Rick Vanwallijm and Frederick Buckland, our yesterday’s guests at The De Tribune, you don’t have to learn anything about the history of cycling.
When asked to place Wout van Aert in a broader historical context, they came up with a combination of Roger De Vlaeminck and Rik Van Looy.
“Roger de Vlaminck could have done it all,” says Rick Vanwallijm. “The tour, where I failed, was a disgrace to his career. It was in his head. It wasn’t that thing, but everything else was.”
“He was the only captain in Brooklyn and he would have preferred that,” Frederic Backlandt adds. “Wout van Aert doesn’t shy away from that role either.”
“He even laughed a little at Ghent at the beginning of Omloop. He saw how the rest did everything to pass on that hot potato, the role of favourite.”
“Van Aert is eating those potatoes. It all slips away from him, just as it did with De Vlaiminck at the time.”
Frederik Backelandt also made an association with Rik Van Looy (“Think of the connection of the Herentals, where Wout van Aert lives”). Are you unbeatable in the spring with such noble letters?
Backelandt: “I heard Patrick Levevre say he wasn’t expecting Van Aert to be so sharp already. He works really hard in training, but he’s also in great shape very quickly.”
“And he’s also making huge choices. And it will culminate on Saturday if he’s not at the start of the Strade Bianche.”
Vanwalleghem: “It’s a very good sign that he’s ready for the cyclocross world championships and is now in Stride.”
“You should be able to do that. There is a tendency to think that you can handle everything and take everything with you if all goes well.”
“Plus, Van Aert is only 27 years old. Only now are the obese years of a passenger coming. There’s a head on it and legs there.”
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