Wout van Aert

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He was clearly pacing himself on the flat part, unlike Dumoulin, Pogacar, Cavagna etc, who were up to 50s faster before the climb, so he was clearly saving himself for the climb. So he started the climb fresher than the others.
His time on the climb is very impressive either way. Also the fact that he beat Carapaz on the climb. Giro winner and climber, who would have been even more fresh for the climb than Van Aert. Since he spared himself just for that.
 
His time on the climb is very impressive either way. Also the fact that he beat Carapaz on the climb. Giro winner and climber, who would have been even more fresh for the climb than Van Aert. Since he spared himself just for that.
Carapaz obviously didn't ride all that fast all things considered; he changed bikes before the split, and was slower than 6 riders i think who either rode on TT bikes or changed bikes after the split. Carapaz had also been in superlong breaks in the Alps, so i don't really know if he would be more fresh in general. Still a very fast time for van Aert obviously, but nothing (for me) extaordinary. It was a 6k climb, a 15 minute effort after he didn't go full out on the flat.
 
He is obviously not doped enough to mix among the top sprinters. But hey, it's easy to think about doping when a rider is succesful, and it's easy to turn a blind eye when he performs 'normal'.

(disclaimer for those who never race: positioning for sprinting is way more important than doping. Doping ofcourse helps, but positioning is key)
 
He is obviously not doped enough to mix among the top sprinters. But hey, it's easy to think about doping when a rider is succesful, and it's easy to turn a blind eye when he performs 'normal'.

(disclaimer for those who never race: positioning for sprinting is way more important than doping. Doping ofcourse helps, but positioning is key)
He was not so good in positioning in 2017/18, remember? In fact, when he changed teams and came to Jumbo he suddenly learned many things...
 
Tadej Pogacar 16:10
Richie Porte 16:32
Wout Van Aert 16:52
Enric Mas 17:00
Pello Bilbao 17:15
Dani Martinez 17:19
Richard Carapaz 17:22
Mikel Landa 17:23
Marc Soler 17:24
Warren Barguil 17:26
Primoz Roglic 17:31
Tom Dumoulin 17:32
Rigoberto Uran 17:35
Omar Fraile 17:36
Nairo Quintana 17:39
Lennard Kamna 17:39
Jesus Herrada 17:40
David De La Cruz 17:40
Thibaut Pinot 17:42

Not a single fellow sprinter here.
Not a single fellow classic specialist.
Out of fellow TT specialists only Tom Dumoulin who is also by the way a damn good climber.
The rest - all climbers!
.
 
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So was he winning sprints back then?
No, he was generally not riding sprints back then. Of course, there were exceptions.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhFoK61XMkE&t=19m45s

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEFmSUaFPOw&4h20


And also one more thing strikes me as odd, when was the last time we had ITT specialist who is winning bunch sprints? They're usually big engines, but not much explosive...
He's a big engine who has been cyclocrossing his entire life. One of the key things in cyclocross is training "explosiveness".

Out of fellow TT specialists only Tom Dumoulin who is also by the way a damn good climber.
The rest - all climbers!
.
Dumoulin rode the climb on a TT bike, which was proven to be less effective. Also, again, van Aert paced himself on the flat part in order not to implode on the climb. Whereas Dumoulin was 50s faster on the flat and probably started the climb more in the red.
 
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He is obviously not doped enough to mix among the top sprinters. But hey, it's easy to think about doping when a rider is succesful, and it's easy to turn a blind eye when he performs 'normal'.

(disclaimer for those who never race: positioning for sprinting is way more important than doping. Doping ofcourse helps, but positioning is key)
He is strong enough to finish 6th without any team help in the last 3km.

But hey, it's easy to just look at the placing.
 
He was clearly pacing himself on the flat part, unlike Dumoulin, Pogacar, Cavagna etc, who were up to 50s faster before the climb, so he was clearly saving himself for the climb. So he started the climb fresher than the others.
There is a graph in this article


take a look at Mas

a guy who finished top-5 in the Tour, who was improving towards the end stage by stage and who was clearly pacing himself before the climb

still did it slower than van Aert
 
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There is a graph in this article


take a look at Mas

a guy who finished top-5 in the Tour, who was improving towards the end stage by stage and who was clearly pacing himself before the climb

still did it slower than van Aert
Yes, Mas was slower. So was Lopez, Carapaz... What's your point? It's a 15 minute climb at 8%. Not Angliru. It's a one hour effort in total. Can't find van Aert's numbers in the article you're quoting, but going by memory, he'd only have been marginally faster than Mas on the climb. I think he lost 41 seconds on the climb, Mas lost 50 seconds, on Pogacar.
 
He comes from cyclocross where you have to ride full gas for 1 hr in varying terrain with sand, mud, rocks and sharp short inclines and decline and of course sprints. He is also 3 x world champ in cyclocross againt the likes of MVDP. Of course, his abilities on the hills, climbs and sprints simultaneously are questionable but he did not show anything in the TT what he has not shown earlier in the race. The questions about climbing should be in relation with the earlier part of the race especially stage 2 not just the TT
 
He was not so good in positioning in 2017/18, remember? In fact, when he changed teams and came to Jumbo he suddenly learned many things...
2017 would be like his 2nd (part-time) road season age 22-23. Hardly any peloton sprints in smaller races. 2018 he only did a classic campaign and again some smaller races.

But I am happy to hear what races he messed up his positioning in 2017/2018. (spoiler alert: probably none)
 
Maybe people should check WvA's training.
I don't see ANY sprinter riding 18 days in the Alps in July with 1st and HC cat. climbs each day:


This is one of his last rides, the day that Bernal and other Colombians were sitting on a plane and experiencing jet lag for the days after:
That's 5500 vertical meters. His daily average is around 3500 vertical meters during those 2.5 weeks.

And please check the pictures in that strava ride and judge yourself how lean he already looked 2 months ago. His stated weight on google (78kgs) is ridiculous and far off his actuall weight. I reckon he weighs in the low 70kgs.
 
Tadej Pogacar 16:10
Richie Porte 16:32
Wout Van Aert 16:52
Enric Mas 17:00
Pello Bilbao 17:15
Dani Martinez 17:19
Richard Carapaz 17:22
Mikel Landa 17:23
Marc Soler 17:24
Warren Barguil 17:26
Primoz Roglic 17:31
Tom Dumoulin 17:32
Rigoberto Uran 17:35
Omar Fraile 17:36
Nairo Quintana 17:39
Lennard Kamna 17:39
Jesus Herrada 17:40
David De La Cruz 17:40
Thibaut Pinot 17:42

Not a single fellow sprinter here.
Not a single fellow classic specialist.
Out of fellow TT specialists only Tom Dumoulin who is also by the way a damn good climber.
The rest - all climbers!
.
This is pretty damning. He beat all but two climbers. He's probably 10 kg heavier than most of these guys. Not sure what to think.
 
Thanks for the training links. Seems he was upping the threshold doing specific sustained aerobic work in the mountains. And, as he has stated himself on a training video, another focus of his has been lowering the glycolytic system's ("anaerobic") contribution to power, and doing those rides addresses this too.

Thing is, that focus pretty much means losing the kick unless you won the genetic lottery two, three times, or more.

Sprinters that excel in time trials are as rare as TTists that win bunch gallops. Putting it bluntly, the anaerobic system must be trained to favour either end, sustained power or sharp power.

Wout is obviously very talented but this is too good to be true.
 
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