Wout van Aert

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Poor Wout. Blame the way Roglič rides and Jumbo plan the race out. I mean, he's got a thread already, when Peter Sagan didn't have a Clinic thread until 2016. Remember Sagan Mk I won this stage:



If Nibali had stuck around at Liquigas and been the kind of rider that thrived on a race-strangling train, I bet you Sagan would have been the exact same rider Wout van Aert is today. If Rogla had crashed out early or he and Dumoulin withdrew and van Aert started trying to win the maillot vert in the intermediate stages and sprints, people are probably going nuts about what a breath of fresh air van Aert is (unless he then decided to go for his own GC, which would probably have been disastrous). By Jumbo riding a defensive, controlling rade and reducing everything to pure power, van Aert doesn't get to build up that sympathetic goodwill that insulated Sagan from the Clinic for half a decade...
 
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I guess we can say Hulk Hogan in fake wrestling was extremely talented. Similar concept. The point is WVA is doing stuff he has never shown before, and unlike other support riders (e.g. Michał Kwiatkowski at Sky / Ineos) hasn't dropped away in the last kilometers of big climbs in the high mountains.
....and when would he have had the chance to show it before? Assuming he finishes, this will be his first GT.
 
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yep. the stage he won in Meiringen a couple of years later would be a better example.

But it's also not a Sagan thread.
I honestly think it's a worthwhile comparison. Not Sagan of the last few years, who has bulked up, but if Sagan was a few years older, we'd have had that original, lighter iteration of Sagan put forward by the Liquigas in the kind of role van Aert fulfils now, and that in a team with Nibali, Basso, Kreuziger, Pellizotti, Szmyd, Zaugg. Instead, he was a young phenom and they took care of him as they had strong enough teams not to need to send him to GTs, and by the time he would have been ready for that kind of role, that Liquigas core had been dismantled and he was too valuable to them otherwise to expend as a domestique.

Yes, he could go the Jalabert route, and him riding elite climbers off his wheel on the big climbs is ridiculous, à la Big Jawge 20 years ago and Geraint Thomas when he first decided to be a climber. It's just easier to baulk at it when people are riding in a style that is just pure bludgeoning power because then the level of power they have is patently obvious.
 
Sep 17, 2020
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Yeah, his climbing is unbelievable. 2 CX seasons ago he was getting dropped up the Koppenberg by Toon Aerts and Iserbyt. I know he dropped some weight, but so did Lance.....
 
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First, when he showed up on the road, he was a promising classics rider in the making. He had the engine, he could handle the distance, he could handle the cobbles. He couldn't sprint, he would fall off the bike if the climb was very steep...
His TT was decent from the start, but now is a top class. He somehow got the speed last year, nobody knows how. He said something about confidence :oops::confused_old:?! This year he become a climber de luxe, again nobody knows how. He said he lost some weight, we heard this quite often... Of course he didn't lost any of his previous qualities, and why should he? He only lost weight..:p, and gain speed:tearsofjoy:, not a big deal. And noe we have genuine relic from the past in the peloton, a successor of Merckx, Hinault and Kelly. One must've see it to believe it!
 
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Who of the current crop of top climbers that you consider believable would in your opinion not get dropped up the Koppenberg by Toon Aerts and Iserbyt?
Aerts and Iserbyt are great cross riders, but they're not World Tour road cyclists. And granted, that's a short punchy climb, not a long alpine col. His climbing on short punchy climbs isn't surprising, that should be his forte coming from cross. But his ability to sprint with the big boys and then finish WAY ahead of skinny little climbers in the last week of the Tour is very surprising. And to directly answer your question, almost none of the World Tour guys could probably get to the 2nd time up the Koppenberg in that race, as the rest of it's too technical.
 
