What does the interested party think of it? Before him, other complete riders have been credited with future ambitions for the general classification of the Tour. Julian Alaphilippe recently, Peter Sagan to a lesser extent or even Fabian Cancellara at the turn of the 2000s and 2010s. None of them embraced this choice. For the French double world champion, the 2019 Tour acted like a poisoned gift, making people think he could compete with the best in the mountains. For the others, the gap to be crossed seemed too great. And for Wout van Aert?
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Hautacam? A good test to know if I can aim for the yellow jersey one day
“I finished third and maybe it was a good test to know if I am able to aim for the yellow jersey one day“, noted the Belgian after his demonstration in Hautacam. That day, he had not only attacked from kilometer 0, not only resisted the peloton, not only blown up the breakaway and Pinot in Hautacam, not only cracked Pogacar not only finished 3rd at the top, he did it all at the same time, a hard to believe performance, especially for a 1.90 meter runner who would weigh around 78 kilos on the scale.
Van Aert dropped Pogacar, then Vingegaard flew away: how the Jumbo-Visma sealed the Tour
A performance that must be put next to all those achieved since Copenhagen. Efforts in packages of twelve that blew away the followers and impressed the small world of the Tour. “In Calais, we experienced an exceptional sporting achievement. Me, I had fun. He’s not on my team but he’s a great runner“, then ignited Marc Madiot before continuing on France Info two days ago: “I’m not going to say he’s my favorite runner but I have a deep admiration for this guy. He is a rider who has in him what cycling is in its totality.”
Bardet, Madiot, Vingegaard: they are all crazy about van Aert
Nobody had the slightest wrong word towards a Wout Van Aert who could nevertheless annoy by his influence on the race day after day. “We can salute him because he makes cycling more beautiful“, praises for example Romain Bardet. Jonas Vingegaard, who is obviously undoubtedly less objective, did not hesitate to qualify the one who “help him win the Tour” of “best runner in the world“. Does this status give him a strong argument in his possible future quest for the yellow jersey?
The summary of the 4th stage: Van Aert wakes up the Tour and knocks out the competition
For comparison, Van Aert puts about fifteen centimeters on Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar and at least as many kilos. A build that should theoretically prevent it from flying on the peaks. “I managed to do something today but lost 20 minutes on Wednesdayhe qualified in Hautacam. Doing it for a whole Tour is another story” Jacky Durand, our consultant, goes in the same direction: “Yes he is able to win mountain stages but the problem is that he does not know if he can continue.”
According to him, “WVA” would not be able to repeat his performance for three weeks. In his time, Bradley Wiggins also displayed his meter 90 under the fathom but to win the Tour, “Wiggo” had to go down to… 70 kilos. “If he wants to win the Tour, he has to lose weight, then he would lose power in the classics, in the sprints“, judge Jacky Durand. However, the classics are still what make van Aert vibrate who has still not hung the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix on his prize list.
At the Wiggins?
If Wiggins is the greatest, in the first sense of the term, winner of the Tour in history, the tablets, necessarily a little incomplete, place Miguel Indurain as the heaviest in the list with his more or less 80 kilos. “King Miguel”, a good model for Van Aert? In his time, the Spaniard, far from being one-armed in the mountains, reigned above all in lap times (8 successes out of 10 from 1991 to 1995) but he benefited from routes where solitary effort was put forward. Like Wiggins on the 2012 Tour, which has become an exception with its 95 kilometers of time trials.
“One day he will come but at the Wiggins, when the conditions are metJudge Durand. Qa few years of experience, a course with a lot more time trials. There I think it will come, suddenly, a one shot.” Until then, his progress will perhaps go through one-week races (Paris-Nice, Dauphiné). Or not.
41 seconds ahead at the finish: Van Aert in an armchair during the time trial
The 2022 Tour de France has consecrated him as the leader of a generation of “risk-all” riders for whom trying is worth almost as much as succeeding. Wout van Aert loves his way of racing so much, cyclo-cross in the winter, classics in the spring and the Tour in jack-of-all-trades mode in the summer… There are so many things to sacrifice to even become as a candidate for the yellow jersey. And unlike the classics where over a campaign the victories can be distributed, there is only one winner of the Tour de France per year.
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