Michel Wuyts: “They will refuse to drive to the finish with Van Aert” | Tour of Flanders


Michel Wuyts will face his 30th Tour of Flanders on Sunday. Our cycling commentator weighs the chances of a number of top favorites: “I see 1 strong team, 2 loners and 3 packages of friends as the biggest contenders”, says Wuyts.

Wout van Aert will be the top favorite at the start of the Tour on Sunday. Flanders is his last big goal in the current road season. How can Van Aert cash in on his favorite role?

“Van Aert is by far the best rider at the moment. He is the better rider on the way and has an extra weapon: his sprint. Those are his assets”, Michel Wuyts says.

“Only in 2020 those trumps are not enough to win the Tour. There are a lot of fellow favorites who are a little short compared to Van Aert, but who do have a team where they keep a second pawn on hand.”

“Moreover, the disadvantage for Van Aert is that he is clearly the better one and will be targeted by everyone. They will refuse to drive with him to the finish. Then for Wout van Aert the challenge is: get rid of it yourself. and go to the line with no more than 2 men. “

Mathieu van der Poel is Van Aert’s main challenger.

Van der Poel as the second “lonely”

What about Wout van Aert’s Dutch “copain”: Mathieu van der Poel?

Michel Wuyts: “The big problem for Mathieu van der Poel is that he has to see that Van Aert has passed him. That plays tricks on him. In the strange autumn of 2020, he just missed the level of last year.”

“Another problem is that with his offensive course method, Van der Poel uses a lot of energy along the way. In the Tour of Flanders it is better to be thrifty. Wait until the last 20 kilometers to unpack. If he does, he has a chance of winning. . “

Alaphilippe in the Deceuninck-Quick Step block

“I see 1 strong team, 2 loners and 3 packages of friends as the biggest contenders”, Michel Wuyts sums up. That strong team is Deceuninck-Quick Step, which counts on spearheads Julian Alaphilippe and Yves Lampaert.

“Alaphilippe is part of the strongest block there is, that of Deceuninck-Quick Step. They have the opportunity to play on other pawns, such as Lampaert. They can afford the wealth to attack Kasper Asgreen or Zdenek Stybar. send.”

“If Alaphilippe makes enough difference on the last passage of the Paterberg, he can win. That’s because there is hardly ever a partnership in the chasing group. Like last year, when Alberto Bettiol left.”

Yet our commentator does not estimate the chances of the world champion as great: “If the best Van Aert competes against the best Van der Poel and they have the common sense to join forces, they should also be able to keep Alaphilippe behind. to let. “

If Van Aert comes out against Van der Poel and they have the common sense to join forces, they should be able to leave Alaphilippe behind.

Michel Wuyts

And the packages are friends?

Finally, there are 3 tough teams that have a chance of winning according to our commentator: EF Pro Cycling, Sunweb and Trek-Segafredo.

In addition to Bettiol, EF also has Sep Vanmarcke. I see Vanmarcke as a great outsider, with Sebastian Langeveld and Jens Keukeleire to deliver a good job in the shadow of those 2 top figures. They take control of the race after kilometer 200. Last year that worked formidable. ”

“Then we have Sunweb, the fresh little brother. Soren Kragh Andersen is currently top 5 in the world in one-day races. In addition, they have Tiesj Benoot, who can leave early to keep Kragh Andersen behind.”

Finally, there is Trek with Mads Pedersen, who was strong in Gent-Wevelgem and finds a course that suits him well in the Tour of Flanders. With Jasper Stuyven, Trek can count on several pawns in the deep final, which is an undeniable advantage. “Michel Wuyts concludes.

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