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Teams & Riders Official Wout Van Aert thread

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I mean: if you read this carefully, the crash was a selffulfilling prophecy, and Visma has to think REAL hard how much responsability they want to take for this crash, given the way these notes ask for nothing else than to ride agressive.
That's ridiculous. Show me a team that has ever told their riders to be at the back at a crucial moment.
 
Yeah, it's obviously not an almost career ending injury (WVA isn't being treated by French doctors this time, so I guess he should be ok ;) ), but he will probably still be going through many of the same emotions as Beloki did back then.
I agree.

Also, one fine detail: WVA is likely the tallest, heaviest contender in UCI all time 100 ranking. Meaning, that when he crashes, viewers are not very impressed by their bruises and crying because his body does not look frail at all.

Beloki, on the other hand, thin and small framed, looked like a ragged doll of sorts.
 
(if MvdP wasn't born, WvA would already have cemented his status as national hero winning RVV, Worlds, ... in Flanders and probably have a statue in his hometown)
That's not true. I think both should be grateful to one another because such rivalry likely made them who they are now and if not for the other, they wouldn't have perhaps trained so hard.
If WvA has to be sad about not having won too many big races, 99% of the peloton should be very depressed.
I don't agree with this. You get disappointed or depressed by what seems to be within your reach given your set of skills. Only 5 riders can get depressed not winning the Tour.
 
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We'll see.

What's certain is it happened at the worst possible moment for him. There's never a 'right' time to get demolished in a crash of course but WvA had a disappointing 2023 season by his standards. He'd lost his coach as well (followed Rog to Bora) & was on a new schedule/program aiming to peak in the spring monuments.

He needed a confidence boost so this is a real setback.
I think the change of coach was much needed, and so far it didn't seem to have hurt him one bit. Of course it would have been nice to get confirmation, but I don't think that will bother WVA as much as simply not having the chance to go for his main career goals once again. He can win every race in the world, if he hasn't won Flanders or Roubaix when he retires it will still feel like a failure.

"km 121 will be chaos on downhill but fight like hell to be with the guys"

I mean: if you read this carefully, the crash was a selffulfilling prophecy, and Visma has to think REAL hard how much responsability they want to take for this crash, given the way these notes ask for nothing else than to ride agressive and take serious risks crashing, for no other reason that setting up an attack for WvA to win this race. There was a time when prep races were just that: prepare for the big race. If WvA (but Visma in the first place) treated this race like a prep race, testing out tactics, e.g. send Benoot / Jorgensen up the road, or let WvA chase attacks rather than be the one to attack,... or in other words: Visma could have eased up just a bit in this race, still win it, but learn a lot more from racing differently than the plan they had now, which was to obliterate the competition already on Kanarieberg. What would they have learned from that, in preparation for trying to beat MvdP on Sunday? Not much it seems. Maybe whether they could drop Stuyven / Pedersen, but that's about it.
Now you're just in frustrated fan mode. Other frustrated Wout fans have targeted Jorgenson for attacking after that crash, and cheering at the finish line. Like what did you expect, he would stand still at the side of the road in mourning? This was just a racing incident, Van Aert touched Benoot's wheel. That could also have happened at the back of the group (in fact there the risk is higher) so I don't see your point. The speed would have been the same. Crashes are part of cycling, this time it's Van Aert, last year it was Pogi in LBL. It happens.
 
Here's a controversial option because why not: Jorgenson was stronger than Van Aert anyway. I believe he was stronger on Friday as well.

That's one of the details which will forever remain a mystery now because from my chair here I haven't been convinced WvA was on the right track form-wise. He certainly wasn't one of my favorites for Flanders.

So... I don't agree with some comments around the internet whereby WvA just 'lost' Flanders & Roubaix. He lost the chance to compete, yes, but he wasn't a nailed-on winner for either monument.
 
