Teams & Riders Official Wout Van Aert thread

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I still think this is the monument that suits him best. Remember that in 2022 he became second one week after having a covid infection, last year he was arguably as strong as MvdP but less lucky. Together with the strength of Visma, this one should be on his palmares within two years.
I do wonder who will take on the underrated work of van Hooydonck in their classics squads. I also wouldn't be surprised to see one of Laporte and van Baarle fall off in their contributions in 2024.
 
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I do wonder who will take on the underrated work of van Hooydonck in their classics squads. I also wouldn't be surprised to see one of Laporte and van Baarle fall off in their contributions in 2024.
He wasn't really underrated though, was he. I think most people would consider him, if not the best, at least one of the best allround domestiques in the peloton. I think purely in terms of performance they maybe don't need him, but his attitude is irreplaceable.

Let's say they start the cobbled classics with Van Aert - Van Baarle - Laporte - Benoot - Jorgenson - Tratnik - Hagenes - Affini. Apart from Affini, who will be inclined to take on domestique duties?
 
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He wasn't really underrated though, was he. I think most people would consider him, if not the best, at least one of the best allround domestiques in the peloton. I think purely in terms of performance they maybe don't need him, but his attitude is irreplaceable.

Let's say they start the cobbled classics with Van Aert - Van Baarle - Laporte - Benoot - Jorgenson - Tratnik - Hagenes - Affini. Apart from Affini, who will be inclined to take on domestique duties?
Tratnik and Benoot and maybe Jorge son (depending on the race). And Laporte owes Wout at least one, maybe two presents if you count the euro road race. 🙂
 
I hope so!
I hope so too, but it’s still a crapshoot kind of a race with crashes, flats, and teammates out in front influencing the outcome more than at RvV. Amazing to think of Boonen and Cancellara winning 7 times between them, even with the weird stuff that happens. They must have been so much stronger on cobbles than any of their competitors to do that.
 
He's going to Algarve... i have no idea how good his form will be, but it's a race he could win the GC depending on his preparation so far. If he's anywhere near climbing form, this could be a two way battle with Evenepoel. Martinez and Pidcock are also going, but they'll likely lose too much time in the TT compared to Evenepoel, though Van Aert's TT has been suspect lately as well. He could easily take the win + boni seconds on Foia, get some additional boni seconds in flat stages, and limit the timeloss on Malhao (i think TDF-Wout could actually win here). Ganna finished second behind Martinez last year, so Van Aert should definitely be able to do considerably better than Ganna with bonis. If Evenepoel starts this year with last year's San Juan form, Van Aert could well take it.

Yeah, I wanted to check whether you're joking, you never know :grimacing:
He nearly mistimed it (or misjudged Laporte's speed), but he reacted just in time to slam the brakes as he was about to cross Laporte before the line. Close one though, dodged a bullet.
 
If you're hoping for a WvA at his peak in cobble season (or even extending it towards the Giro), let's hope he's nowhere near his peak form in Algarve. Look at MvdP super season last year, in Strade and T-A he was nowhere close to his peak yet.
 
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If you're hoping for a WvA at his peak in cobble season (or even extending it towards the Giro), let's hope he's nowhere near his peak form in Algarve. Look at MvdP super season last year, in Strade and T-A he was nowhere close to his peak yet.
If you're responding to my post, i'm not "hoping" for anything, and i'm certainly not expecting him to be at his peak. Not sure where you got that from my post. The fact remains, that if Ganna can finish 2s from Martinez, and Küng is not far behind, that even in early season form, Van Aert should be able to do better than that, which in turn means he could actually contend for victory here. There are 3 stages that shape the GC. There is the TT where the differences will be the biggest. There is Foia, which is a shallow climb, where last year Cort won, a climb where i could see Van Aert take all the bonis and perhaps a few seconds even. And there is Malhao, which is a 2-3k climb where Ganna last year only lost 20s to Pidcock.

If his TT has not improved over last year's horrendous efforts, then he has no chance to beat Evenepoel.
 
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You don't have to react piqued, I am just saying that in Van Aerts season build up being good in Algarve ranks about as high as an ice skater showing good form in summer.
 
If you're responding to my post, i'm not "hoping" for anything, and i'm certainly not expecting him to be at his peak. Not sure where you got that from my post. The fact remains, that if Ganna can finish 2s from Martinez, and Küng is not far behind, that even in early season form, Van Aert should be able to do better than that, which in turn means he could actually contend for victory here. There are 3 stages that shape the GC. There is the TT where the differences will be the biggest. There is Foia, which is a shallow climb, where last year Cort won, a climb where i could see Van Aert take all the bonis and perhaps a few seconds even. And there is Malhao, which is a 2-3k climb where Ganna last year only lost 20s to Pidcock.

If his TT has not improved over last year's horrendous efforts, then he has no chance to beat Evenepoel.
3d in the Tour TT, 5th at the Worlds, Belgian champion. Call that horrendous? I think it's more or less what you can expect. As he said in the Tour, he was first among humans, which is probably the right assessment.
 
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3d in the Tour TT, 5th at the Worlds, Belgian champion. Call that horrendous? I think it's more or less what you can expect. As he said in the Tour, he was first among humans, which is probably the right assessment.
Yes, personally i call that horrendous for someone with his pedigree. We all know he only became NC because Evenepoel crashed. His TDF TT was actually one of his better TT efforts of 2023, be it 3 minutes behind Vingegaard (who apparently reconned the TT so he knew every corner by heart). Finished the Euro TT behind Bissegger. Finished the WCC TT 10s behind McNulty and just 15s ahead of Nelson Oliveira. You think that's about right for someone of his caliber? In the short technical TT in Suisse, he got beaten by Evenepoel and Küng. This TT was much more suited to his abilities (not to say tailor made) than those of Evenepoel, who rode his first race after leaving the Giro with covid. Finished 5th in the longer Suisse TT, again behind Bissegger and even Skjelmose.

