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

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Yeah, you're right.
2 stage wins and overall 2nd in TA
3 stagewins in TdF
Gent-Wevelgem win
Amstel Gold win
3 stagewins and overall in Brittain tour
top 10 in RVV, PR, Harelbeke, Strade, MS, WC and others
silver in TT WC
Silver in TT OG

in 2020 alone...

what an underachiever :sweat:
Pfff, shows how much you know! First, it's 2021, and second he won 4 stages in the Tour of Brittain!

;)
 
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Wout may be a bit disappointed ...but deep inside I believe he may have even surprised himself about the great achievements he has completed and the potential that he has for further success.
 
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So.

Wout van Aert had an excellent season. His Tour Treble is the shining jewel of his career so far.

Even some of his 'disappointments' argue in his favour. His silver medals in the Cyclocross World Championships + Olympic Road Race + World Championships Time Trial are, taken together, a truly amazing achievement (more so than 'winning' Amstel or grabbing the Belgian National RR)

And yet....

An interesting pattern has emerged in one day races.

Now, obviously, he can't win them all. Even if bookmakers insist on making him the favourite every time.

But it can't be denied that in several super important races, which were ridden hard early on, he simply seemed to lack the extra acceleration to join the strongest riders in the finale.

I recall this happening in

- Strade Bianche

- E3

- Ronde van Vlaanderen

- Tour de France Stage 7

- World's Road Race

- Paris Roubaix


Now.

I can think of several reasons to explain away his 'failures' in each individual race.

1) He didn't peak for Strade and lacked sleep because of his newborn baby.

2) Riding Tirreno way too hard cost him his extra punch in Ronde and E3.

3) He punctured at E3 and had terrible team support.

4) He wasn't as strong in the first Tour week due to appendicitis ruining his preparation

5) The stress due the insane pressure at the World's in Leuven took away his edge

6) He was over his peak at Roubaix (and was afraid to ride the wet cobbles hard after losing his glasses )

7) In E3, Ronde, Tour Stage 7 and Roubaix, he had to deal with a Van der Poel who seemed content to spend way too much energy in order keep a gap on Wout, even if it ruined his own chances in the final sprint.

So it could well be that next year, with many of these factors absent (he'll surely not ride Tirreno as hard, might even skip the Cyclocross CX, will have a much stronger team, won't have a newborn baby, VdP will take other rivals into consideration too), he dominates the spring, winning three monuments.

Or maybe, there's a deeper issue here. Something we've seen in Cyclocross all too often: yes he has an amazing engine. Yes he is able to fight and suffer hard even in losing position. But when it comes to riding that one extra super fast lap on top of all that effort, putting in that one extra acceleration to crush all opposition, his legs often don't respond.

Is that his one handicap? IMO, that is the big question for next year's spring.
 
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Oct 31, 2018
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So.

Wout van Aert had an excellent season. His Tour Treble is the shining jewel of his career so far.

Even some of his 'disappointments' argue in his favour. His silver medals in the Cyclocross World Championships + Olympic Road Race + World Championships Time Trial are, taken together, a truly amazing achievement (more so than 'winning' Amstel or grabbing the Belgian National RR)

And yet....

An interesting pattern has emerged in one day races.

Now, obviously, he can't win them all. Even if bookmakers insist on making him the favourite every time.

But it can't be denied that in several super important races, which were ridden hard early on, he simply seemed to lack the extra acceleration to join the strongest riders in the finale.

I recall this happening in

- Strade Bianche

- E3

- Ronde van Vlaanderen

- Tour de France Stage 7

- World's Road Race

- Paris Roubaix


Now.

I can think of several reasons to explain away his 'failures' in each individual race.

1) He didn't peak for Strade and lacked sleep because of his newborn baby.

2) Riding Tirreno way too hard cost him his extra punch in Ronde and E3.

3) He punctured at E3 and had terrible team support.

4) He wasn't as strong in the first Tour week due to appendicitis ruining his preparation

5) The stress due the insane pressure at the World's in Leuven took away his edge

6) He was over his peak at Roubaix (and was afraid to ride the wet cobbles hard after losing his glasses )

7) In E3, Ronde, Tour Stage 7 and Roubaix, he had to deal with a Van der Poel who seemed content to spend way too much energy in order keep a gap on Wout, even if it ruined his own chances in the final sprint.

So it could well be that next year, with many of these factors absent (he'll surely not ride Tirreno as hard, might even skip the Cyclocross CX, will have a much stronger team, won't have a newborn baby, VdP will take other rivals into consideration too), he dominates the spring, winning three monuments.

