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Wout van Aert appreciation thread

rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,885 Lives Here
edited 23 April in Pro race
I think it's time we broke out a FF style appreciation thread, because, as far as I am concerned, Wout van Aert is the best cyclist we've ever seen this century, and his (albeit, a weird truncated) 2020 is one of the most outstanding seasons I can remember seeing.

Let's start with his 2020 palmares, which is just unreal:

2020
1st Time trial, National Road Championships
1st Milan–San Remo
1st Strade Bianche
Tour de France
1st Stages 5 & 7
Critérium du Dauphiné
1st JerseyPoints classification
1st Stage 1
UCI Road World Championships
2nd Silver medal Road race
2nd Silver medal Time trial
2nd Tour of Flanders
3rd Milano–Torino
8th Gent–Wevelgem

This also misses out being the most helpful and strongest domestique in the Tour whilst still finishing 20th overall ( :o ), knocking out casual top 5 finishes in high mountain stages and time trials, all whilst winning sprint finishes and smashing himself for the Roglic's GC efforts.

This season thus far, he's been in 14 races, with 4 stage wins, 9 podiums, and he's never finished lower than 13th.

This includes winning Strade Bianche, a stage and 2nd overall in T-A, 3rd in Milan San Remo, a win in G-W, top 10 flanders, 2nd in the Waalse Pijl and a win in Amstel gold.

The guy is unreal and he wears his talent fairly lightly.

Plus he just looks so cool and calm on the bike, regardless of what effort he's putting in.

So here's to the best overall cyclist I certainly have seen in my 20 odd years of watching pro-cycling.
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Posts

  • nibnob21nibnob21 Posts: 207
    And 2nd in the Cyclocross worlds.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,146


    This includes winning Strade Bianche,

    That was the other van this year.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 16,668
    He won two stages in T-A, with three further top 3 stage finishes.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,445


    This includes winning Strade Bianche,

    That was the other van this year.
    In fairness he said the 2020 season
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,475
    He didn't even have the best 2020 on his team
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,885 Lives Here
    edited 23 April

    He didn't even have the best 2020 on his team

    Get out



  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,475

    He didn't even have the best 2020 on his team

    Get out



    You're bringing memes but no receipts
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,475
    Came 8th in GW though

    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,146


    This includes winning Strade Bianche,

    That was the other van this year.
    In fairness he said the 2020 season
    And then moved on to the 2021 season, noting a victory that didn't happen.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,146

    He didn't even have the best 2020 on his team

    Get out



    You place more value on domestique duties than me.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,885 Lives Here
    I see the appreciation is going well.

    ✌️
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 16,668
    If he's not your favourite rider, I don't know what sport you are watching.

    All round, he was the most impressive last year. But for wins - he didn't match a GT and a monument.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,885 Lives Here
    Roglic is a much narrower rider.
  • ProssPross Posts: 28,205

    Roglic is a much narrower rider.

    I'm not so sure, I think it is more that as a major GT contender he gets less chance to demonstrate his range. I think he could compete in pretty much any of the Classics.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,961
    I think he is incredibly talented, a hugely capable rider and it seems he has no major weaknesses. He is exceptional, perhaps even extraordinary.

    But I'm still not convinced that he is "the best cyclist we've ever seen this century". This century has had some great riders and he is around at the same time as MvdP - who maybe hasn't done as much in grand tours as WvA, but has done more in MTB riding as far as I know.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,885 Lives Here
    Pross said:

    Roglic is a much narrower rider.

    I'm not so sure, I think it is more that as a major GT contender he gets less chance to demonstrate his range. I think he could compete in pretty much any of the Classics.
    Roglic has 2 tricks. Great power-weight efforts at an hour long and being able to sprint at the end of that.

  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,050
    I like WvA, I think Rick's tongue may be some way in his cheek when he described him as the greatest of the 21st century but he's still got time to join the great 1 day riders.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 22,608
    When I got up close and personal with him at Hoogerheide


    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 22,608

    I like WvA, I think Rick's tongue may be some way in his cheek when he described him as the greatest of the 21st century but he's still got time to join the great 1 day riders.

    Who do you put higher?
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,995
    I won't be convinced if you don't post a pic of him with the background desaturated. I also want a pic of a lovely horse.

    PS - have you broken the news to Tomeke yet? I hope he takes it well
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 16,668
    Look at who makes up the rest of the top 3 when WvA makes the podium. It's anyone from Demare, Sam Bennett, Cees Bol, Boassen Hagen, Gaviria, Matthews, through Alaphillippe, van der Poel, Hirschi, Kwiatkowski to Formolo, Pogacar, Carapaz. And Ganna.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,146
    For context, this was Gilbert's 2011. WvA needs to keep doing it before he wins the greatest of the 21st century award. He is definitely in the starting line-up though.

