Spotted on Strava: Van Aert and Jumbo-Visma carry on as ‘Killer Wasps’

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Riders are not always open about their performance, wattages and data, but Strava still offers a solution for many men and women. Who broke records in practice and how did the riders perform in races? In the Leader’s jersey takes a weekly look at the figures behind the performance in ‘Spotted on Strava’. This week: Jumbo-Visma at full speed, already.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step boasted the coolest nickname in the sports world for several years. ‘The Wolfpack‘became a household name in cycling, but after the Tour de L’Ain Richie Porte came up with an equally delicious nickname. Since the restart of the cycling season, Team Jumbo-Visma has been driving the stones off the street. From now on Van Aert and associates are known as’De Killer Wasps’. Also last weekend it became clear why.

Van Aert wins Milan-Sanremo thanks to an eruption on and after the Poggio

Wout van Aert was the strongest in Milan-Sanremo on Saturday 8 August. He succeeded Julian Alaphilippe as the winner after the Strade Bianche in the Italian monument. We already knew he was good, but what Van Aert showed on the Poggio was more than good. Alaphilippe got on the pedals and normally the peloton is seen. The Frenchman does what he wants and does what he can. Until Saturday.

We had a tailwind, so it was no surprise that it was going fast. In the descent of the Colle di Nava (new in the course due to the corona virus), the existing KOM was ridden from the books by Van Aert, who now shares the record with Jacopo Mosca and Paul Martens with 7.52 minutes. They went downhill on average at 68.5 kilometers per hour, towards the final. In that final only personal records for Van Aert, who participated for the first time last year. The Cipressa was climbed four seconds faster by the Belgian than last year.

There was less war on the Poggio than last season. Then Deceuninck-Quick-Step shot up from the foot, now it had to come halfway through an attack by Vincenzo Nibali. Van Aert took seven seconds slower on the Poggio, but we still want to pay attention to the middle section, where Van Aert and Alaphilippe attacked hard. 540 meters at five percent on average, Van Aert shot up at 43.2 kilometers per hour on average (!). COME for the segment “Poggio harder”, come on.

In 2019, a larger group of favorites still looked at each other in the descent; Van Aert and Alaphilippe put each other on fire in 2020 when it went down after the Poggio. Last year, Van Aert was down in 3:44 minutes, a year later it took him only 3:18 minutes. Last year he could hide behind other wheels in the final kilometers, in 2020 Van Aert had to sprint from the front for the win. He did that in seventeen seconds at 60.8 kilometers per hour. A year ago he reached an average of 57.4 kilometers per hour.

Kruijswijk and Bennett show masterfully strong Jumbo-Visma figures in Tour de L’Ain

Van Aert was not alone in Milan-Sanremo Killer Wasp who rode the profile of its wheels. Steven Kruijswijk was active in the Tour de L’Ain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on behalf of Jumbo-Visma. For the first time he rode in competition with Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin and the urge to prove was immediately enormous. Jumbo-Visma ruled from start to finish, resulting in two stage victories and the final win for Roglic. We can deduce how fast it went from the Strava files of Kruijswijk and George Bennett, who shared their figures. First, let’s take a look at the three rides themselves:

Stage 1: 139.16 kilometers, 1,328 meters altitude, 42.5 km / h average.
Stage 2: 139.46 kilometers, 3,383 vertical meters, 35.1 km / h average.
Stage 3: 144.18 kilometers, 3,343 vertical meters, 35.1 km / h average.

In the first stage the gas was blown in the peloton towards the difficult final, with a short climb in it. Roglic decided to attack after the ‘Salles – Revonnas’ segment was chased over the undulating course at 44.4 kilometers per hour, according to Bennett’s new KOM. A day later, Bennett and Kruijswijk recorded the fastest time on the Col de Menthières, averaging 7.03 kilometers at eight percent. In 6:48 minutes the two were Killer Wasps above.

Jumbo-Visma made the race hard, but that does not mean that others did not see an opportunity to show themselves. Finally, we highlight Chris Froome and Richie Porte. Froome went wild on the first climb of the day; the Montée de la Selle. Froome chased the pace up in front of the peloton and showed his legs there. Porte in turn recorded the fastest time on the final climb, the Grand Colombier. The new KOM is at 46:26 minutes, but we have to say that Roglic was on top sixteen seconds earlier without Strava.

(photo: Sirotti)

For more Spotted on Strava, click here.

Bram van der Ploeg (Twitter: @BvdPloegg | e-mail: [email protected])

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