i don’t really have a dog in this fight because I’m not that interested in cross (the strongest wins too predictably) so I don’t have the long experience of watching WVA or MVDP that others have and am mostly interested in their more recent road careers. But I think it’s important not to accept over the top framing when trying to assess whether something is or isn’t possible.I didn't make him into a top sprinter. But going by results, he is doing better than Gaviria or Groenewegen for reasons different than pure sprinter pedigree... Because in the end, that's what people see, and that's where the suspicion originates from, because if he didn't have results, there would simply be no suspicion: suspicion originates through envy. Most people only seem to look at results and they don't seem to see the efforts by e.g. WvA made in the race, and then they state that he comes out of nowhere...
I have been watching WvA very, very closely from his CX when he was an espoir, so I at least know what I say when I say he always had talent, pedigree etc, compared to some that claim he suddenly came out of nowhere last summer.
WVA has some great, really great, results in sprints. But he hasn’t got most of them by sprinting like a sprint specialist. He isn’t showing the kind of acceleration over a simple 150 metre drag race that the Ewans or Bennetts or Groenewegens of the world do and if that was how he was winning it would be truly unprecedented - even Sean Kelly, the archetypal sprinting all rounder, couldn’t do that. He’s getting his wins the way very fast sprinters who aren’t in the very top few for speed get them, through daring moves, good decision making, going long, sustained power etc. You still have to be fast enough to be a specialist professional sprinter to do that, of course.
whether that’s a credible progression for him as a sprinter, I’ll leave to those of you who are more familiar with his earlier work. I will say that I’ve been generally surprised by the sprinting level of the current group of crossover cross guys, WVA, MVDP, but also Merlier. I just hadnt though that bunch sprint ability was something so many crossers would have as it just doesn’t seem that relevant.