Aerts and Iserbyt are great cross riders, but they're not World Tour road cyclists. And granted, that's a short punchy climb, not a long alpine col. His climbing on short punchy climbs isn't surprising, that should be his forte coming from cross. But his ability to sprint with the big boys and then finish WAY ahead of skinny little climbers in the last week of the Tour is very surprising. And to directly answer your question, almost none of the World Tour guys could probably get to the 2nd time up the Koppenberg in that race, as the rest of it's too technical.
There's really no comparison, as we are talking about some pretty strong specificity principles.

Hey, I am not saying WvA is not doing some dodgy stuff. He looks like he has dropped at least 10 kg since last year, and he's obviously not dropped any power, so he is a monster. He is an obvious power type rider.

I'm not sure what begs me to suspend my disbelief more, WvA's performance, or the fact that he drops other team's climbers but not his own (mostly ;) )

I am sure it is all just the ketones ;)
 
First, when he showed up on the road, he was a promising classics rider in the making. He had the engine, he could handle the distance, he could handle the cobbles. He couldn't sprint, he would fall off the bike if the climb was very steep...
His TT was decent from the start, but now is a top class. He somehow got the speed last year, nobody knows how. He said something about confidence :oops::confused_old:?! This year he become a climber de luxe, again nobody knows how. He said he lost some weight, we heard this quite often... Of course he didn't lost any of his previous qualities, and why should he? He only lost weight..:p, and gain speed:tearsofjoy:, not a big deal. And noe we have genuine relic from the past in the peloton, a successor of Merckx, Hinault and Kelly. One must've see it to believe it!
Van Aert beat Tony Martin in a short ITT a few months before Martin's last world title ITT in 2016. In 2017 the ITT was a bit longer and he clocked the same time as Martin. He had other very good ITT results as well long before going to Jumbo.
Van Aert beat van der Poel in some CX sprints, and also in Bruges 2017. He was always quick.
The harder and less technical the CX races were, the better for him. He was always a level beyond even van der Poel when it comes to long sustained efforts and always was one of the best climbers in CX regardless of his weight.

In the team overview for the Tour de France, his weigh it labeled as 70kgs. He's been dodging questions about his weight ("let them think i still weigh 78kg" is what he supposedly said before Strade). If that weight is accurate, i'm not seeing anything that i can't believe. He's always been a powerhouse, timetrialist kind of rider, who had a knack for going uphill considering his weight.



Yes... hate to say that, but it's not something I can believe anymore. If he does not drop his level significantly after this Tour he must be the strongest rider I have ever seen (apart from some guys who are doped as ***)
He's not even just Top20 as a sprinter, more like Top3. And not Top20 climber, but more like Top10. Plus an amazing time trialler.
If you think he's a top 3 sprinter, then you are not paying attention. He's a master at positioning, and once he hits top speed, he'll be hard to top, but being a top sprinter takes more than that. Bennett, Ewan, Groenewegen, Jakobsen, Ackermann, Merlier... are all faster unless they are so dumb to make it a long dragrace. Then, yes, van Aert could win. On any normal day, they would all beat him, in a 1:1 sprint under normal circumstances. He normally also wouldn't have won from Bol, unless he was in prime form and unless Bol didn't make that small mistake.

If you think he's one of the 10 best climbers, i don't even know how to respond to that. He's 80 minutes behind the top 10.
 
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If you think he's a top 3 sprinter, then you are not paying attention. He's a master at positioning, and once he hits top speed, he'll be hard to top, but being a top sprinter takes more than that. Bennett, Ewan, Groenewegen, Jakobsen, Ackermann, Merlier... are all faster unless they are so dumb to make it a long dragrace. Then, yes, van Aert could win. On any normal day, they would all beat him, in a 1:1 sprint under normal circumstances. He normally also wouldn't have won from Bol, unless he was in prime form and unless Bol didn't make that small mistake.

