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Teams & Riders Official Wout Van Aert thread

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Both Cancellara and Wout won their first monuments at the age of 25. Their 26th years, Wout's wins are more impressive. I think maybe saying his career is set in stone at the present is hyperbolic BS.
The problem with this analogy is that 2006 is nearly 2 decades ago, and a lot has changed since. All the science has overturned the classic progression curve throughout a rider's career. There is a reason why 19 year old riders started winning WT classics, why 21 year old riders started winning Grand Tours. There are lab tests, powermeters, nutrition experts... providing data tailored to any rider, so he knows almost immediately what he is capable off, how long he can sustain a certain effort, etc. That means riders can have all the data they need in order to be successful right away. Two decades ago, a lot of the progression a rider was able to make throughout his career, was simply by trial and error. It could take years for a rider to figure out where his limits were. Imagine going in the red just too long or too hard in order to follow an attack, which would then cost you once you snapped. Now their powermeter tells them not to follow, they get dropped 20 meters, but after that they can bridge the gap or only lose a few seconds.

Why am i saying this? Because physically Van Aert will likely not improve the way riders of 2 decades past were thought to improve. Most of that improvement or progression wasn't so much getting stronger after turning 26, but simply interpreting the signals their body was sending. That means 26 year old Cancellara (or any other rider) likely had more margin to improve than 26 year old Van Aert.

It also means 2 decades ago, the field was more narrow. Because only the absolute best, the phenoms were able to be successful (in big races) before they were 25. Now you have potential winners ranging from 20-35 year old. And not just Pogacar, Evenepoel and Pidcock.
 
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It also means 2 decades ago, the field was more narrow. Because only the absolute best, the phenoms were able to be successful (in big races) before they were 25. Now you have potential winners ranging from 20-35 year old. And not just Pogacar, Evenepoel and Pidcock.

I concur and believe you are spot on. The same should also hold for the Merckx-generation and the generations before him. That's why Pogacar's achievements are already so impressive having won both GTs and monuments.

Unfortunately if you are correct it probably means that Van Aert - as well as Van der Poel - are very likely to terminate their respective careers early. We may not get to enjoy their incredible performances that many more years. Truly hope I am wrong on this one but given how competitive and taxing current procycling is and how long these two already have been competing at the top level it could be fair to assume that they are both nearing the end of their careers...?
 
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Sagan needed several tries to win a cobbled monument too.
2012: Nope
2013: Nope
2014: Nope
2015: Nope
2016: Yes


WVA
2018: I forgot if he rode it back then.
2019: Nope
2020: Nope
2021: Nope
2022: Nope
2023: ???

Sagan was three years younger in 2012 than WvA in 2019 so a difference there but I have no doubt that WvA could have been a road monster earlier if he had focused on that from the start.
 
Ofcourse not. And yet, i think if Cancellara were to have been born in 1994, he too would have been dropped like a brick on Oude Kwaremont.
Did you read the recent interview with Cancellara (Belgian press)? Guy was adamant that the current crop is not better and that he would have been up there.
He also said that Pogacar was no (longer a) real GT rider in his eyes.

Was pretty surprised to not even see him admit that Pogacar was something else.
 
M

MVDP was more or less equal to last year (the back thing has been his excuse), but the difference was that this Ronde was ridden at lightning speed, which allowed Pog's superior strength to have the final say.
MVDP is much stronger than last year imo. Also has a clearly better base. His form won't tail off as bad as last year, also Roubaix was then 2 weeks later instead of 1, by that time his small base meant he was far off his best there

Van Aert was slightly weaker so far, in whole 2023 than 2022. He's not bad obviously, but I feel like 0,5% is still missing
 
MVDP is much stronger than last year imo. Also has a clearly better base. His form won't tail off as bad as last year, also Roubaix was then 2 weeks later instead of 1, by that time his small base meant he was far off his best there

Van Aert was slightly weaker so far, in whole 2023 than 2022. He's not bad obviously, but I feel like 0,5% is still missing

Oh no, you can't say that - the whole forum has agreed on the fact that this is the best Wout van Aert we will see!
 
Did you read the recent interview with Cancellara (Belgian press)? Guy was adamant that the current crop is not better and that he would have been up there.
He also said that Pogacar was no (longer a) real GT rider in his eyes.

Was pretty surprised to not even see him admit that Pogacar was something else.

I guess he assumes hes the only 1 with a motor
 
Was he worse in Sanremo than last year? Not really. Was he worse in E3 compared to the field without Van der Poel and Pogi than last year? Nope.
Sanremo is a bad barometer cause it's a much easier race.

But there's no real evidence that Van Aert was off form in the classics he did, unless we talk about 'almost dropped in E3' which would make the argument perfectly circular.

I actually think it was a pretty strong effort to come back to the escapee group after he got dropped.
 
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Did you read the recent interview with Cancellara (Belgian press)? Guy was adamant that the current crop is not better and that he would have been up there.
He also said that Pogacar was no (longer a) real GT rider in his eyes.

Was pretty surprised to not even see him admit that Pogacar was something else.
Yes, Cancellara knows better than these two.

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Sanremo is a bad barometer cause it's a much easier race.

But there's no real evidence that Van Aert was off form in the classics he did, unless we talk about 'almost dropped in E3' which would make the argument perfectly circular.

I actually think it was a pretty strong effort to come back to the escapee group after he got dropped.

In last years Sanremo, van Aert countered numerous attacks by Pogačar on the Poggio, with seeming ease.
This year he struggled, was cooked after 1 attack and then couldn't respond to the other Van.
It does say something imho. Not sure what though ;-)