Beaten by the French team and by Julian Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert hopes to bounce back on Sunday at Paris-Roubaix.
“We cannot hide from it, the defeat of Belgium at the Worlds is a bitter failure. Surely one of the greatest in the history of cycling in our country. ” It is an understatement to say that Belgium is struck, this week, after the stinging setback suffered by the runners from across Quiévrain during the world championship. Expected by an impressive crowd, Wout van Aert was programmed to adorn himself with a rainbow in front of the Leuven audience. But the Jumbo-Visma rider, exhausted by the successive acceleration of Julian Alaphilippe, surrendered.
Alaphilippe, the controversy swells in Belgium https://t.co/xYFQCCkLE0
– Sports.fr (@sports_fr) September 28, 2021
Only eleventh in the race, and dispossessed of his place as world No. 1, Van Aert is now looking for revenge. The Belgian may not have to wait so long since, from Sunday, he will be one of the big favorites of Paris-Roubaix.
“He’s affected by defeat and mentally it’s not easy to focus on something else. But it is better to lose when your legs are not there, rather than the other way around, analysis Peter Van Petegem in the columns of L’Avenir. I am convinced he will be ready for Roubaix. Some wonder about the energy spent on the Tour of Britain. I don’t really know if Wout has done too much on this event. He rolls every race to win it, no one can fault him for that. When it doesn’t want to, we have to accept it and not lament forever. The Hell of the North is a great way to quickly find the summits for Van Aert. He remains the favorite, I think. The candidates are numerous, however. “
Alaphilippe… on the Tour of Lombardy
We should find some of the protagonists of the Worlds. Van Aert, therefore, but also his eternal rival Mathieu van der Poel, the Danes Mads Pedersen and Kasper Asgreen, the Slovakian Peter Sagan. On the other hand, Alaphilippe should not be in the game. It is not that the double world champion necessarily needs a rest, but Paris-Roubaix is not a Classic which suits his qualities.
If he has already tried his luck on the Tour of Flanders, more hilly, the Hell of the North rarely smiles at a rider as light as the French puncher. On the French side, it is rather Florian Sénéchal, Alaphilippe’s teammate at Deceuninck-Quick Step, who could have his chance. As for the double world champion, we will see him the following weekend, on the rougher roads of the Tour of Lombardy.