If you think he's one of the 10 best climbers, i don't even know how to respond to that. He's 80 minutes behind the top 10.
I'm not going to argue for this. If I am wrong I am happy to be. I got the impression he was very close to Ewan's level in sprinting, that day when Sagan almost brought him down. And not because of tactics.
As to his climbings, he's 80 min behind, yes, but yesterday for instance, on one of the hardest stages where I think hardly anybody saved himself, he was climbing with the best, he finally dropped, but that was when most others had dropped after just hanging behind someone all the time, while he had worked hard at the front. And this was not the first stage where this happened. I don't think he'd be 80 minutes behind if he never put his nose in the wind unnecessarily and rode like, for instance, Enric Mas.
But, again, maybe I got the wrong impression, could be. I won't insist.
 
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Van Aert beat Tony Martin in a short ITT a few months before Martin's last world title ITT in 2016. In 2017 the ITT was a bit longer and he clocked the same time as Martin. He had other very good ITT results as well long before going to Jumbo.
Van Aert beat van der Poel in some CX sprints, and also in Bruges 2017. He was always quick.
The harder and less technical the CX races were, the better for him. He was always a level beyond even van der Poel when it comes to long sustained efforts and always was one of the best climbers in CX regardless of his weight.

In the team overview for the Tour de France, his weigh it labeled as 70kgs. He's been dodging questions about his weight ("let them think i still weigh 78kg" is what he supposedly said before Strade). If that weight is accurate, i'm not seeing anything that i can't believe. He's always been a powerhouse, timetrialist kind of rider, who had a knack for going uphill considering his weight.




If you think he's a top 3 sprinter, then you are not paying attention. He's a master at positioning, and once he hits top speed, he'll be hard to top, but being a top sprinter takes more than that. Bennett, Ewan, Groenewegen, Jakobsen, Ackermann, Merlier... are all faster unless they are so dumb to make it a long dragrace. Then, yes, van Aert could win. On any normal day, they would all beat him, in a 1:1 sprint under normal circumstances. He normally also wouldn't have won from Bol, unless he was in prime form and unless Bol didn't make that small mistake.

If you think he's one of the 10 best climbers, i don't even know how to respond to that. He's 80 minutes behind the top 10.
If WVA weighs 70kg I'm the freaking queen mother... (no offense)
 
If WVA weighs 70kg I'm the freaking queen mother... (no offense)
The most i have known him to weigh was 78. And he looks a lot skinnier now. But if you are an expert in guessing how much somebody weighs based on TV images, well then i guess we can close the topic and just label him doped, right?
He looks skinnier than Dumoulin who is at 69kg and only a few centimeters shorter.
 
The most i have known him to weigh was 78. And he looks a lot skinnier now. But if you are an expert in guessing how much somebody weighs based on TV images, well then i guess we can close the topic and just label him doped, right?
He looks skinnier than Dumoulin who is at 69kg and only a few centimeters shorter.
?

He definitely looks bulkier than Dumoulin. He's clearly not fat, but he has a decent muscle bulk.
 
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?

He definitely looks bulkier than Dumoulin. He's clearly not fat, but he has a decent muscle bulk.
Regardless, the winter when he was without a team, Wuyts commented that he was nearing 80kg, because he looked "heavy". Wout didn't like the comment and responded (i think through social media) that he only weighed 78.
He is visibly a lot leaner now. The difference is not one or two kgs. You'd probably not even notice that for a guy his size. I'm quite sure he's a lot lighter than most people assume. He has still climbed a lot less consistently and worse than Dumoulin, who is not in the best shape, while Wout is. I'm not seeing the nuclear radiation.
 
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Regardless, the winter when he was without a team, Wuyts commented that he was nearing 80kg, because he looked "heavy". Wout didn't like the comment and responded (i think through social media) that he only weighed 78.
He is visibly a lot leaner now. The difference is not one or two kgs. You'd probably not even notice that for a guy his size. I'm quite sure he's a lot lighter than most people assume. He has still climbed a lot less consistently and worse than Dumoulin, who is not in the best shape, while Wout is. I'm not seeing the nuclear radiation.
Seems like it's you who is an expert on guessing how much a person weights.

Question is why do you think your judgement is the one we should take.
 

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