Or maybe, there's a deeper issue here. Something we've seen in Cyclocross all too often: yes he has an amazing engine. Yes he is able to fight and suffer hard even in losing position. But when it comes to riding that one extra super fast lap on top of all that effort, putting in that one extra acceleration to crush all opposition, his legs often don't respond.

Is that his one handicap? IMO, that is the big question for next year's spring.
I must say I noticed the same thing for MVP and WVA. In races of 200k or less, they seem to be invincable but in races of 250k + they seem to lack the pure base power to keep going.

I think it's due to the Covid year:

  • The season 2020 lasted all the way into October and WVA started CX races little over a month later
  • Because of their winter CX racing, they have excellent punch and speed, but those races are only 1 hour long, so you can't argue it'll good training for long range races
  • don't forget that the classics in the Covid-19 2020 year were actually considerably shorter then normal editions. I remember f.e. the RVV being 20 or 30 k's shorter then normal years.
I could be wrong, but some good solid long range trainings during winter periods would probably be enough for them to dominate the spring classics again.
 
I must say I noticed the same thing for MVP and WVA. In races of 200k or less, they seem to be invincable but in races of 250k + they seem to lack the pure base power to keep going.

I think it's due to the Covid year:

  • The season 2020 lasted all the way into October and WVA started CX races little over a month later
  • Because of their winter CX racing, they have excellent punch and speed, but those races are only 1 hour long, so you can't argue it'll good training for long range races
  • don't forget that the classics in the Covid-19 2020 year were actually considerably shorter then normal editions. I remember f.e. the RVV being 20 or 30 k's shorter then normal years.
I could be wrong, but some good solid long range trainings during winter periods would probably be enough for them to dominate the spring classics again.
Honestly both also rode too hard in Tirreno in the spring, and Van Aert clearly messed up his prep for the fall season. Van der Poel also spent by far the most energy in Roubaix.
 
Honestly both also rode too hard in Tirreno in the spring, and Van Aert clearly messed up his prep for the fall season. Van der Poel also spent by far the most energy in Roubaix.
Van Aert messed up his fall prep by targeting the overall at the Tour of Britain. So the week long Tirreno in the Spring and week long Tour of Britain messed up his targets for the big one day spring and fall classics. He needs to use these stage races as more of training races if he has big targets soon after.
 
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Van Aert messed up his fall prep by targeting the overall at the Tour of Britain. So the week long Tirreno in the Spring and week long Tour of Britain messed up his targets for the big one day spring and fall classics. He needs to use these stage races as more of training races if he has big targets soon after.
I think he didn't intend to do ToB for GC from the beginning on, but once he was in contention he just couldn't help himself... there were too many stages that suited him... Also I'm not sure most of the stages were ridden so hard that they took out a lot, his peak was probably just planned wrong.
 
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Van Aert messed up his fall prep by targeting the overall at the Tour of Britain. So the week long Tirreno in the Spring and week long Tour of Britain messed up his targets for the big one day spring and fall classics. He needs to use these stage races as more of training races if he has big targets soon after.
It always baffles me when somebody makes an observation that does have the potential to hold some truth but then proceeds to arrogantly present it as obvious facts.
 
Let's be honest dear classics fans. Wout van Aert is like a Belgian Pippo Pozzato (but less cool). A pretty boy who has the talent but not the racecraft to win legendary classics.

To be fair to Wout, he had a lot of times in the classics 0 teammates. In Ronde, e3 he is from 60km to go chasing the moves of quickstep, vanderpoel, Turgis, etc because he has no teammates to help him.

His big victories in classics this year (Gent Wevelgem and amstel Gold) he had a teammate in the last 30km.

However, that doesn't excuse his infuriatingly defensive riding. He doesn't put attacks like vanderpoel, Carapax, Nibali, Alaphilippe, Asgreen, Roglic, Masnada, Pogacar that decide races. He chases everything and then trys to keep it together for a sprint. A masterclass in accumulation of UCI points without winning much.

You have to be unafraid of losing to win these big races a lot of times and I don't think Wout is. He was good in 2020 Strade and Sanremo but since then we didn't see the same Wout. Always second guessing and playing safe

He also definitely need some rest for longer period without competition to recuperate the legs and build a slow, base without rushing. It's still 4 months till omloop.
 
Let's be honest dear classics fans. Wout van Aert is like a Belgian Pippo Pozzato (but less cool). A pretty boy who has the talent but not the racecraft to win legendary classics.

To be fair to Wout, he had a lot of times in the classics 0 teammates. In Ronde, e3 he is from 60km to go chasing the moves of quickstep, vanderpoel, Turgis, etc because he has no teammates to help him.

His big victories in classics this year (Gent Wevelgem and amstel Gold) he had a teammate in the last 30km.

However, that doesn't excuse his infuriatingly defensive riding. He doesn't put attacks like vanderpoel, Carapax, Nibali, Alaphilippe, Asgreen, Roglic, Masnada, Pogacar that decide races. He chases everything and then trys to keep it together for a sprint. A masterclass in accumulation of UCI points without winning much.

You have to be unafraid of losing to win these big races a lot of times and I don't think Wout is. He was good in 2020 Strade and Sanremo but since then we didn't see the same Wout. Always second guessing and playing safe

He also definitely need some rest for longer period without competition to recuperate the legs and build a slow, base without rushing. It's still 4 months till omloop.
I agree insofar that he's riding too defensively for my liking, too, especially this year (but yeah, if you have a sprint to beat the best pure sprinters, it's probably seductive). But then much of it is that he's just such a big favourite, and for such a favourite it's just difficult to win if everybody is working against you - and you don't have the super strong team behind you that will make it work. Overall I would say we should wait with such assessments, if he hasn't won much more in three or four years we can state something like that, but so far he's such a super good rider, his results are still very impressive, and it's not like van der Poel or Alaphilippe with all their class have won every big one day race they entered... I really think people have become super critical of him.
 
I agree insofar that he's riding too defensively for my liking, too, especially this year (but yeah, if you have a sprint to beat the best pure sprinters, it's probably seductive). But then much of it is that he's just such a big favourite, and for such a favourite it's just difficult to win if everybody is working against you - and you don't have the super strong team behind you that will make it work. Overall I would say we should wait with such assessments, if he hasn't won much more in three or four years we can state something like that, but so far he's such a super good rider, his results are still very impressive, and it's not like van der Poel or Alaphilippe with all their class have won every big one day race they entered... I really think people have become super critical of him.
He's favourite at the bookmakers. Riders like MvdP, Ala, Pog, Roglic all have equally high expectations put upon then and will also be heavily marked. The difference is those riders launch exciting attacks.
I'd never wish Ineos success but I found myself cheering on Pidcock and Carapaz.
 
He's favourite at the bookmakers. Riders like MvdP, Ala, Pog, Roglic all have equally high expectations put upon then and will also be heavily marked. The difference is those riders launch exciting attacks.
I'd never wish Ineos success but I found myself cheering on Pidcock and Carapaz.
None of those riders would, without a lot of luck, win a sprint on the Champs-Elysée. So part of him is basically a pure sprinter and nobody would expect Cavendish or Bennett or Caleb Ewan to start a long range attack. It's not like I'm totally uncritical of van Aert, I just think that the criticism is very hard compared to the appreciation he gets in these forums - and while I don't like wheel-suckers and for instance in Imola I thought he should have done more work to become champion, he for instance would have deserved victory in the Olympics. He's one of the best riders I have ever seen and he doesn't have much fans here, seems like none, really, after the Evenepoel-saga.
So, some critisism is deserved, but I feel some is also because he's a rival to very popular van der Poel, has his issues with Evenepoel who has a few fans, and started to get "in the way" of Roglic, who also has his fanbase here.

I also cheered for Carapaz, not on Pidcock, though. ;)
 
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Let's be honest dear classics fans. Wout van Aert is like a Belgian Pippo Pozzato (but less cool). A pretty boy who has the talent but not the racecraft to win legendary classics.

To be fair to Wout, he had a lot of times in the classics 0 teammates. In Ronde, e3 he is from 60km to go chasing the moves of quickstep, vanderpoel, Turgis, etc because he has no teammates to help him.

His big victories in classics this year (Gent Wevelgem and amstel Gold) he had a teammate in the last 30km.

However, that doesn't excuse his infuriatingly defensive riding. He doesn't put attacks like vanderpoel, Carapax, Nibali, Alaphilippe, Asgreen, Roglic, Masnada, Pogacar that decide races. He chases everything and then trys to keep it together for a sprint. A masterclass in accumulation of UCI points without winning much.

You have to be unafraid of losing to win these big races a lot of times and I don't think Wout is. He was good in 2020 Strade and Sanremo but since then we didn't see the same Wout. Always second guessing and playing safe

He also definitely need some rest for longer period without competition to recuperate the legs and build a slow, base without rushing. It's still 4 months till omloop.
You're trolling, right?

  1. He already won MSR, Strade, Gent Wevelgem and Amstel. So it's fair to say he already won 'legendary races'.
  2. His racing style is defensive? Did you even follow TdF this year? Ronde Van Vlaanderen last year? Tirreno Adriatico? Hardly defensive riding.
  3. 'a masterclass of UCI points without winning much': he was 14 (!) wins this year according to UCI website.
 
