"It is so difficult to be Wout van Aert in Belgium" - Johan Bruyneel shocked with amount of criticism that classics specialist gets

Belgium is a nation of cyclists and it comes as no surprise that a lot of pressure is put on it's best riders' shoulders. It was the case with Remco Evenepoel and is also with Wout van Aert; former big figure of the sport Johan Bruyneel is aware of this and finds it a crazy situation.

Van Aert will race Dwars door Vlaanderen this Wednesday where he will face Mads Pedersen, but it is this Sunday at the Tour of Flanders where he will have his first big goal of the season. In order to take the victory, he will also have to overcome a very strong and in-form Mathieu van der Poel.

"The rivalry has been going on for ten years. But it does seem that Van Aert has the Van der Poel complex. He has been defeated so many times. Mathieu has already won four Monuments, Wout only one," Bruyneel said in The Move podcast.

"I think Van Aert was very strong. He was not as explosive as Van der Poel. But we must not forget that he had just returned from altitude training," Bruyneel added regarding the recent E3 Saxo Classic. However he believes his compatriot suffers from pressure that is not the case with Mathieu van der Poel - which may ultimately bring the Visma rider down.

"It usually takes a week for the benefits to manifest. If Tom Boonen or Rik Van Looy have given an interview, I don't have to read it to know what it says. No one is immune to criticism, including me. It is so difficult to be Wout van Aert in Belgium. Especially if he doesn't win. It's crazy how much criticism he gets," Bruyneel concluded.

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments