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Teams & Riders Official Wout Van Aert thread

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Mathieu is more explosive...but when he has to do that over 3 weeks of racing, he sh!ts the bed every time. Wout comes in 2nd a lot to Mathieu, but Mathieu drops out of races where Wout is winning stages. He's just weaker in that way, it's the groupetto for Mathieu on the hard days...Wout is up there dropping GT leaders for his team. Mathieu just doesn't have the engine to do that. Never will.
 
Is he really that unlucky? It seems his main stroke of bad luck is having an opponent that is better than him in his main targets, which hardly seems like luck at all. He's missed races due to illness or injury, but everyone in the sport does (heck, that same main opponent had two down years due to a chronic injury that many thought could be career threatening). He also has been racing in the best team in cycling for the last half decade, which isn't luck either but surely can't hurt.

He will probably win more monuments yet. He might not. But when it comes to luck, over a long career it generally averages out.
Wout van Aert in Flanders and Roubaix the last 3 years:

2022
RVV: DNS, COVID
PR: 2nd, multiple mechanicals

2023
RVV: 4th, just couldn’t follow Pogi
PR: 3rd, flatted on Carrefour de l’Abre

2024
RVV: DNS, broken collarbone
PR: DNS, broken collarbone
 
Mathieu is more explosive...but when he has to do that over 3 weeks of racing, he sh!ts the bed every time. Wout comes in 2nd a lot to Mathieu, but Mathieu drops out of races where Wout is winning stages. He's just weaker in that way, it's the groupetto for Mathieu on the hard days...Wout is up there dropping GT leaders for his team. Mathieu just doesn't have the engine to do that. Never will.

Sh1ts the bed? We have 4 data points for MvdP in GTs, 3 where WVA also started.

Tour 2021: crazy first week from both, but specially from VDP - 1 stage, leading out Merlier for another, a superb time trial to keep yellow and a big duel with WVA on a hilly stage to keep yellow. Only faded on a MTF, out of his territory, and then DNF as planned to prepare for Tokyo MTB.

Giro 2022: 1 stage win and then constantly on the attack during the whole 3 weeks, even on mountain stages, finishing with a top-5 or top-10 on the final time trial. One could say he wasn't at his best, but lets not forget that he came from a winter where he was off his bike for a long period of time due to back issues, started training a month or so from the classics, and on Paris Roubaix and Amstel the decline in form was evident.

Tour 2022: Nowhere to be seen, even in the first stages. Probably overraced with a serious lack of base training to sustain the racing mileage he had done after the winter without training.

Tour 2023: Raced mostly in support of Philipsen and wasn't near his top shape but that was probably planned as we could see two weeks after in Glasgow.

Of course Mathieu will never do the kind of things Wout did in 2022 Tour, but so far I believe he never started a GT where we could say that he properly planned his shape to be the strongest there so we could see that he can keep his explosivity during the 3 weeks.
 
Sh1ts the bed? We have 4 data points for MvdP in GTs, 3 where WVA also started.

Tour 2021: crazy first week from both, but specially from VDP - 1 stage, leading out Merlier for another, a superb time trial to keep yellow and a big duel with WVA on a hilly stage to keep yellow. Only faded on a MTF, out of his territory, and then DNF as planned to prepare for Tokyo MTB.

Giro 2022: 1 stage win and then constantly on the attack during the whole 3 weeks, even on mountain stages, finishing with a top-5 or top-10 on the final time trial. One could say he wasn't at his best, but lets not forget that he came from a winter where he was off his bike for a long period of time due to back issues, started training a month or so from the classics, and on Paris Roubaix and Amstel the decline in form was evident.

Tour 2022: Nowhere to be seen, even in the first stages. Probably overraced with a serious lack of base training to sustain the racing mileage he had done after the winter without training.

Tour 2023: Raced mostly in support of Philipsen and wasn't near his top shape but that was probably planned as we could see two weeks after in Glasgow.

Of course Mathieu will never do the kind of things Wout did in 2022 Tour, but so far I believe he never started a GT where we could say that he properly planned his shape to be the strongest there so we could see that he can keep his explosivity during the 3 weeks.
The hyperbole was rhetorical and intentional. However, Mathieu could not replicate what Wout does in the Tour. His strengths are not what is required to do so. He couldn't win Ventoux on his best day, he couldn't win the green jersey if he tried, he will never TT like Wout.
 
