Wout van Aert

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The argument I made is not so much whether a cream of the crap ftp and sprint can coexist in a rider. That is extremely rare, but depends. I am not a believer at this occurring cleanly at the pro tour level.

Rather, the point concerns what this particular rider has been said to do this year. WvA has stated himself that lowering his glycolytic capacity to further boost the ftp (or repeatability at threshold, whatever) for the classics has been a goal of his this season. In other words, ”weaken” his anaerobic side of power production. The training data from the summer corroborates he actually did stuff that’s expected to produce the desired effect, ie a heavy block of climbing. One cannot really say ”but there is a cost” because the stated goal was already to weaken something.

Sprinters do not do stuff like that so as to not lose their absolute short effort glycolytic capacity and ultimately speed. Yet for WVA there seems to be no very obvious trade off between the two poles of the said system, ie sustaining a high fraction of vo2max and short efforts. He still sprints very well and tts very well.

So perhaps the focus on the anaerobic side of things is too narrow. Suppose he managed to keep his aerobic / anaerobic balance roughly where it was before, but increased the amount of oxygen available per unit of time. That could lift all boats, as it were, except perhaps the fraction of vo2 sustainable for a long time. But this will vary individually and with a higher vo2max it might be worthwhile anyway.

Now what might make more oxygen available?
 
And you know that how?
Campenaerts specifically prepared for this Worlds TT and did a very good job in Tirreno. He still lost to WVA. He didn't have a super day, but he's also just less talented. Few would disagree. Why is it so unfathomable that Küng, ending 4 seconds behind WVA today, is also less talented and/or did not have a super day? Küng has won 2 TT this year, both with a markedly weaker field than today: the European championships, and the national championships. He finished 3rd in Algarve behind Evenepoel and Dennis, and 8th in Paris-Nice. He's not the rider that will blow everyone else out of the water in TTs and never has done so, so your surprise that WVA beat him does not make much sense to me. Van Aert has always shown he has TT talent.
 
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The argument I made is not so much whether a cream of the crap ftp and sprint can coexist in a rider. That is extremely rare, but depends. I am not a believer at this occurring cleanly at the pro tour level.

Rather, the point concerns what this particular rider has been said to do this year. WvA has stated himself that lowering his glycolytic capacity to further boost the ftp (or repeatability at threshold, whatever) for the classics has been a goal of his this season. In other words, ”weaken” his anaerobic side of power production. The training data from the summer corroborates he actually did stuff that’s expected to produce the desired effect, ie a heavy block of climbing. One cannot really say ”but there is a cost” because the stated goal was already to weaken something.

Sprinters do not do stuff like that so as to not lose their absolute short effort glycolytic capacity and ultimately speed. Yet for WVA there seems to be no very obvious trade off between the two poles of the said system, ie sustaining a high fraction of vo2max and short efforts. He still sprints very well and tts very well.

So perhaps the focus on the anaerobic side of things is too narrow. Suppose he managed to keep his aerobic / anaerobic balance roughly where it was before, but increased the amount of oxygen available per unit of time. That could lift all boats, as it were, except perhaps the fraction of vo2 sustainable for a long time. But this will vary individually and with a higher vo2max it might be worthwhile anyway.

Now what might make more oxygen available?
You're talking about VLaMax. Good post.

For me the interesting thing is last year if you asked who would have the better 2020 palmarès, MVDP or WVA, most would pick VDP hands down. If you would say, who is the better climber, most would say VDP, sprinter: VDP, classics rider VDP, only in tt would you perhaps say Wout. Now Wout is the favourite for a Worlds course so hard MVP won't even bother to start.

How did this happen?
 
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You mean, if you would've asked someone not paying attention?

Van Aert has always been the better climber, this was already apparent in cross. Sprinter, I'd say they are more or less similar, only VDP hasn't done a lot of sprints lately. Classics: depends on which 'classics' - anything with longer sustained efforts (longer climbs or long pavé sections, i.e. Strade Bianche, Roubaix), Van Aert would always have been the favourite; anything with short intervals, i.e. RVV, Amstel, that's clearly more suited to MVDP. And in TT WVA has always been better.
 
You're talking about VLaMax. Good post.

For me the interesting thing is last year if you asked who would have the better 2020 palmarès, MVDP or WVA, most would pick VDP hands down. If you would say, who is the better climber, most would say VDP, sprinter: VDP, classics rider VDP, only in tt would you perhaps say Wout. Now Wout is the favourite for a Worlds course so hard MVP won't even bother to start.

How did this happen?
both riders are still developing their road career, they will both be very good but think its too early to say how each's trajectory will go....however if you saw Strade Bianche in 2018 and saw both WVA's ambition and legs then what he is doing now should no surprise........
 
