‘Dear tiger': Why do Wout van Aert’s Strava files all have strange names?

The Visma-Lease a Bike rider has been feeling musical on a training camp

Wout van aert with two strava uploads embedded on the picture
(Image credit: Getty Images / Strava)

'Morning Ride', 'Afternoon Ride', most Strava users are content with the default tags offered by the exercise app. Not Wout van Aert, though, who has been getting creative with the names of his files. 

The Belgian has spent the last week on a training camp in Mallorca, Spain with a few of his Visma-Lease a Bike teammates. Each of his ride uploads has come with a peculiar name. 

Written in his native Dutch, Van Aert’s activities have come with titles such as: “I really feel like I’m in the tropics”, “there’s nothing that can stink as much as your rotten mind”, and “listen officer, it’s too beautiful a day”. 

No, he hasn’t started writing poetry. The cryptic lines are lyrics from Dutch-language songs that he has been enjoying while in Spain. 

Speaking to Belgian radio station Studio Brussel, Van Aert joked that the file-naming had “become a challenge”.  

“I have been giving training files special names for some time now,” he said. 

At a camp with teammates Tiesj Benoot and Julien Vermote, Van Aert explained that the trio started singing a song by Belgian band Fixkes. “That stuck, and I often use something like that for titles on Strava. Then I came up with the idea to title all training sessions in Mallorca with a sentence from a Dutch song,” he said. 

“It got a bit out of hand.” 

Belgian publication Het Nieuwsblad has traced the isolated lyrics back to their songs, and compiled them into ‘Wout van Aert’s playlist’. The nine-time Tour de France stage winner has now posted 10 songs in total, enough for an album of Dutch hits. 

Here at Cycling Weekly, we decided to spin a few of the records to get a glimpse into Van Aert’s music taste. One lyric that stood out to us was “dear tiger, I give you everything”, plucked from Belgian rock band Gorki’s 1992 tune ‘I was once a soldier’. 

The song opens with a 'Fast Car'-esque guitar lick, before the drums and the bass come in. It’s a pleasant melody, far from upbeat, and a world away from the intense, hardstyle dance music that Van Aert’s compatriot Remco Evenepoel enjoys.

The Visma-Lease a Bike rider is set to open his season at the one-day Clásica de Almería on Sunday, bringing an end to his Mallorca training camp. If he wins, expect a poignant, if a little confusing, file name on Strava. 

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