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Teams & Riders Official Wout Van Aert thread

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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.
I think this is a good assesment.

The strength in numbers could also be something that benefits him though, if he races with that mentality and not as a sole leader. Maybe that will also ease the pressure on him. They should really try to adapt the "Wolfpack-strategy" that was so successful, they have the riders for it.

Let Trantnik attack or Laporte or Hagenes or Van Baarle, if they sail away it will be up to other teams to do something. They win, it is still good for the team.

Likely they will only get away once or twice and Van Aert could get his chance eventually, if he plays his cards right and pick his moment after letting others do the work. He gets to be the one who sails away. I think he will just take one win in Ronde or P-R at this point. I think it is his best shot to win a big race, or hope it ends in a sprint, because he probably wont be strong enough to drop someone like MVDP in a H2H. Unless he finds his absolute best level and MVDP is out of form, a scenario which I guess shouldnt be ruled out completely.
 
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Ever since he started wearing the new sunglasses he started winning. Coincidence, I think not?

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He will now go on training camp at high altitude to reset for E3, Flanders, and Roubaix. No racing for 3 weeks. Thankfully he is skipping Tirreno stage race which has left him weakened in the past by the time Flanders came around on the calendar.
Yes, that Tirreno didn't just leave a physical toll, it also severely damaged Wout's brain. That race was such an anomaly, where everyone went so deep into the red to Casterlfidardo in horrific conditions that nobody was able to reach their best form come April. Two or three years later, and it still has Wout shook to an extend, while he could just choose to not go so deep again if the situation arises.
 
Yes, that Tirreno didn't just leave a physical toll, it also severely damaged Wout's brain. That race was such an anomaly, where everyone went so deep into the red to Casterlfidardo in horrific conditions that nobody was able to reach their best form come April. Two or three years later, and it still has Wout shook to an extend, while he could just choose to not go so deep again if the situation arises.

The real victim of that stage was Fabio Felline who was fourth. After that, he would only ever go on to record a single other top 4 result in his career and is now just reduced to an ordinary helper.
 
Yes, that Tirreno didn't just leave a physical toll, it also severely damaged Wout's brain. That race was such an anomaly, where everyone went so deep into the red to Casterlfidardo in horrific conditions that nobody was able to reach their best form come April. Two or three years later, and it still has Wout shook to an extend, while he could just choose to not go so deep again if the situation arises.
I have to rewatch that year’s TA. It was amazing. Some battles are just epic and WVA is often a part which makes him a favorite rider of mine. When the WVA, MVDP, Pog and Remcos are gone who’s to worship then…
 
Van Aert clearly isn't in decline, but he simply improved less than his main competition in his target races. When Van Aert looked on top of the world in like 2020/2021 MvdP was kinda hit and miss and Pogacar had yet to become an insane world beater Flandrien style one day races
These riders all have sub objectives, and Wout looks on track for classics.. I hope that his targets will be hit for sure, but he is not in decline..
I think there may appear to be some internet attitude superimposed on bike racing even great racers don't win every race..and in his day before interview he was happy to be on the podium, he wasn't disappointed but the Internet was..
 
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Van Aert clearly isn't in decline, but he simply improved less than his main competition in his target races. When Van Aert looked on top of the world in like 2020/2021 MvdP was kinda hit and miss and Pogacar had yet to become an insane world beater Flandrien style one day races
It's not a coincidence that Van Aert's best season was the covid one. It was ideal for someone who trains very structurally on a team that operates very structurally. No races for a few months, the only difference could be made in training. Since then Van der Poel has taken a page from the Van Aert playbook and also changed his training approach to a more focused and structured one. If they both have similar professionalism it's just about who's more talented... and that's obviously Van der Poel.
 
Oh God.

Very creative.
Wout has very full cheeks from that photo. Those are the cheeks I can see and he clearly doesn't look like an end-of-the-season GT racer. He's not totally peaked and I think he'd likely on a track to crush some races with less emphasis on GT domestique work.
Of course I don't know sh*t about the actual team assignments but he's got the credentials to dictate his program to a certain extent.
 
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He looks chubby.

With regards to WvA declining or not: he has the biggest engine in the peloton. Not the best in W/kg (Vingegaard, Pogacar), not the most explosive (MvdP), but the biggest. For the last 5 years, and probably for the next 5 years as well.
A rider like WvA is a once in a decade affair. But we're all spoilt these days with many fantastic riders (like Masnada). Those who downplay WvA at this moment in time don't seem to realize they could simply enjoy watching his incredible power, whatever his results / classic wins.
 
He has 7 WT wins more than MvdP (25 vs 18), but 3 monuments and a WCC less.
I was surprised because in my mind, MVDP races way less than WVA, so I expected WVA to have more wins. So then I thought, the % of wins must be much higher for MVDP, but that's actually also not the case. WVA didn't race that much more than MVDP.

WVA raced 331 days (13.9% wins) and MVDP 313 days (14.7% wins).
 

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