Fabian Cancellara questions Wout van Aert's preparation towards Flanders and Roubaix: "I don’t know if this correct or not"

The Opening Weekend has allowed us to have some conclusions on the form of several contenders for the cobbled monuments. Fabian Cancellara, legend of these races, has also kept a close eye on the competition and has talked about his own view on Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne.

"... Even though some top riders were missing, like Mathieu van der Poel and Mads Pedersen, it was still an interesting two days of racing at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne," Cancellara wrote in a column for Cyclingnews. "But even though they (Visma, ed.) had another very successful weekend, they were not flawless. Visma-Lease A Bike are at the very top of the game when it comes to things like nutrition and training, they are leading the way in those departments."

The Dutch team ultimately dominated both races. At Omloop they swarmed the front group with quality and played with their numbers, eventually all being caught but still succeeding with a late attack from Jan Tratnik. However Cancellara did not see some of the team's tactics playing out ideally for them.

"But tactics-wise and racing-wise, they're not any different to the others," he explains. "At Omloop, they looked in a perfect position with three riders in a break of six and, somehow, they still almost lost the race when it all came back together over the Muur. We all thought the race was over at a certain point, but then it nearly ended up as a bunch sprint." In the end they did take the win, and raced similarly in the following day.

In Kuurne they played similar tactics, and Wout van Aert was able to race with the best after launching a long-distance attack, then taking the win in a sprint. He is now skipping several high-level races, prioritizing training ahead of the main cobbled classics block. "I don’t know if this correct or not, but it’s certainly a different and new preparation," the Swiss rider responds to that.

"One thing I can guess is that he’ll be going very deep in training. One thing I can guess is that he’ll be going very deep in training. I didn’t race Opening Weekend very much in my career, I usually preferred to skip it, like Van der Poel and Pedersen have done this year." All three will be present in the field from the E3 Saxo Classic onward, and spectacle is definitely ensure for the months ahead in the one-day races.

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