Campenaerts specifically prepared for this Worlds TT and did a very good job in Tirreno. He still lost to WVA. He didn't have a super day, but he's also just less talented. Few would disagree. Why is it so unfathomable that Küng, ending 4 seconds behind WVA today, is also less talented and/or did not have a super day? Küng has won 2 TT this year, both with a markedly weaker field than today: the European championships, and the national championships. He finished 3rd in Algarve behind Evenepoel and Dennis, and 8th in Paris-Nice. He's not the rider that will blow everyone else out of the water in TTs and never has done so, so your surprise that WVA beat him does not make much sense to me. Van Aert has always shown he has TT talent.
I never realized that talent level in cycling is decided by a popular vote. But it's cute how the hour world record holder, European champion and Worlds medalist is supposedly clearly less talented in ITT than a sprinter/climber/classicomano/roleur/crosser.

Re Küng

“We decided with the team that I would leave early to prepare ideally for the Worlds. That meant I was able to recover and then train specifically on the TT bike. In my opinion, I had a really good approach, and I think my preparation couldn’t have been better.”


Specific ITT training counts for a lot, so again it's cute how you ignore that and go for another round of talent evaluation based on nothing.
 
I never realized that talent level in cycling is decided by a popular vote. But it's cute how the hour world record holder, European champion and Worlds medalist is supposedly clearly less talented in ITT than a sprinter/climber/classicomano/roleur/crosser.

Re Küng

“We decided with the team that I would leave early to prepare ideally for the Worlds. That meant I was able to recover and then train specifically on the TT bike. In my opinion, I had a really good approach, and I think my preparation couldn’t have been better.”


Specific ITT training counts for a lot, so again it's cute how you ignore that and go for another round of talent evaluation based on nothing.
Campenaerts is a one-trick pony. He has no big watts but a very low CdA and probably the most obsessed with preparation (to compensate for his lack of talent). So his Watt/CdA in a TT is top 5 at best (best = perfectly prepared, well rested, flat parcours, competition not perfectly prepared / well rested / absent). Remco Evenepoel was dragging Campenaerts in the Tour of Belgium once, and Campenaerts just fell of his bike becasue he was either too tired to ride in Remco's draft, or (rumours go) he was too tired to follow so he crashed on purpose to have an excuse to drop.
View: https://youtu.be/CwtXV2pUd-k?t=52


By the way: You just compared a worlds silver medalist (WvA) with a worlds medalist (Campenaerts), but you named one of them a sprinter/climber/classicomano/... Using your logic, you should declare all first podium riders in a WC ITT a doper because they weren't on the podium before.

Kung had the prefect preparation FOR HIM. If a riders has less talent, he will suffer more in the Tour and ofcourse it's better that said rider leaves early to rest. If Campenaerts would have gone to the Tour, he would have been dead and buried before starting the ITT. Some riders cope much better with a 3-week Tour (those that really need it to get into shape), others only go backwards at the end of the Tour.
 
You're talking about VLaMax. Good post.

For me the interesting thing is last year if you asked who would have the better 2020 palmarès, MVDP or WVA, most would pick VDP hands down. If you would say, who is the better climber, most would say VDP, sprinter: VDP, classics rider VDP, only in tt would you perhaps say Wout. Now Wout is the favourite for a Worlds course so hard MVP won't even bother to start.

How did this happen?
Yes I was, but don’t mention the war, right?

Agree with your comparisons mostly. But I think I would have thought WVA the better climber, at least on proper climbs of say 10min or more. So maybe I should just say better at steady efforts.

Anyhow, that comparison too points to WVA taking a huge leap forward this year. How exactly this happened is indeed the question.
 
People are quick to forget what a strange season this has been. Lots of worldclass riders were hampered by Covid 19 in their preparation. Alaphilippe clearly being one of them. Mathieu aiming for the cobbled classics, meaning he was not in peak form during Strade & San Remo. While Wout came out guns blazing, hoping to stretch the form long enough. We'll see if he manages to make it to Flanders and Roubaix. With Alaphilippe at peak form, chances are Wout would not have won San Remo & the Dauphiné stage. Even Strade would have been a different race. Yet a lot of people are ignoring the context. In a normal season, Bernal nor Quintana would have ever been dropped by Wout's pace. They would have likely attacked in a few mountain stages, and Wout would have been dropped sooner throughout the TDF.

As for the weight issue of pages back. Today we saw the most hilarious jump in PCS data, which shows just how credible those websites are. Today, Tom Pidcock, not a low-profile rider, grew 13 centimeter and gained 8 kilograms, compared to yesterday :tearsofjoy:

You're talking about VLaMax. Good post.

For me the interesting thing is last year if you asked who would have the better 2020 palmarès, MVDP or WVA, most would pick VDP hands down. If you would say, who is the better climber, most would say VDP, sprinter: VDP, classics rider VDP, only in tt would you perhaps say Wout. Now Wout is the favourite for a Worlds course so hard MVP won't even bother to start.