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You're trolling, right?

  1. He already won MSR, Strade, Gent Wevelgem and Amstel. So it's fair to say he already won 'legendary races'.
  2. His racing style is defensive? Did you even follow TdF this year? Ronde Van Vlaanderen last year? Tirreno Adriatico? Hardly defensive riding.
  3. 'a masterclass of UCI points without winning much': he was 14 (!) wins this year according to UCI website.
Il maestro never trolls, he teaches.
 
Pogacar, Van der Poel, Evenepoel and Alaphilippe light up races - even when they aren't the strongest and don't win.

Wout rides more tentatively, even when he's superb. He won't launch a daring attack, but will chase hard for hours if need be. And that gets kinda annoying with a rider as strong as Wout.

None of those riders would, without a lot of luck, win a sprint on the Champs-Elysée. So part of him is basically a pure sprinter
That's exactly the issue. He has a sublime sprint and a tremendous engine. There's no 'excuse' for his lack of relative initiative. That's why he isn't as loved as MvdP.

And if a strengthened JV manages to reduce races like E3, G-W and Amstel to mini-bunch sprints for Wout to win, I can see him becoming a quite detested figure.
 
None of those riders would, without a lot of luck, win a sprint on the Champs-Elysée. So part of him is basically a pure sprinter and nobody would expect Cavendish or Bennett or Caleb Ewan to start a long range attack. It's not like I'm totally uncritical of van Aert, I just think that the criticism is very hard compared to the appreciation he gets in these forums - and while I don't like wheel-suckers and for instance in Imola I thought he should have done more work to become champion, he for instance would have deserved victory in the Olympics. He's one of the best riders I have ever seen and he doesn't have much fans here, seems like none, really, after the Evenepoel-saga.
So, some critisism is deserved, but I feel some is also because he's a rival to very popular van der Poel, has his issues with Evenepoel who has a few fans, and started to get "in the way" of Roglic, who also has his fanbase here.

I also cheered for Carapaz, not on Pidcock, though. ;)
Nobody did more work in the final of the Olympics than him, so it's funny that you are making that claim while saying people are too critical of him.

Wout still has to make a mental switch. The problem in relying too much on his sprint, is also that he tends to put in too much of an effort in trying to keep the group together (because he anticipates winning the sprint). As a result he is always wasting too much energy by doing too much work in the group or being the only one who keeps reacting to attacks, and then when it's sprinting time, he loses as often as he wins. He can't do both. Either he needs a better team, or he needs to understand that he can't be his own domestique and finish the job. In that case he'd much rather attack instead of work. Him also being a topclass sprinter is working against him basically in every other race. Nobody wants to ride with him, they will either sit in his wheel or they will attack him.

As for the WCC thing, i believe more people are taking his side than the other way around. Personally i'm not on his side here, but that doesn't mean i'm not a fan anymore.
 
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Wout still has to make a mental switch. The problem in relying too much on his sprint, is also that he tends to put in too much of an effort in trying to keep the group together (because he anticipates winning the sprint). As a result he is always wasting too much energy by doing too much work in the group or being the only one who keeps reacting to attacks, and then when it's sprinting time, he loses as often as he wins. He can't do both. Either he needs a better team, or he needs to understand that he can't be his own domestique and finish the job. In that case he'd much rather attack instead of work. Him also being a topclass sprinter is working against him basically in every other race. Nobody wants to ride with him, they will either sit in his wheel or they will attack him.
Totally agree.

As for the WCC thing, i believe more people are taking his side than the other way around. Personally i'm not on his side here, but that doesn't mean i'm not a fan anymore.
Probably depends on which sources you have, maybe it's different in Belgium and on Twitter, this forum is my main source when it comes to cycling.

Nobody did more work in the final of the Olympics than him, so it's funny that you are making that claim while saying people are too critical of him.
Hm, maybe that's because I was quoting Ilmaestro, but really reacting to a few other posts as well, which were very critical of him but in a bit different way.
In general I don't think him trying to go on a long range attack that day would have worked; Pogacar was also very strong and I suppose at least he, and probably some other guys as well, would have at least been able to hold van Aert's wheel. I mean, winning by going on a long range attack usually works because either you are so much stronger than the others that you can simply ride the others off your wheel or the others underestimate you / don't think your's is the winning move / think someone else from the possible chasers is at least as dangerous. If the by far biggest favourite tries to go on a long range attack without being a good deal stronger than the others, it won't work.
I also would like to see him ride a bit differently next year, but I also have some sympathy that someone in his situation rides like he does. But character surely also plays a role.
 
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