    2011
    1st UCI World Tour
    National Road Championships

    1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Road race
    1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Time trial

    1st Jersey black.svg Overall Tour of Belgium

    1st Stage 3

    1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Ster ZLM Toer

    1st Stage 4

    1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
    1st Amstel Gold Race
    1st La Flèche Wallonne
    1st Clásica de San Sebastián
    1st Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
    1st Montepaschi Strade Bianche
    1st Brabantse Pijl
    1st Grand Prix de Wallonie
    Tour de France

    1st Stage 1
    Held Jersey yellow.svg after Stage 1

    1st Stage 1 Volta ao Algarve
    2nd Overall Eneco Tour

    1st Stage 3

    3rd Milan–San Remo
    3rd Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
    8th Giro di Lombardia
    9th Overall Tirreno–Adriatico

    1st Stage 5

    9th Tour of Flanders
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,961

    Look at who makes up the rest of the top 3 when WvA makes the podium. It's anyone from Demare, Sam Bennett, Cees Bol, Boassen Hagen, Gaviria, Matthews, through Alaphillippe, van der Poel, Hirschi, Kwiatkowski to Formolo, Pogacar, Carapaz. And Ganna.

    For a "GOAT" or "GO This Century", we also need to include the races where he did not make the podium.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,885 Lives Here
    edited 23 April

    For context, this was Gilbert's 2011. WvA needs to keep doing it before he wins the greatest of the 21st century award. He is definitely in the starting line-up though.

    2011
    1st UCI World Tour
    National Road Championships

    1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Road race
    1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Time trial

    1st Jersey black.svg Overall Tour of Belgium

    1st Stage 3

    1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Ster ZLM Toer

    1st Stage 4

    1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
    1st Amstel Gold Race
    1st La Flèche Wallonne
    1st Clásica de San Sebastián
    1st Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
    1st Montepaschi Strade Bianche
    1st Brabantse Pijl
    1st Grand Prix de Wallonie
    Tour de France

    1st Stage 1
    Held Jersey yellow.svg after Stage 1

    1st Stage 1 Volta ao Algarve
    2nd Overall Eneco Tour

    1st Stage 3

    3rd Milan–San Remo
    3rd Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
    8th Giro di Lombardia
    9th Overall Tirreno–Adriatico

    1st Stage 5

    9th Tour of Flanders

    Gilbert would not remotely be able to finish top 3 in both a TDF mountain stage (whilst being the main domestique) nor a TDF time trial, nor winning bunch sprints.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 16,668
    singleton said:

    Look at who makes up the rest of the top 3 when WvA makes the podium. It's anyone from Demare, Sam Bennett, Cees Bol, Boassen Hagen, Gaviria, Matthews, through Alaphillippe, van der Poel, Hirschi, Kwiatkowski to Formolo, Pogacar, Carapaz. And Ganna.

    For a "GOAT" or "GO This Century", we also need to include the races where he did not make the podium.
    This year so far that's only 5 out of 15 races.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 55,885 Lives Here
    I think the palmares comparisons miss a big portion of the breadth and depth of WvA.

    There is basically no terrain or format where he is not making a material impact on the outcome, and except for an HC mountain top finish (where he will still be thinning out the peloton significantly) it's not unrealistic to see him challenging for the win.

    That's what's so amazing about him. He can do it all.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,146

    For context, this was Gilbert's 2011. WvA needs to keep doing it before he wins the greatest of the 21st century award. He is definitely in the starting line-up though.

    2011
    1st UCI World Tour
    National Road Championships

    1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Road race
    1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Time trial

    1st Jersey black.svg Overall Tour of Belgium

    1st Stage 3

    1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Ster ZLM Toer

    1st Stage 4

    1st Liège–Bastogne–Liège
    1st Amstel Gold Race
    1st La Flèche Wallonne
    1st Clásica de San Sebastián
    1st Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
    1st Montepaschi Strade Bianche
    1st Brabantse Pijl
    1st Grand Prix de Wallonie
    Tour de France

    1st Stage 1
    Held Jersey yellow.svg after Stage 1

    1st Stage 1 Volta ao Algarve
    2nd Overall Eneco Tour

    1st Stage 3

    3rd Milan–San Remo
    3rd Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
    8th Giro di Lombardia
    9th Overall Tirreno–Adriatico

    1st Stage 5

    9th Tour of Flanders

    Gilbert would not remotely be able to finish top 3 in both a TDF mountain stage (whilst being the main domestique) nor a TDF time trial, nor winning bunch sprints.
    Gilbert did win LBL and Lombardy - let's see how WvA does when he rides those. As I have said before, he needs to stop messing around being a domestique and focus on winning things.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,475
    All I'll say is that he's not winning so much that we're getting in a flap when he doesn't allow someone else to win.


    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,475

    I think the palmares comparisons miss a big portion of the breadth and depth of WvA.

    There is basically no terrain or format where he is not making a material impact on the outcome, and except for an HC mountain top finish (where he will still be thinning out the peloton significantly) it's not unrealistic to see him challenging for the win.

    That's what's so amazing about him. He can do it all.

    Does the Netherlands know you're at this sort of chat?
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 7,879
    ddraver said:

    When I got up close and personal with him at Hoogerheide


    Do you have any more FF style appreciation pics? Maybe with some oiled leg muscle glistening in the sun.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
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