Now you're just in frustrated fan mode.
I'm pointing out the discrepancy between Visma and WvA acknowledging that this stretch is very dangerous, while simultaneously handing out notes that they should ride it like hell in order to set up an attack on Kanarieberg.
Other frustrated Wout fans have targeted Jorgenson for attacking after that crash, and cheering at the finish line. Like what did you expect, he would stand still at the side of the road in mourning?
I honestly don't know what the part in bold is in reply to what I've said? Like you want to link that to my opinion (spoiler: I think exactly the opposite).
This was just a racing incident, Van Aert touched Benoot's wheel. That could also have happened at the back of the group (in fact there the risk is higher) so I don't see your point. The speed would have been the same. Crashes are part of cycling, this time it's Van Aert, last year it was Pogi in LBL. It happens.
first, Pogi was a big hole in the road, not a racing incident, just a road that isn't good enough to race on.

Second, yes, this was a racing incident, but a self-provoked racing incident. WvA touched Benoot's wheel as Benoot was eager to move up with WvA, swinging hard to the left in order to pass a fading Tim Van Dijcke, and Benoot even got out of the saddle at 70K/hr in a downhill, creating even more sudden movement of his rear wheel.
Either Benoot (or another domestique) accelerates seated going 70k/hr in order to keep position, or you just allow other riders to move in front and start the next hill from 10th-15th. Visma just didn't have the right guys / firepower at that moment to lead the bunch to the next curve: the Visma management made a plan to dominate the race, but without Tratnik, van Baarle, Laporte,... they simply lacked the guys executing the plan.

So in the end, Visma had an unrealistic plan to attack on Kanarieberg, they had it in their notes they should ride like hell. At the same time, they already expressed their concerns to RVV organisers that this stretch is very dangerous (the reason Kanarieberg won't feature anymore in RVV). Maybe they should reflect a bit on risk assessment.
 
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Here's a controversial option because why not: Jorgenson was stronger than Van Aert anyway. I believe he was stronger on Friday as well.
Here's another controversial opinion because I know this guy a bit: I'll say Benoot will finish higher in RVV than Jorgenson. He was almost equal yesterday and is still recovering from crashing. He's very resilient and is improving.
That's one of the details which will forever remain a mystery now because from my chair here I haven't been convinced WvA was on the right track form-wise. He certainly wasn't one of my favorites for Flanders.

So... I don't agree with some comments around the internet whereby WvA just 'lost' Flanders & Roubaix. He lost the chance to compete, yes, but he wasn't a nailed-on winner for either monument.
Ofcourse he wasn't a nailed-on winner, that's MvdP.
But don't get confused: WvA was the only one on the start list able to compete with MvdP in Flanders (as there is no Pogacar).
 
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So... I don't agree with some comments around the internet whereby WvA just 'lost' Flanders & Roubaix. He lost the chance to compete, yes, but he wasn't a nailed-on winner for either monument.
I completely agree. In previous years, WvA seemed more dominant than this spring and never have won any significant monument, Olympics or rainbow (obviously, besides M-SR).

He´s far from washed but Pogi and MVDP are really looking better than him.

In september he is already 30 and young hungry talents are showing up.

For me, he is massive underachiver (he could have three or four green jerseys and couple of monuments or rainbows in his pocket if he wasn´t always focused on team success). It´s really mystery to me – same like with Sagan – he didn´t win more monuments.

At this point, I don´t know if his legacy is bigger than p. e. Van Avermaet ´s one, even though he´s definitely better rider.
 
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I'm pointing out the discrepancy between Visma and WvA acknowledging that this stretch is very dangerous, while simultaneously handing out notes that they should ride it like hell in order to set up an attack on Kanarieberg.

I honestly don't know what the part in bold is in reply to what I've said? Like you want to link that to my opinion (spoiler: I think exactly the opposite).

first, Pogi was a big hole in the road, not a racing incident, just a road that isn't good enough to race on.

