Renaat Schotte has experienced the handsome victory of Wout van Aert in the Strade Bianche up close. “The corona break paradoxically helped him with his return,” commented our commentator, who will always call Van Aert a crosser. “He will never want to let go of cyclo-cross”, Schotte believes.
How can Wout van Aert race so strongly 1 year after his horror fall in the Tour?
Renaat Schotte: “The corona break has paradoxically helped the return of Wout van Aert. His spring came a little too early, we have seen that. But because of that forced coronabreak, Van Aert was able to fully prepare as it should be. “
“I think he’ll admit later on that Corona was more of a blessing than a drawback to his career, because every rider gets the golden advice not to return too soon after an injury. But drivers would even have a broken collarbone on the sit the bike. “
“At (TV-maker) Eric Goens we saw how deep it literally and figuratively was at Van Aert. His weight started to increase, but a year later he is sharper than ever. Which certainly helped him in the form of his cycle to this victory. “
“Plus the fact that Van Aert will soon be part of the Tour selection of Jumbo-Visma. He had to climb a lot with the mountain goats of his team on stage and training. And the Strade is not only playing cyclo-cross, but also climbing. also proven by driving away on the last lane and leading out to patented climbers like Schachmann and Formolo. “
This forced break has allowed Van Aert to fully prepare as it should.
VIDEO: The demarrage of Wout van Aert
Is Van Aert now top favorite for Milan-Sanremo?
“No”, says Renaat Schotte, “but when it comes to the punchers in that race, he is currently better than Alaphilippe and Sagan.”
“Sanremo is a different type of competition than the Strade. Van Aert does have all the nobility and strengths to play a star role there.”
“Once you have won a top race like the Strade, you start racing in a different zone. Then you go with a morale from here to Tokyo.”
Is Wout van Aert still a cyclo-cross rider after today?
“It is a boutade, but Wout van Aert will always remain a cyclo-cross rider,” says Renaat Schotte. “Maybe he will now get the most out of his road career. That is possible.”
“But a cyclo-cross rider never wants to let go of that field. That is the case with all crossers. It is easy to say in the euphoria of such a victory that you are a cyclo-cross rider.”
“It’s simple,” says Schotte. “Wout van Aert is Roger de Vlaeminck van
now. We are not going to compare careers, but Roger always wanted to drive in the field after the road season. “