What a magnificent day Belgian cycling has experienced.
While Remco Evenepoel lit up like an off-road cyclist In the Vuelta a Burgos, Wout van Aert (25) was gigantic on the white roads of Tuscany. Van Aert has launched an attack 10 kilometers from the finish in Siena and none of his escape partners – talents such as Schachmann, Formolo, Bettiol or Fuglsang – have been able to cut the gap.
So, alone, it’s like Van Aert He has practiced the final ascent to Piazza del Campo to win the classic Strade Bianche, a goal that he had marked between eyebrows: he had been third twice.
How much Van Aert has learned in the past year. He will have checked himself in 2018: he was marking 196 keystrokes on his ascent between the winding streets of Siena when he had to set foot on the ground. He suffered leg cramps, a setback that stumbled him for a few moments, anxious and suffocated, before catching his breath to move on.
This was not the case this time.
Van Aert has shown himself this Saturday as a mature classicist, very capable of interpreting every moment of the test, a scenario that he knows very well.
–After two third places, you have confidence: You know you can win –he has declared to the televisions–. The best defense I could think of was an attack. It has turned into a one on one fight and it has turned out well. He had been in love with this career for two years.
His victory, together with that of Evenepoel in Burgos, tells us that Belgian cycling, the great entertainer of the peloton in the spring, also works in the summer.