Second, yes, this was a racing incident, but a self-provoked racing incident. WvA touched Benoot's wheel as Benoot was eager to move up with WvA, swinging hard to the left in order to pass a fading Tim Van Dijcke, and Benoot even got out of the saddle at 70K/hr in a downhill, creating even more sudden movement of his rear wheel.
Either Benoot (or another domestique) accelerates seated going 70k/hr in order to keep position, or you just allow other riders to move in front and start the next hill from 10th-15th. Visma just didn't have the right guys / firepower at that moment to lead the bunch to the next curve: the Visma management made a plan to dominate the race, but without Tratnik, van Baarle, Laporte,... they simply lacked the guys executing the plan.

So in the end, Visma had an unrealistic plan to attack on Kanarieberg, they had it in their notes they should ride like hell. At the same time, they already expressed their concerns to RVV organisers that this stretch is very dangerous (the reason Kanarieberg won't feature anymore in RVV). Maybe they should reflect a bit on risk assessment.
I completely agree here. Aggressive tactics in extreme high speed situations with the sort of inertia you expect on a downhill with wind is just very high risk/reduced chance of reward. And it turned out that way, sure they got some reward (separation in the pack), but they did so while (so to speak) taking out several top riders, including their own. I don't blame a particular rider, but it was just stupid given it was a location known to be risky.
 
By the way, I have thought this before, I do not think Tenerife is the best place to prepare for cobbled victory. Sure, altitude can have results. But I believe initially Sky's cobble team had these great Tenerife camps followed by shyte cobbled performances?

It is clear that the guys from the Tenerife group were not quite as sharp on their bikes in the last few races. Sure, that could be because they had just come back from altitude. But another issue is coming back from sun, nice quality (and dry) roads, steady inclines, etc. I've just never been convinced that Tenerife is the place to train for the northern classics
 
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I completely agree here. Aggressive tactics in extreme high speed situations with the sort of inertia you expect on a downhill with wind is just very high risk/reduced chance of reward. And it turned out that way, sure they got some reward (separation in the pack), but they did so while (so to speak) taking out several top riders, including their own. I don't blame a particular rider, but it was just stupid given it was a location known to be risky.
One correction on what I wrote:
the plan to attack on Kanarieberg wasn't in itself unrealistic, but the plan to drive the bunch on the downhill and position well on Kanarieberg didn't go according to plan as the team (with all injuries and sickness) lacked manpower, and thus the plan didn't go as Visma had in mind. Ofcourse it's a racing incident, but given it was their own fault and it happened in a minor race, should make them think if it was really necessary to ride agressive / aiming for dominance if the big appointment is on Sunday.
I remember big guns riding conservative in the week before Flanders in order not to take risks etc. ps: I also remember Kristoff racing De Panne like there was no RVV on Sunday and still winning RVV, so ofcourse there is an argument to be made about not holding your firepower, in case of WvA it could be argued that any small cobbled race is almost as big a victory for him as any race, given his lack of RVV / PR wins.

By the way, I have thought this before, I do not think Tenerife is the best place to prepare for cobbled victory. Sure, altitude can have results. But I believe initially Sky's cobble team had these great Tenerife camps followed by shyte cobbled performances?

It is clear that the guys from the Tenerife group were not quite as sharp on their bikes in the last few races. Sure, that could be because they had just come back from altitude. But another issue is coming back from sun, nice quality (and dry) roads, steady inclines, etc. I've just never been convinced that Tenerife is the place to train for the northern classics
I already thought the same thing: you can't train intervals on bad roads / cobbles on Tenerife as well as in Flanders, and for sure you aren't training bike handling / riding in a nervous peloton /... On the other hand, WvA has won Omloop coming out of altitude, so it must be his shape is best coming out of altitude camp.
 
Yeah, it's obviously not an almost career ending injury (WVA isn't being treated by French doctors this time, so I guess he should be ok ;) ), but he will probably still be going through many of the same emotions as Beloki did back then.
Exactly what Beloki is saying isn’t it? about putting in all that time and dedication to get to the pinnacle of the sport and it all disappears in a second
 
By the way, I have thought this before, I do not think Tenerife is the best place to prepare for cobbled victory. Sure, altitude can have results. But I believe initially Sky's cobble team had these great Tenerife camps followed by shyte cobbled performances?

