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

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Amazing how his trainer still hasn't gotten that right. It's not the first time he misses out on his biggest seasonal goals due to bad timing and receding form.
Sometimes even WvA doesn't speak sense.

He said his appendicitis before the Tour de France meant he lacked form & he couldn't climb like 2020. Result? He wins the Ventoux & two other stages.

He then said a month or so ago that he had decided not to chase the green jersey in the Tour after Roglic crashed out because he wanted to "saved energy" for the Olympics. Result? A silver medal in the road race & a tired performance in the TT. And in this worlds road race, he forced a narrative of "all for Wout"... with the consequences we saw.

It's not a good day for WvA.
 
As a Belgian fan I would be pretty pissed tbh. From the outside it looked like press cared way too much how the team is going to tame Evenepoel instead of picking a flexible approach that would leave the door open for grabbing the opportunity to maximise the chances for team success. The team riding while Remco was in front proving the point...

And I’m starting to believe Wout is a selfish guy who puts his personal ambitions way above the the team’s goals and it is right for him to suffer the consequences now. He made the team ride for him when they clearly had other (maybe better) options so now he should really take responsibility and, most of all, learn from that and be more humble, honest and realistic next time - not forcing the team to go all-in for him. That’s why I hope Belgian press will now not let him of the hook too easy.
 
As a Belgian fan I would be pretty pissed tbh. From the outside it looked like press cared way too much how the team is going to tame Evenepoel instead of picking a flexible approach that would leave the door open for grabbing the opportunity to maximise the chances for team success. The team riding while Remco was in front proving the point...

And I’m starting to believe Wout is a selfish guy who puts his personal ambitions way above the the team’s goals and it is right for him to suffer the consequences now. He made the team ride for him when they clearly had other (maybe better) options so now he should really take responsibility and, most of all, learn from that and be more humble, honest and realistic next time - not forcing the team to go all-in for him. That’s why I hope Belgian press will now not let him of the hook too easy.
The narrative will likely be they rode a smart race and very sad Van Aert by all coincidence didn't happen to have legendary legs he needed to win this.

Anyway with this form I wouldn't be extremely optimistic about Roubaix either, and he can probably forget about Lombardia too
 
All in all, if he wins neither Roubaix or Lombardia, it flatout has to be a disappointing year for Van Aert in all honesty.
He was great all year (as shows being 1. in UCI rankings) but he is missing big wins. He won GW, AGR, two stages in T-A, 3 stages in TDF (that was his highlight of the season) and 4 stages and GC in Tour of Britain. Just too many 2nd places in biggest races.

And I hate to say it, but he will need to decide what kind of a rider he wants to be. You can't compete with Pogacar in T-A for GC and than couple of days later go against MVDP and others in Milan-Sanremo and RVV.

Also in hindsight, maybe not the best choice to bury yourself in 3. category race (ToB) 2 weeks before main goal of the season.
 
All in all, if he wins neither Roubaix or Lombardia, it flatout has to be a disappointing year for Van Aert in all honesty.
I don't think disappointing, with 3 TDF stagewins + Amstel, silver at OS and WCC but yeah... i do think he'll have hoped for more.

The good news is, after today's no-show, nobody will see him as the big favorite for PR. At least i'm not. He peaked too many times and he peaked too early. I don't see his form magically reappear while it seems to be on the decline.
 
I don't think disappointing, with 3 TDF stagewins + Amstel, silver at OS and WCC but yeah... i do think he'll have hoped for more.

The good news is, after today's no-show, nobody will see him as the big favorite for PR. At least i'm not. He peaked too many times and he peaked too early. I don't see his form magically reappear while it seems to be on the decline.
Should be a very open PR.

I wish Alaphilippe would do it but that's probably hoping for too much.
 
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I think he had immense pressure on him today and just did not have his best day.

There was no way he could have controlled the group with just Stuyven at the end. He would have to be on a super-day to pull it off and attacked himself like Ala did.

In hindsight they probably should not have made the race so selective early on and controlled it more instead. I guess they might have gotten carried away by the crowds perhaps.

It was a great race to watch nonetheless.
 
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From a non Belgian not Wout fan; Has he himself built his own myth or is it wishful thinking from the fans? Or both?

I have had a really hard time to watch him at all as he's just so hyped, and I haven't seen humility in him whatsoever. So that's why I am asking.

The pressure he must have had today I don't wish upon anyone.
 
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He said in one interview that he already didn't feel good on the Smeysberg, but then apparently he only told Stuyven he was bad when Alaphilippe was gone?
From a non Belgian not Wout fan; Has he himself built his own myth or is it wishful thinking from the fans? Or both?

I have had a really hard time to watch him at all as he's just so hyped, and I haven't seen humility in him whatsoever. So that's why I am asking.

The pressure he must have had today I don't wish upon anyone.
Bit of overextrapolation from winning ITTs, sprints and mountain stages in the Tour IMO, IMO he underperforms in monuments.
 