How did this happen?
Who would you have asked? Your grandmother? Someone who has been living under a rock since 2014?
Better climber? :tearsofjoy:
Only better ITT would you "perhaps" say Wout. :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:

I never realized that talent level in cycling is decided by a popular vote. But it's cute how the hour world record holder, European champion and Worlds medalist is supposedly clearly less talented in ITT than a sprinter/climber/classicomano/roleur/crosser.

Re Küng

“We decided with the team that I would leave early to prepare ideally for the Worlds. That meant I was able to recover and then train specifically on the TT bike. In my opinion, I had a really good approach, and I think my preparation couldn’t have been better.”


Specific ITT training counts for a lot, so again it's cute how you ignore that and go for another round of talent evaluation based on nothing.
Not sure if serious. If anything, Küng made a much bigger leap forward as an ITT'er compared to last year, than Wout. And talent evaluation based on nothing? ROFL.
 
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Yes, your side's evaluation is based on nothing more than van Aert is the bestest <swoon> with a healthy dose of circular logic mixed in when asked for specifics.

But nice scatter gun approach to cover all bases:

van Aert fan #1: Küng is less talented and didn't have a super day and his results are nothing special this year so beating him is no big deal
me: no evidence of that, <provides quote from the man himself that he was well prepared>
van Aert fan #2: Küng made a much bigger leap forward than van Aert this year
me: ????

Strange divergence of views on the competition from people who are convinced that van Aert is just inherently better and who can evaluate talent from the comfort of their homes.
 
Campenaerts is a one-trick pony. He has no big watts but a very low CdA and probably the most obsessed with preparation (to compensate for his lack of talent). So his Watt/CdA in a TT is top 5 at best (best = perfectly prepared, well rested, flat parcours, competition not perfectly prepared / well rested / absent). Remco Evenepoel was dragging Campenaerts in the Tour of Belgium once, and Campenaerts just fell of his bike becasue he was either too tired to ride in Remco's draft, or (rumours go) he was too tired to follow so he crashed on purpose to have an excuse to drop.


By the way: You just compared a worlds silver medalist (WvA) with a worlds medalist (Campenaerts), but you named one of them a sprinter/climber/classicomano/... Using your logic, you should declare all first podium riders in a WC ITT a doper because they weren't on the podium before.

Kung had the prefect preparation FOR HIM. If a riders has less talent, he will suffer more in the Tour and ofcourse it's better that said rider leaves early to rest. If Campenaerts would have gone to the Tour, he would have been dead and buried before starting the ITT. Some riders cope much better with a 3-week Tour (those that really need it to get into shape), others only go backwards at the end of the Tour.
Yes, Campenaerts is a one-trick pony. That's kind of the point. Van Aert is not. That's kind of also the point.

And yes, Küng had a perfect preparation for him. No idea why you had to capitalize that part though as you again provided no evidence that going hard on 4 of the 5 stages is a better preparation for an ITT than actually training on an ITT bike.
 
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Yes, your side's evaluation is based on nothing more than van Aert is the bestest <swoon> with a healthy dose of circular logic mixed in when asked for specifics.

But nice scatter gun approach to cover all bases:

van Aert fan #1: Küng is less talented and didn't have a super day and his results are nothing special this year so beating him is no big deal
me: no evidence of that, <provides quote from the man himself that he was well prepared>
van Aert fan #2: Küng made a much bigger leap forward than van Aert this year
me: ????

Strange divergence of views on the competition from people who are convinced that van Aert is just inherently better and who can evaluate talent from the comfort of their homes.
Oh, so if you are saying something that contradicts some other guy who is convinced van Aert is doping, then we can just cancel out both your opinions. That's a convenient game you're playing. :tearsofjoy: Funny.

Küng last year barely made the top 10 at the WC (10th), and didn't even podium on the EC, losing 1s per km on Evenepoel on a not dissimilar course to yesterday, finishing behind Asgreen & Affini. The Imola ITT was 32k, Alkmaar was 22k. Other than that, both nearly flat as a pancake, both had a lot of wind (Alkmaar was even windier), with a turning point halfway the course, which shifted the benefit to a deficit and the other way around. Last year Küng was nothing more than a footnote in high profile ITT's (10th WC, 4th EC, 27th TDF ITT, 6th in Normandie behind Campenaerts, Bevin, Ganna, even good old Tony Martin..., 16th in the TA ITT behind... basically everyone of note). This year he wins the EC and podiums the WC.

Yeah, look i'm done discussing *** like this with you. You claim i'm not giving any specifics, yet i've provided plenty more than you, and your case is built on "i don't believe it". I mean, the point where you have to start arguing whether or not Küng is more or less talented, is the where i draw the line.
 