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Tour 2021: crazy first week from both, but specially from VDP - 1 stage, leading out Merlier for another, a superb time trial to keep yellow and a big duel with WVA on a hilly stage to keep yellow. Only faded on a MTF, out of his territory, and then DNF as planned to prepare for Tokyo MTB.
IIRC Van Aert had surgery a few weeks before the 2021 Tour. He grew into that Tour, and the day Van der Poel went under, Van Aert started to get into his groove.

Of course Mathieu will never do the kind of things Wout did in 2022 Tour, but so far I believe he never started a GT where we could say that he properly planned his shape to be the strongest there so we could see that he can keep his explosivity during the 3 weeks.
It wasn't just the 2022 Tour. In 2021 he won on Ventoux, won the TT and on Champs Elysees the next day

I don't. He can lead out, but up against actual sprinters on a day to day basis, he loses a lot more than he wins.
He doesn't need to win sprints. He just has to grab a lot of points. Systematically finishing top 5 - top 10, grabbing a win or two in hilly/classics stages... It's possible when guys like Van Aert (who is a better bunch sprinter, a better climber and a better stage racer all together) or Philipsen (who will basically top 3 every sprint, on top of winning 2, 3 or 4 stages) aren't competing.
 
Still, despite it all being hard and stuff he put his best numbers relative to other years just before the classics according to Heijboer.
Yup, I think the naysayers are overreacting, but such is life.

Also and more generally (not directed to DT) wva is a tough mf mentally. Think about it. Outshined by a rival that descends from cycling royalty to boot from a very early age. Has had his share of misfortunes, some almost career threatening. Still performs and comes across as a decent dude.

This may also be his problem, ofc. The "lagom" mentality then gets expressed in racing: lacking initiative, timidity and the like. Killer instinct as it is put here. One time he said after losing to MvdP that perhaps he is not the no1 stud in the world and that's okay, he has other things such as family. I think that was very telling.

So he loses more often than not. Perhaps more aggressive racing style would help. But to me the key question is: who identifies with domination in any sort of social and institutional context, of which organised sport is a prime good example, anyway? (Yeah, many do 🙄).

So I can admire VDP, pogi etc as specimen, but not relate to what they represent in any way. Wva is different in this respect.
 
Mathieu is more explosive...but when he has to do that over 3 weeks of racing, he sh!ts the bed every time. Wout comes in 2nd a lot to Mathieu, but Mathieu drops out of races where Wout is winning stages. He's just weaker in that way, it's the groupetto for Mathieu on the hard days...Wout is up there dropping GT leaders for his team. Mathieu just doesn't have the engine to do that. Never will.
Look, Boonen won just a couple of GT stages throughout his long career, but I didn't noticed that he's considered a lesser rider because of that. His primary target were one-day races, especially the ones with cobbles. And he won them all (ok, bar Omloop), and the greatest number of them. And that was his true legacy.
Peter Sagan won plenty of GT stages, won 7 green jersey's, but still when talked about his greatness, everyone points that he's a triple world champion and a double monument winner. That jersey's and stages are secondary thing.
That applies also for Van Der Poel. I think he's perfectly aware where and how he will cement himself as an all-time great. And that is not at the Grand Tours.
And finally, we have a perfect example for Van Aert in the like of Fabian Cancellara. He was, just like Wout, a huge engine, and was able to produce magnificent rides in the GT's both for himself and his fellow teammates. But he was doing this only for couple of years, until he focused almost exclusively on classics.
That Van Aert's magnificent rides on Ventoux, Hautacam, Champs-Elysses, etc will not have too much significance if he stays at this number of biggest wins.
 
While it's not getting easier and he might lose some explosiveness, I don't see why he can't win Flanders in the coming years. Guys like boonen and cancellara managed. In fact Boonen had one of his best seasons at 31.

And GvA had his moments in the sun around the age of 29-32 and maybe should have won it in 2017 at the age of 31.

And then ofcourse there are always the possibilities that Wout wins it at a twilight point of his career, benefitting from a underdog position, with nobody marking him. The final chapters of his cycling story are not written yet.

I'm predicting he will win Flanders at least once and Roubaix twice in his career. (Let's hope this ages well)..
I certainly hope you are right and I am wrong.
 
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The sooner a very few handful fans comes to grip with the most obvious elephant in the room the better and more enjoyable it will be for you.

Mvdp chances of winning goes down with Wva out. Its easier for him to win when Wva is in it, that should tell you all you need to know regarding Mvdp and Wva strenght wice.

Mvdp is miles ahead talent and strenght wice its not even close, never has been.
 
