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Teams & Riders Official Wout Van Aert thread

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Wout will flat out in Roubaix unless his team gets him better tires. They should honestly have him on some good 32mm tubeless tires for the cobbles. He's a brunt and doesn't have the same level of finesse on the cobbles as MvdP.
Roubaix, Gravel Worlds, the other day on Spanish Gravel (though that was unfortunate)......there's a pattern emerging.......
I've said before, in road racing punctures are called 'unlucky' - but in off-road it's usually poor equipment choice, or rider error.
 
Wout will flat out in Roubaix unless his team gets him better tires. They should honestly have him on some good 32mm tubeless tires for the cobbles. He's a brunt and doesn't have the same level of finesse on the cobbles as MvdP.
True. I assume he's on 28's, but seems like at least 30's would be a better bet if he coming into PR at 175lbs+. Speaking of Roubaix and 32's, the Specialized Roubaix 32 is one helluva tire for $40 US. Certainly not a WT level piece of equipment, but for your average hack that tire can handle a lot off-road and it rolls super fast on the road. Great "groad" tire if you have decent handle and use a little finesse on the dirt.
 
True. I assume he's on 28's, but seems like at least 30's would be a better bet if he coming into PR at 175lbs+. Speaking of Roubaix and 32's, the Specialized Roubaix 32 is one helluva tire for $40 US. Certainly not a WT level piece of equipment, but for your average hack that tire can handle a lot off-road and it rolls super fast on the road. Great "groad" tire if you have decent handle and use a little finesse on the dirt.
Wout was on tubeless 30s with tire inserts at Roubaix in 2023. Mathieu raced on 32s (or at least finished on 32s, as he did a planned bike change before the major cobbles started): https://escapecollective.com/paris-roubaix-tech-part-2-bikes-bikes-and-more-bikes/
 
What do you guys recommend for Flanders? I'm doing the Flanders classic in Summer, is 32 recommendable for an amateur surviving the cobbles.

OT: again quite a disappointing TT for Wout. Wondering what his last top notch Time Trial was and I think we have to back to the Belgian champs last year June. Lack of focus on aerodynamics?
 
OT: again quite a disappointing TT for Wout. Wondering what his last top notch Time Trial was and I think we have to back to the Belgian champs last year June. Lack of focus on aerodynamics?
Don't you guys read pre- or post-race interviews?

Wout said before the TT that he didn't train on the time trial bike during winter training camps at all. It's something he'll get back to when the classics campaign is done. After the race he confirmed it again, and you could notice that he wasn't really disappointed with his rather underwhelming performance.
 
Yeah sure, but losing so much time on a 22k TT, while he said he was going all out, still makes it a mediocre performance. 11th in Algarve, losing time to the likes of Herregodts, Healy and Tratnik isn't a great performance. Not that it says anything about his spring season, but just as I was impressed on Friday by his mighty sprint, this was not great.
 
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I hope so. Because he is starting to worry me. Does someone suddenly find their form from 3 years ago?
Let's give it time. Wout has been operating on a different training schedule this winter compared to previous years. He did not go "all in" for CX and wants to save his matches for his main objectives. If his main goal is on March 31, 2024, should he be in top form in the middle of February? He still has a few weeks to "put the icing on the cake".
 
Yeah sure, but losing so much time on a 22k TT, while he said he was going all out, still makes it a mediocre performance. 11th in Algarve, losing time to the likes of Herregodts, Healy and Tratnik isn't a great performance. Not that it says anything about his spring season, but just as I was impressed on Friday by his mighty sprint, this was not great.

My take is that Van Aert will never win a major TT title. He was very close in 2021 and I believe he could have very well taken it in 2022, if he had race in Wollongong but after watching him lose around 1:30 min to Remco and almost as much to Ganna in the WCTT and 45 sec to Tarling in the ECTT, last season, I don't see him beating these big guns in the Olympics and Worlds TT.

However I still think that he is going to win a cobbled monument and possibly a World Championship or even the Olympic road race this season, he was 2nd, 2×3rd and 4th in the major one day races, last year, so I would be surprised if he finishes his career 'only' with that MSR win.
 
I hope so. Because he is starting to worry me. Does someone suddenly find their form from 3 years ago?
There's way too much bipolar hysteria around Van Aert.

He does a leadout for Kooij, who wins. It's a disgrace and he should always sprint for himself!
He has a flat tire. He is a bad bike handler so he always flats at the wrong moments!
He gets dropped on a climb by proper climbers. He's completely lost it!
He wins a bunch sprint against a couple of third tier sprinters. He's back!
He does a so-so time trial, not having trained on his TT bike at all. He's lost it again!

Van Aert is a good rider, probably the most human of the extraterrestrials in cycling today, but just an allround really strong rider. Maybe it's time for people to curb their expectations a little. He can win the biggest races, he just needs a little luck and, like he has this year, a little more focus instead of trying to be good all year round.
 
He's putting all his eggs in one basket. If he wins Flanders or Roubaix, people will say the new approach was a stroke of genius. If he doesn't win they'll say it was a disaster.

Personally I have my doubts about skipping Milan-Sanremo. That's a race he could win and at the same time a good preparation for the other classics. The idea is probably to come back from altitude camp in blazing form. We'll see if it works.
 
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He's putting all his eggs in one basket. If he wins Flanders or Roubaix, people will say the new approach was a stroke of genius. If he doesn't win they'll say it was a disaster.

Personally I have my doubts about skipping Milan-Sanremo. That's a race he could win and at the same time a good preparation for the other classics. The idea is probably to come back from altitude camp in blazing form. We'll see if it works.
The problem is: MVP is doing the same. Pogi has one of his best shots in MSR.
 
He's putting all his eggs in one basket. If he wins Flanders or Roubaix, people will say the new approach was a stroke of genius. If he doesn't win they'll say it was a disaster.

Personally I have my doubts about skipping Milan-Sanremo. That's a race he could win and at the same time a good preparation for the other classics. The idea is probably to come back from altitude camp in blazing form. We'll see if it works.
Totally agree about San Remo, hard to understand (of course I’ve read the explanations).
 
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Wout van Aert is at an very interesting stage in his career. I have the feeling he might start to decline, but as long as there are no crashes it won't be a decline as spectacular as alaphilippe. So he will still be very good. Just not mutantlevel anymore.

At the same time his team has improved spectacularly over the years. Just compare the names of his team in flanders in 2019/2020 to the lineup that will start Omloop. This Visma LAB seems like the new Wolfpack. In a team that strong, worse riders then Van Aert have won the best monuments (someone like Niki Terpstra for instance).

Ofcourse at the same time his team can also be a problem. The nightmare scenario is that Mvdp keeps marking him while he let's the tratniks and laportes of this world sail in to the sunset.

Can't wait to see how it will play out.