If you have to ride cyclo-cross on January 1, you better take it easy on New Years Eve. And so Wout van Aert (27) immersed himself in his characters in his miracle year 2021.
It should come as no surprise that a perfectionist like Van Aert meticulously keeps track of all kinds of numbers and data. Thus the Jumbo-Visma rider was able to calculate that in 2021 he did not sleep in his bed for 205 nights, which is 56% of the year. 72 of those nights he slept above 2,000 metres, so in altitude training. It didn’t hurt him, because in 62 days of racing (49 road races, 13 bike races) he scored 21 victories – so he won more than one in three races he participated in last year.
In those 21 victories, he also crawled 31,064 training kilometers, Van Aert calculated. In short: each victory was preceded by nearly 1,500 km of training. Those over 31,000 kilometers covered in under a thousand training hours: 996. If you put them in a row, Van Aert was on the bike for 41 straight days in 2021, not counting the competition kilometres.