It is clear that the guys from the Tenerife group were not quite as sharp on their bikes in the last few races. Sure, that could be because they had just come back from altitude. But another issue is coming back from sun, nice quality (and dry) roads, steady inclines, etc. I've just never been convinced that Tenerife is the place to train for the northern classics
My guess was that the switching training to include this altitude camp was primary aimed at one major task: being able to stay with MVDP on Oude Kwaremont. Obviously, his training regimen last year was able to get him to winning form for Roubaix, so I don’t know why they would have changed things up for that race. Doesn’t matter now though.
 
Wout van Aert crash - Post-mortem: Wout had specific training plans for winning RVV and P-R. We will never know if they were enough to win either race. Part of the preparation was to do 2 races, prior to those races. Wout was the main rider for JV to get the win in all 4 of the races. Wout didn't win E3. Wout was racing to win Dwars. Racing to win requires risks. There was a known risk. VLAB did what they thought was the best thing to do with that specific risk. Risks are by nature an exercise in probablity, and some of the probabilities are that bad sh!t can happen, and some of the probabilities are that nothing happens, and some of the probabilities are that good sh!t happens. Wout was on the negative side of probabilities. He could have been on the good side, but wasn't in this instance. Jorgenson was on the good side of the probabilities. VLAB probably feels that overall, they were on the bad side of the probabilities, but they did win the race. VLAB, van Aert, Jorgenson, and everyone else in the freaking Pro Tour is racing to win. The reason they race to win is varried, but ultimately, it's to lease more bikes, or get more people to walk into your hardware store, or use your flooring, or promote a despotic regieme, that oppresses it's citizens. This is the sport. Bad sh! sometimes happens. That is baked into the risks associated with winning. There is nothing to see here that is new. There is no one person or orgainzation to blame...maybe there is a case to blame capitalism, but I still believe people would race their bikes against each other, even in the absence of money, so my suggestion that capitalism is to blame is just an exercise on my part to promote a personal view, and not really reflective of the overall reality of racing. So, debate away, but I choose to go with the "Sh!t happens" explanation, and move on.
 
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"Fight like hell" on a 80 km/h downhill stretch seems like a recipe for disaster. If something happens there (and the chances are bigger if everyone is trying to be in the front), the consequences can be very serious. Like we saw yesterday.
They could be predictably more serious if you lag back and the crash comes to you, like Pog's pothole punt. Riding overlapped is always a risk unless it's an orderly sidewind echelon and then; it's still risky.
 
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By the way, I have thought this before, I do not think Tenerife is the best place to prepare for cobbled victory. Sure, altitude can have results. But I believe initially Sky's cobble team had these great Tenerife camps followed by shyte cobbled performances?

It is clear that the guys from the Tenerife group were not quite as sharp on their bikes in the last few races. Sure, that could be because they had just come back from altitude. But another issue is coming back from sun, nice quality (and dry) roads, steady inclines, etc. I've just never been convinced that Tenerife is the place to train for the northern classics
Cobbles demand power and generally all seated; slower rpm efforts. Altitude builds red-cell counts but denies the opportunity to stress the very efforts needed for a rough race. Gotta space those two disciplines to achieve much.
 
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"Fight like hell" on a 80 km/h downhill stretch seems like a recipe for disaster. If something happens there (and the chances are bigger if everyone is trying to be in the front), the consequences can be very serious. Like we saw yesterday.
Like ManicJack said above, DS’s seem to have (when we can hear them on the radio) this knee-jerk inclination to be always putting the utmost urgency on “get to the front . . . Move up . . . you have to be in the 20 riders at the corner, etc” as though every juncture in the race is equally important.
Unless they just overemphasize it when they’re mike’d up to show how important they are.