high on gc, let alone win it. Apart from this, in Pog we are dealing with one who can also win in various situations and events. He is only slower in the sprints compared to the Belgian, even if he isn't slow and can win a sprint from a small group as at LBL. But in terms of shear massivness of achievments, Pogs two Tours are in a league of their own. Everything else, sorry, plays second fiddle.
 
The Tour is the ultimate test in the sport. So I'd change your last statement to "Wout would be better than Pog, if only he could win the Tour." But Wout has not demonstrated he can even place high on gc, let alone win it. Apart from this, in Pog we are dealing with one who can also win in various situations and events. He is only slower in the sprints compared to the Belgian, even if he isn't slow and can win a sprint from a small group as at LBL. But in terms of shear massivness of achievments, Pogs two Tours are in a league of their own. Everything else, sorry, plays second fiddle.
Sure but cycling (and the Tour) isn't just about who can climb and TT the best. Sprints are a huge part of the sport. Due to human physiology it is unheard of since Eddy Merckx to see riders who can do all three disciplines at an elite level (climb, TT and sprint).

Pogacar isn't on the same planet sprinting wise so I am sorry but he really isn't in WvA's league as the best all round road cyclist. Normally sprinters can't climb. Plus at his weight WvA's climbing is extremely impressive as we have seen at the TdF the last two years including on stages such as Ventoux. He also showed that in the Worlds.
 
The Tour is the ultimate test in the sport. So I'd change your last statement to "Wout would be better than Pog, if only he could win the Tour." But Wout has not demonstrated he can even place high on gc, let alone win it. Apart from this, in Pog we are dealing with one who can also win in various situations and events. He is only slower in the sprints compared to the Belgian, even if he isn't slow and can win a sprint from a small group as at LBL. But in terms of shear massivness of achievments, Pogs two Tours are in a league of their own. Everything else, sorry, plays second fiddle.
This is a very sad way to view the sport.
 
This is a very sad way to view the sport.
It isn't a sad way of looking at the sport, you're just not looking at reality. I wish cycling were ridden the way it was back in the 80's (and before), with the big champions lining up to win the classics, the Giro and the Tour and the Worlds in one season, but it simply is no longer the case. I'd even settle for the Giro-Tour double being a real obective for the most talented engines, but even this has succumbed to the crushing weight of going for the most coveted prize in the sport, the maillot jaune. The lion's share of all sponsorship visibility throughout the whole season, takes place over three weeks around France. The best of the best, in each discipline, show up in their absolute best form to contest individual stages, but only the most talented overall rider takes highest honors in Paris.

Now, in today's sport, if you are capable of winning the Tour (Giro and Vuelta), the classiscs (at least several) and the Worlds (unless a pan flat course) - and Pog has this potential - then hands down you are the best in the peloton. Whereas if you are capable of winning everything else, except the Tour (or perhaps any grand tour), you don't deserve that honor imo. Even if your only win the entire season was the Tour, by right you enter the top two or three on this acheivement alone. That's how huge the French stage race is. It is at least refreshing that today's crop of potential tour winners is looking to win elsewhere too, for example in certain classics, which hasn't really been the case since the 80s. I hope it continues, but I fear the business/sponsorship interests will kill even this if in any way should success in France in July be threatened.
 
It isn't a sad way of looking at the sport, you're just not looking at reality. I wish cycling were ridden the way it was back in the 80's (and before), with the big champions lining up to win the classics, the Giro and the Tour and the Worlds in one season, but it simply is no longer the case. I'd even settle for the Giro-Tour double being a real obective for the most talented engines, but even this has succumbed to the crushing weight of going for the most coveted prize in the sport, the maillot jaune. The lion's share of all sponsorship visibility throughout the whole season, takes place over three weeks around France. The best of the best, in each discipline, show up in their absolute best form to contest individual stages, but only the most talented overall rider takes highest honors in Paris.

Now, in today's sport, if you are capable of winning the Tour (Giro and Vuelta), the classiscs (at least several) and the Worlds (unless a pan flat course) - and Pog has this potential - then hands down you are the best in the peloton. Whereas if you are capable of winning everything else, except the Tour (or perhaps any grand tour), you don't deserve that honor imo. Even if your only win the entire season was the Tour, by right you enter the top two or three on this acheivement alone. That's how huge the French stage race is. It is at least refreshing that today's crop of potential tour winners is looking to win elsewhere too, for example in certain classics, which hasn't really been the case since the 80s. I hope it continues, but I fear the business/sponsorship interests will kill even this if in any way this threatens success in France in July.
So Pereiro anno 2006 was better than Boonen anno 2005?
 
Reactions: Boes and Sandisfan
Sure but cycling (and the Tour) isn't just about who can climb and TT the best. Sprints are a huge part of the sport. Due to human physiology it is unheard of since Eddy Merckx to see riders who can do all three disciplines at an elite level (climb, TT and sprint).

Pogacar isn't on the same planet sprinting wise so I am sorry but he really isn't in WvA's league as the best all round road cyclist. Normally sprinters can't climb. Plus at his weight WvA's climbing is extremely impressive as we have seen at the TdF the last two years including on stages such as Ventoux. He also showed that in the Worlds.
Nah, hogwash, the Tour is won on elapsed time not by who wins the most sprints. And even if they changed elapsed time to a points system, a mountain top finish or a time trial would be worth like 50 points, a sprinters stage 5. Herein lies the difference. Then their is the fact that a sprinter wins on the same time as the guy who placed say 60th (there is a reason for this), whereas a sprinter like Wout who can actually climb, will still ship massive time in several mountain stages - in part because he can't fight for overall victory, in part because if he exits gc by a large enough margine then he can go for a stage win in the mountains from a breakaway. This is why the winner of the Tour is stronger and ultimately faster, over the long haul if not in terms of pure outbursts of speed, in the overall economy of the sport. And this is also why nobody in their right mind considers a sprinter as a true Big of the sport of the same caliber and quality as a Tour champion.
 
