Greg van Avermaet absoutely refuses idea that Wout van Aert would be better in a different team: "Every move is a downgrade for Van Aert"

Over the past years and even recently - despite Van Aert and Visma's success - many voices, within the Belgian and even international community, argue that Wout van Aert has a better chance of winning a big classic outside of Team Visma | Lease a Bike. Greg van Avermaet, former dominator of the cobbles, is completely against this notion.

Van Avermaet's arguments are convincing in his opinion: “But tell me which team he should go to? Will Van Aert earn more elsewhere? And I don't see any other team, not even INEOS Grenadiers, capable of offering what Visma offers. And his sporting position. In all races that matter to Van Aert, he is accepted as a leader and he is very well surrounded. Sorry, but every move is a downgrade for Van Aert. Why change then?”

Visma is one of the highest budget teams in the peloton, but performance wise it is hard to foresee the Belgian performing better elsewhere. Some arguments fall on the idea that he could win more in the cobbled monuments if he had a team specifically working for him as is the case with Mathieu van der Poel; but in these races team depth is crucial. Not only does van Aert have several high-level classics in his palmarès, but he has also helped teammates to their own wins in these events.

After finishing third at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad where he was a key piece of the team's stride for victory; and then winning himself Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne much due to Visma's number dominance of the race, van Avermaet believes that it very much would be a downgrade for the Belgian to look for leadership - which he already has - elsewhere. He was also quite interested in new signing Matteo Jorgenson who put on two very strong performances: “I don't necessarily see him as Van Aert's new right-hand man in the classics. He achieved some nice results in the spring last year, but as a classic rider he remains a question mark for me,” van Avermaet said of the American.

“I mainly remember him from his victory in the Tour of Oman. I was there myself, it was quite uphill, while Jorgenson is quite a big person. If you can achieve this, it means that you are pushing away enormous wattages. Keep an eye on it for the smaller stage races, even for Paris-Nice.” The former Olympic champion also commented on the signing of Mikel Landa to Soudal - Quick-Step - one that worked quite well in the Volta ao Algarve.

“With all due respect to Ilan Van Wilder, but he does not yet have the same maturity. Evenepoel will be able to use Landa well," he said of the Belgian team. "Moscon is a bigger question mark. It will not be due to his intrinsic qualities. If he can reach the level of Paris-Roubaix 2021 again, he is the best transfer you can imagine.”

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