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He said in one interview that he already didn't feel good on the Smeysberg, but then apparently he only told Stuyven he was bad when Alaphilippe was gone?

Bit of overextrapolation from winning ITTs, sprints and mountain stages in the Tour IMO, IMO he underperforms in monuments.
So he's more like a stage winner, and one week-ish GC rider?

One has to wonder if he performs worse under pressure as well as monuments seems to be what people expects him to win?

Or why is it that he underperforms in those otherwise?
 
So he's more like a stage winner, and one week-ish GC rider?

One has to wonder if he performs worse under pressure as well as monuments seems to be what people expects him to win?

Or why is it that he underperforms in those otherwise?
This is no reason to overreact and relegate him to a stage hunter. He was 2nd and perhaps strongest at the Olympics and he was 2nd at the WC RR last year, both on far harder routes than this.

What I think though is they need to take much better care in managing him and making sure he peaks for his targets correctly. Maybe he blew today because of the pressure, but in Tirreno he went super hard then couldn't make the difference in MSR or Vlaanderen, and now he destroys GB before collapsing at his main target.

Now he reminds me a little bit of early days Sagan who would be spectacular anywhere, including showing some climbing chops but who would underperform considerably in monuments.

And maybe his training isn't specific enough for one day races or something.
 
And I hate to be that guy but go check the weather forecast for next sunday.
It looks like it might be hell. After today, it will be hard to be a better race, but a rainy Roubaix will provide lots of surprises...the bad part of that being who gets injured and how badly. I guess there is grass between the cobbles, which doesn't feature in the spring...tire choices will be interesting to watch.
 
So he's more like a stage winner, and one week-ish GC rider?

One has to wonder if he performs worse under pressure as well as monuments seems to be what people expects him to win?

Or why is it that he underperforms in those otherwise?
I think before we say that he underperforms in monuments and hard one day races we should wait a few years still... He has seriously raced on the road for like... 4 years? 3 years where road was his major focus? And of those 3 years a part was taken out due to injury and corona? During which he still did cross, meaning a lot shorter races, in the winter? And despite that he won MSR and has a few more podiums in monuments and worlds?
So... the second post of Red Rick makes more sense. He probably needs to put a bit more priority on some main goals instead of trying to do absolutely everything. But so far his results are stunning overall and underperformance can only be spoken of in terms of expectations.
 
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Or Sagan's 2013. Such an awful year for him.
Sagan wasn't favourite for Ronde nor WCRR (and he didn't even race Roubaix), he only really missed out on MSR. Unlike Valverde.

2013 was also clearly Sagan's best year at that point, whereas last year was better for Van Aert. But don't you think 2014 was disappointing for Valverde--that he missed all his biggest targets?
 
This is no reason to overreact and relegate him to a stage hunter. He was 2nd and perhaps strongest at the Olympics and he was 2nd at the WC RR last year, both on far harder routes than this.

What I think though is they need to take much better care in managing him and making sure he peaks for his targets correctly. Maybe he blew today because of the pressure, but in Tirreno he went super hard then couldn't make the difference in MSR or Vlaanderen, and now he destroys GB before collapsing at his main target.

Now he reminds me a little bit of early days Sagan who would be spectacular anywhere, including showing some climbing chops but who would underperform considerably in monuments.

And maybe his training isn't specific enough for one day races or something.
In addition to this, I'd say he often overestimates his strength in 1 day races and does way too much work during the race. With JV signing guys like Laporte and Van der Sande, and the return of Teunissen (and possibly Dumoulin), there should always be at least one teammate in the final with him in the classics upcoming season which might help. It's not a coincidence that he exactly won the 2 classics this year where he had a teammate in the final with Van Hooydonck in GW and Roglic in Amstel.
 
Sagan wasn't favourite for Ronde nor WCRR (and he didn't even race Roubaix), he only really missed out on MSR. Unlike Valverde.

2013 was also clearly Sagan's best year at that point, whereas last year was better for Van Aert. But don't you think 2014 was disappointing for Valverde--that he missed all his biggest targets?
Yes, but Valverde has had so many good years that I honestly don't remember 2014 particularly well as one long disappointment. Byt now that you mention it, he did miss great opportunities in Strade, LBL, the Tour podium, the Worlds and Lombardia. But apart from Lombardia, I don't think he was particularly likely to win any of the others (okay, sure, the Tour podium was a bad miss but for me, podiums honestly don't matter that much that I still feel bad about it seven years later, like with Sagan and the 2012 MSR).

Van Aert has won the most insane hattrick of stages the Tour has ever seen, Amstel, GW, silver at Olympics, come second at a mountainous edition of Tirreno behind the double Tour champion, become Belgian champion and won silver at the WCTT. If that's a disappointing season, my name is Mathieu.
 
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