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The sooner a very few handfull fans comes to grip with the most obvious elephant in the room the better and more enjoyable it will be for you.

Mvdp chances of winning goes down with Wva out. Its easier for him to win when Wva is in it, that should tell you all you need to know regarding Mvdp and Wva strenght wice.

Mvdp is miles ahead talent and strenght wice its not even close, never has been.
Thought the same about this RVV.

Cycling is not marathon running, after all. Thank universe for the non-linear relationship between speed and aerodynamic drag.

But perhaps other teams just wuss out and win the race for VDP.
 
Look, Boonen won just a couple of GT stages throughout his long career, but I didn't noticed that he's considered a lesser rider because of that. His primary target were one-day races, especially the ones with cobbles. And he won them all (ok, bar Omloop), and the greatest number of them. And that was his true legacy.
Peter Sagan won plenty of GT stages, won 7 green jersey's, but still when talked about his greatness, everyone points that he's a triple world champion and a double monument winner. That jersey's and stages are secondary thing.
That applies also for Van Der Poel. I think he's perfectly aware where and how he will cement himself as an all-time great. And that is not at the Grand Tours.
And finally, we have a perfect example for Van Aert in the like of Fabian Cancellara. He was, just like Wout, a huge engine, and was able to produce magnificent rides in the GT's both for himself and his fellow teammates. But he was doing this only for couple of years, until he focused almost exclusively on classics.
That Van Aert's magnificent rides on Ventoux, Hautacam, Champs-Elysses, etc will not have too much significance if he stays at this number of biggest wins.
This is actually really good analysis...which is sorely lacking in relaton to Wout. Comparing him to Pozzato or worse is so tiresome. My post was meant to highlight that exact type of hyperbole, turned on MvdP. (I mean, you've got dipsh!ts in one thread, saying Wout is the most overrated rider in the peloton...I just don't know how to deal with such stupidity) I don't think the Tour wins by Sagan or Wout are considered as lowly as you suggest, but certainly, if Wout never wins another monument, his career will only be judged against Mathieu, as the "also ran" guy, who never quite had what it took to win the big one.

What is really sad to me is that this season was torn from him, by an unfortunate incident that could have happened to anyone, but for some reason seems to attaced to a guy who has had many other misfortunes. I had forgotten about Wout flatting out of 1st in the CX WC's until Hugh pointed them out. He's just had sh!t luck so many times, and this one seems particularly hard, as the injuries are significant...and he didn't even crash in a monument.
 
I still don't understand how the Giro is seen as a above all better option to prepare for the Olympics rather than the Tour. With his injuries, wouldn't do a GT without proper preparation in the month leading up to it be more detrimental long term?

Recent examples have shown exactly the opposite, that riders doing the GT right before the major championship race are more likely to feature in the top-10 than the ones who don't. In Tokyo, 8 out of the 10 top-10 riders did the Tour (exceptions, 9th Yates and 10th Schachmann), with 2 of the 3 podium riders fighting for the TdF podium.

In 2016, 9 out of the first 10 riders did the Tour before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics (exception - Zeits). And both of those cases required more travel out of riders that did the Tour, traveling to another continent after finishing the 3 weeks, instead of staying in the same country.

The same for Glasgow last year, where the top-10 was almost exclusively composed of TdF riders. And the most high profile rider who prepared for the Worlds without doing the TdF was nowhere to be seen.
 
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I still don't understand how the Giro is seen as a above all better option to prepare for the Olympics rather than the Tour. With his injuries, wouldn't do a GT without proper preparation in the month leading up to it be more detrimental long term?

Recent examples have shown exactly the opposite, that riders doing the GT right before the major championship race are more likely to feature in the top-10 than the ones who don't. In Tokyo, 8 out of the 10 top-10 riders did the Tour (exceptions, 9th Yates and 10th Schachmann), with 2 of the 3 podium riders fighting for the TdF podium.

In 2016, 9 out of the first 10 riders did the Tour before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics (exception - Zeits). And both of those cases required more travel out of riders that did the Tour, traveling to another continent after finishing the 3 weeks, instead of staying in the same country.

The same for Glasgow last year, where the top-10 was almost exclusively composed of TdF riders. And the most high profile rider who prepared for the Worlds without doing the TdF was nowhere to be seen.
I would hesitate to draw that conclusion. Perhaps the explanation is simply that it's because those are among the best riders in the World that they're both top 10'ing the Olympics and doing the Tour - not that the Tour is the best preparation. Just a thought.