I consider Van Aert on par with Ganna when it comes to potential, the main differentiator being that Van Aert usually falls short (compared to Ganna) because doesn't focus nearly as much on TT as the Italian. So to get beaten by guys like Bisseger, Skjelmose, McNulty... for a TT'er with his pedigree, i'd say that's pretty bad.
 
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The Belgians are preparing to spend the next 6 months piling massive pressure on their Olympics team, overthink everything, ride under the threat of death and blow up spectacularly. Best thing they can do is not talk about it or make everything this huge deal and just let them ride without pressure, then they stand a real chance in both TT and Road Race. Last time Carapaz turned up with no support from the Ecuadorian federation looking like he'd just been on the beach for a week and won gold with a single move at the right time, Van Aert was insanely strong but he rode like it was all on him and did way too much.
 
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Last time Carapaz turned up with no support from the Ecuadorian federation looking like he'd just been on the beach for a week and won gold with a single move at the right time, Van Aert was insanely strong but he rode like it was all on him and did way too much.
That's just typical WVA though, he does this all the time, that's why they call him the Belgian pozzato. Insane physiological talent but no ability to make the right decisions on the road, causing him many missed wins.

Leuven another great example. I doubt he will suddenly learn how to race without a radio. Best to ride for remco.

WVA won't even have the tour de France in his legs as the perfect form builder, maybe he should just focus on the ITT with his Mannequen aero testing and a free month to spend in the ITT position

By contrast as you say carapaz is a real racer, have the form to keep you in the front and then pick your move, make it count. Same for alaphilippe, remco etc.
 
Yes, personally i call that horrendous for someone with his pedigree. We all know he only became NC because Evenepoel crashed. His TDF TT was actually one of his better TT efforts of 2023, be it 3 minutes behind Vingegaard (who apparently reconned the TT so he knew every corner by heart). Finished the Euro TT behind Bissegger. Finished the WCC TT 10s behind McNulty and just 15s ahead of Nelson Oliveira. You think that's about right for someone of his caliber? In the short technical TT in Suisse, he got beaten by Evenepoel and Küng. This TT was much more suited to his abilities (not to say tailor made) than those of Evenepoel, who rode his first race after leaving the Giro with covid. Finished 5th in the longer Suisse TT, again behind Bissegger and even Skjelmose.

I consider Van Aert on par with Ganna when it comes to potential, the main differentiator being that Van Aert usually falls short (compared to Ganna) because doesn't focus nearly as much on TT as the Italian. So to get beaten by guys like Bisseger, Skjelmose, McNulty... for a TT'er with his pedigree, i'd say that's pretty bad.
You say these results don't suit a rider of Van Aert's calibre, but what is his calibre? I think he could probably do a bit better than what he showed last year, Jumbo as a whole actually weren't that great in time trials... apart from the two times it really mattered. But I don't think Van Aert would otherwise be a shoo-in for the win.

Btw, Vingegaard knowing every corner surely helped a bit, but it didn't gain him 3 minutes :) He's just an exceptionally gifted rider on a course like that.
 
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You say these results don't suit a rider of Van Aert's calibre, but what is his calibre? I think he could probably do a bit better than what he showed last year, Jumbo as a whole actually weren't that great in time trials... apart from the two times it really mattered. But I don't think Van Aert would otherwise be a shoo-in for the win.

Btw, Vingegaard knowing every corner surely helped a bit, but it didn't gain him 3 minutes :) He's just an exceptionally gifted rider on a course like that.
Well, no, that was my entire point, how bad Van Aert was last year. And you ask what his calibre is? I already said what calibre (i think) he is. He's roughly on par with Ganna, but just spends less time focussing on TT, which is why he often gets beaten by Ganna (at least in championships). When in shape i would put him firmly above Küng as a TT'er, quite close to Ganna and Evenepoel. Not someone who should lose repeatedly to Bissegger, McNulty, Skjelmose and a list of riders that would not even come close to a medal in a WCC TT.
 
That's just typical WVA though, he does this all the time, that's why they call him the Belgian pozzato. Insane physiological talent but no ability to make the right decisions on the road, causing him many missed wins.

Leuven another great example. I doubt he will suddenly learn how to race without a radio. Best to ride for remco.
Harsh but true.

Regarding Wout's TT: With good prep he should compete with Remco/Ganna on most terrain (except, say, Domancy). In other words, his 2021 WC ITT level. But even without ideal prep, he's top 5/10 in almost any ITT he enters.

I'm not really a huge fan of Wout focusing on ITT, though. He's too good at other disciplines. Surely he'll have a P-R or WCRR breakthrough one of these years?
 
Well, no, that was my entire point, how bad Van Aert was last year. And you ask what his calibre is? I already said what calibre (i think) he is. He's roughly on par with Ganna, but just spends less time focussing on TT, which is why he often gets beaten by Ganna (at least in championships). When in shape i would put him firmly above Küng as a TT'er, quite close to Ganna and Evenepoel. Not someone who should lose repeatedly to Bissegger, McNulty, Skjelmose and a list of riders that would not even come close to a medal in a WCC TT.
Do you think he should spend more time focusing on his Time Trial?