The Cycling World Championships will be in our country for a whole week, but on the first day it already had a strong Belgian hue. Even if it was “only” silver and bronze in the time trial. “I think Wout van Aert would rather be fourth than second in Sunday’s road race,” Bahamontes editor-in-chief Jonas Herrick says in a conversation with Wim De Coninck on the De Tribune podcast.
It was a poor outcome for a wrestling fight by Wut van Aert, the silver medal too much. He was defeated in the trial of time by ghoul Filippo Gana, in the same second punch as the year before at Imola.
“48 minute love without a climax,” Jonays Heyerick calls it in De Tribune, but he is not to be blamed, as a multi-skilled person, except that he has to surrender 5 seconds to a time trial specialist.
“That’s right,” confirms Wim de Koninck, a football analyst with a big heart in cycling. “The Belgians wanted two on the podium and it came, but an Italian specialist stayed above that. One who last week thought they would reach the top in the European Championship, but now they can taste that really super peak.”
“During the trial period in the European Championships, he could not have been 100% after his last training on the altitudes,” adds Jonas Herrick. “You are only at your peak if you allow this training to rise for a while.”
“I think this was taken into account: not a European champion in his country, but everything in the World Cup – certainly also because he found a course here that was really suitable for his body. As if the Belgians had designed a course in paradise.”
Here Ganna found a course designed just for him. As if the Belgians had plotted a course for him.
“With a heavy cycle you also get other periods of time”
Should the organization have been more chauvinistic in the course outline? “For Watt, you had better go over one or two bad hills,” says de Koninck.
“But then you get your periods again. It was really hard in the games, because Roglic was there at the time. Pogacar can easily accommodate such a time experience with a fluctuating comfort.”
Perhaps we can also attribute the 5-second difference to the different preparations. “I heard Tom Dumoulin say that yesterday at Vive Le Filo,” says Herrick. “He had the best time on the trial after not seeing a test bike for two weeks.”
Today it looks like finely tuned machines pop up on the starting platform, but of course you don’t lock in today’s look.
“I think Van Aert could do that. But a more specialized setup might have neglected that difference.”
“Today they look like fine-tuned machines appearing on the podium, but of course you don’t lock in today’s look,” continues De Coninck.
“The Olympic time trial – where Van Aert will take the gold – was too much for him to race. What he did just yesterday suggests he’s in great shape.”
Wut Van Air and Filippo Jana
“I think Van Aert would have preferred 4th to 2nd on Sunday.”
When charting the road race, the organization was again chauvinistic. That’s what Thomas van den Spiegel had to say in his latest performance in our podcast. What can be done in next Sunday’s road race?
“We have to be careful,” Herrick says. “Because for us Belgians, it’s as if Van Aert can only win. But it really isn’t going to be that easy.”
“I just checked the numbers. In his 16 international championships as a professional, he’s been on the podium 14 times. Three gold, 9 silver and twice bronze. Talk about a championship rider.”
“And if 3 of those silvers were gold, he would have already set a great record. But there is always someone who runs fast or tries time or can handle a tough track. So I can imagine if he said these silvers are a lot. I think he’d prefer that It will be four over the second on Sunday.
“Because there are also teams with a silver medal at the Games and a copy at the World Cup,” adds Herrick. “Yves Lambert hit the nail on the head yesterday: next year everyone will have forgotten who won the silver medal at the World Cup.”
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