Last edited:
There are different 'cycling genres' within the cycling calendar.

The Tour de France features 180 riders & only 5 or so enter with a realistic chance of winning. Then there's their teammates who do the work for them.

The rest? Specialists & all rounders of all stripes with different goals. And many of those specialists smash Tour winners in their own favorite races (where was Froome in the World Championships, Ardennes, Flanders or Italian classics etc?). There's a reason Peter Sagan had a massive contract (something like 5 million a year or so). It wasn't to win the Tour de France (i.e. a playground for a select few GC guys).

It's only recently we've seen a return to bygone era with Roglic & Pogacar, i.e. two GC winners & Tour contenders who can do everything (including challenge the other specialists on the own turf).
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The Tour is the ultimate test in the sport. So I'd change your last statement to "Wout would be better than Pog, if only he could win the Tour." But Wout has not demonstrated he can even place high on gc, let alone win it. Apart from this, in Pog we are dealing with one who can also win in various situations and events. He is only slower in the sprints compared to the Belgian, even if he isn't slow and can win a sprint from a small group as at LBL. But in terms of shear massivness of achievments, Pogs two Tours are in a league of their own. Everything else, sorry, plays second fiddle.
The Tour isn't even the best GT...and most years, it's downright boring. (2020 being an exception).

If Pog can't win Ronde or Roubaix (and he can't), then he's just another pretty boy TDF guy to me. <yawn>
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The Tour isn't even the best GT...and most years, it's downright boring. (2020 being an exception).

If Pog can't win Ronde or Roubaix (and he can't), then he's just another pretty boy TDF guy to me. <yawn>
We're not talking about what the "best" tour is in terms of entertainment value, but the most prestegious race in the sport, which, as much as I love the Giro (and Ronde and Roubaix), is the Tour de France. And I wouldn't rank a Ronde or Roubaix winner as being of the same caliber and quality as a Tour champion. It's as simple as that, even if in a given year I prefered the winner of Roubaix over that of the Tour.

And who is to say if Pog were to really go for Ronde or Roubaix (which he won't for reasons explained before), he could not be among the best till the end. Winning is perhaps a big ask, but not impossible on his power and racing skills. Whereas right now, and probable for his entire career, Wout has no chance of making the podium of the Tour. The fact is there hasn't been a Roubaix winner who also won the Tour since Hinault. There is a reason for this and it's not Roubaix. But take one of those two races away from Hinault's palmares and you still have the Badger. It's not le Tour.
 
...send Pog out for a full UCI cyclocross season, and see if he's got any real grit.
Well if Wout has any chance at earning a higher rank by going for gc at the Tour, he will have to sacrifice everything, including cyclocross, to have any hope of achieving success. But does he have the grit for it? :p

Don't misunderstand me, Wout is clearly phenomenal and I think right now after Pogacar and Roglic he is tops, but there is a difference between being capable of winning on select days, however many and differences of terrain, and being able to keep it together for three weeks to win overall.
 
Last edited:
There are different 'cycling genres' within the cycling calendar.

The Tour de France features 180 riders & only 5 or so enter with a realistic chance of winning. Then there's their teammates who do the work for them.

The rest? Specialists & all rounders of all stripes with different goals. And many of those specialists smash Tour winners in their own favorite races (where was Froome in the World Championships, Ardennes, Flanders or Italian classics etc?). There's a reason Peter Sagan had a massive contract (something like 5 million a year or so). It wasn't to win the Tour de France (i.e. a playground for a select few GC guys).

It's only recently we've seen a return to bygone era with Roglic & Pogacar, i.e. two GC winners & Tour contenders who can do everything (including challenge the other specialists on the own turf).
I don't doubt any of this, but I think some folks are missing my point here. For the record books there probably is not one rider who, if he could have only one major victory during his career and got to choose between the Tour, Roubaix, Ronde, Worlds, Liege, Giro, Vuelta...I bet all, without even thinking twice, would choose the Tour. Remember I said one, so don't go saying well how about 3 Roubaixs, 3 Rondes and 3 Words, nope just uno, and even so I bet only the very rare rider(if he exists) wouldn't give them all up for just one Tour. And I suspect that for Wout it would be no different.

And I acknowledge and respect the diversity of skill sets and the opportunities to capitalize on them within the racing events of the cycling calendar, but, as has so often been said...the Tour is the Tour. Froome, who I never really could stand, still earned his fame as the "best cyclist" in his time on his Tours alone. Now what Pog has done at the Tour and also winning Liege, both so young, means his career is potentially going to make Froome's achievments pale in comparison and rightly so.
 
Wout on winning the Tour TT:
It’s an achievement that was on my bucket list

Wout on winning the WC TT:
Becoming world time trial champion is on my list

I wonder what else is on the mighty Wout's famous list. TdF maybe? Any leaks from Belgian journalists? Whatever is there it will substantially influence the landscape of pro cycling in the near future.
 
Reactions: BlueRoads

ASK THE COMMUNITY