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Yes, Campenaerts is a one-trick pony. That's kind of the point. Van Aert is not. That's kind of also the point.

And yes, Küng had a perfect preparation for him. No idea why you had to capitalize that part though as you again provided no evidence that going hard on 4 of the 5 stages is a better preparation for an ITT than actually training on an ITT bike.
You are making the assumptions: you assume WvA was worse off by riding those last stages.
I don't know. Do you know? And important: how much of a difference does it make?
Suppose riding the whole Tour isn't ideal. How much does WvA loose in terms of potential? 0.1%? 1% 5%? And if WvA loses 1%, but he is better at 99% than Kung at 100%?
That's all very possible. I don't claim it's fact, just that it's possible. You are the one assuming that it's not possible without doping. You make the assumptions. So it's upt to you give me evidence why it's totally unbelievable that WvA, who is most probably not suffering too hard in those last 5 days of the Tour, has a much worse preparation than Kung, who is a big, heavy rider for who it is understandable that he doesn't do the Alpine stages in order not to go in the red too far before an important event. Don't turn it around.
 
why it's totally unbelievable that WvA, who is most probably not suffering too hard in those last 5 days of the Tour,
I admire your desperation to support him, but how is he not suffering hard when those last 5 days include a savage col de loz (where he still finished top 20), 1 brutal day to la roche-sur-foron where he batters half the field on the final climb, before getting back on on the descent and sprintsfor third, and then follows up 2 days later by demolishing the majority of racers on a TT that includes a 1st cat climb lol

The man's clearly a genetic freak. That doesn't mean he's not also turboloaded to the gills on the good stuff.
 
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People can think Van Aert is doped, no problem, but the 'logic' applied here is not very firm. He ends all of 4 seconds ahead of Küng, and that is supposed to be a red flag? Küng ended in front of Dennis, who is the defending world champion TT and was able to rest and prepare even more. The resting and preparation do not mean you're (a) in prime form (Dennis wasn't, quite clearly), (b) better skilled at TTing (Küng is not a world-beating TTer, and Van Aert has long proven he's capable of doing very well in a TT).
 
I admire your desperation to support him, but how is he not suffering hard when those last 5 days include a savage col de loz (where he still finished top 20), 1 brutal day to la roche-sur-foron where he batters half the field on the final climb, before getting back on on the descent and sprintsfor third, and then follows up 2 days later by demolishing the majority of racers on a TT that includes a 1st cat climb lol

The man's clearly a genetic freak. That doesn't mean he's not also turboloaded to the gills on the good stuff.
How much did he really suffer, that's the unknown.

In my view, the only day he dug deep for long was on that last alpine mountain stage to Roche au faron, and that was on Thursday (a full week before the ITT yesterday). After that, there was a day for the breakaway with a fast and furious start though but a really slow last 100K by the peloton, so really a kind of relaxed long ride, a day with a 40-minute effort (ITT), which was a good test for Imola and a day with a 1hr effort (the local criterium in Paris). Those are 3 days that he didn't go all outor only for max. 1 hour, which seems not wrong when preparing a 36-minute effort a week later.

The difference with Kung is that Kung really had no one to ride for. WvA still had the leader's jersey in the team and would ofcourse help until the end and not want to miss celebrations in Paris. If Pinot was still in the running, who knows if Kung would have left the Tour and miss out on seeing his team leader on the podium in Paris.
 
You're talking about VLaMax. Good post.

For me the interesting thing is last year if you asked who would have the better 2020 palmarès, MVDP or WVA, most would pick VDP hands down. If you would say, who is the better climber, most would say VDP, sprinter: VDP, classics rider VDP, only in tt would you perhaps say Wout. Now Wout is the favourite for a Worlds course so hard MVP won't even bother to start.

How did this happen?
You really don't know?! He just lost the fat.
 
If there is something a little suspicious, it is the holding of (amazing) form for this long. From Strade to now, absolutely dominating everything, including domestique work.

Compare with the winner - yes, he was there at MSR, but not quite at peak, and that clearly showed in the Dauphine and Tour.
 
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If there is something a little suspicious, it is the holding of (amazing) form for this long. From Strade to now, absolutely dominating everything, including domestique work.

Compare with the winner - yes, he was there at MSR, but not quite at peak, and that clearly showed in the Dauphine and Tour.
Like Adrie van der Poel said a couple of days ago, it's way easier to hold on to good form than to get there. Van Aert obviously came into the restart in great shape.
 
Like Adrie van der Poel said a couple of days ago, it's way easier to hold on to good form than to get there. Van Aert obviously came into the restart in great shape.
Yes, that be true. But he hasn't been holding on to good form for a while. He has been holding to exceptional, peerless, incredible form for......is it 8 weeks now? Doesn't prove anything, but definitely very unusual.
 

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