All photos: Graham Watson
For much of the last cyclocross season, twenty-one year old Wout van Aert has been the man to beat, winning many of the key races, including the World Championship on Sunday 31st January. He also clinched the World Cup race series and the Belgian national championship.
His Vastgoedservice Golden Palace Cycling Team ride Colnago bikes and he was on a Colnago Prestige when he won the World Championship. The World Championship bike was black rather than the rather smart metallic green and white of his team bike shown here.
Van Aert ran Avid cantis with Zipp 303s and Dugast tubs
Colgano’s Prestige frame is quite overbuilt, particularly around the seatstays and the seat tube – top tube junction, where the bike has Colnago’s characteristic curved strut. All the cables run externally along the top tube in traditional cyclocross style.
Van Aert also follows cyclocross tradition with his brakes, having run Avid’s Shorty Ultimate cantilevers for the entire season in contrast to most other top riders who have switched between cantis and discs or used exclusively discs.
The rest of his running gear is from SRAM’s top spec Red mechanical groupset, with a 46/36 chainset and an 11-25 cassette. Van Aert uses Time Atac carbon pedals.
His wheels are Zipp 303 tubulars – although their aero features are not likely to have played much part in his victories. They are shod with Dugast’s hand-made tubs, which are very commonly used by the pros – at Koksijde he was running file treads to handle the sandy conditions.
Finishing kit comes from FSA, including an SL-K carbon seatpost which carries a Prologo Scratch 2 saddle. He uses FSA’s Plasma integrated bar and stem.