Wout van Aert takes Strava KoM from Chris Froome

The Belgian road and cyclocross star topped the leaderboard on a 12km climb

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We can expect big things from Wout van Aert this year, particularly after seeing some of his Strava performances.

The Belgian star has been out on Tenerife with his Jumbo-Visma team-mates, preparing for his road racing return this weekend.

Van Aert looks like he’s flying, after he claimed two Strava King of the Mountains (KoMs) from seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome (Team Ineos).

While one of the climbs may not be Alpe d’Huez, it’s still a fairly emphatic statement as Van Aert targets the spring Classics.

The first segment is the TF463 top to Teide turn on TF82, a 3.86km-long fourth a category climb at an average of four per cent.

On Tuesday (February 25), Van Aert smashed his way through the segment in 7-51, at an average speed of 29.5km/h, beating Froome’s time of 7-55 and average of 29.3km/h.

Froome set the time in May last year when he was training in preparation for the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France. 

Even more impressively, Van Aert took the KoM on the 11.99km-long Playa San Juan - Bar Parada ascent, a first category climb with an average gradient of five per cent.

Van Aert crested the climb in 28-47, more than 40 seconds faster than Froome's time of 29-28.

Neither rider has uploaded power or heart rate data with their efforts, but Van Aert seems fairly pleased with the title.

The 25-year-old said on Twitter: “Hey Chris Froome, please don’t tell me you were just doing a little coffee ride?”

Van Aert’s team-mate Steven Kruijswijk jumped in to the conversation, saying: “Just tell Chris Froome you did it on your CX bike.”

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Both Froome and Van Aert are making their return from serious injury this month, as the Brit returned to the peloton at the UAE Tour and Van Aert will race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this weekend.

Froome’s 2019 season was derailed by an awful crash during a recon of the time trial stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné which left him with multiple serious injuries, including a broken femur.

Van Aert’s crash was also on the TT bike, as he fell in the final kilometres of the Tour de France time trial in Pau, suffering a deep wound to his leg that took him out of competition for the rest of the road season.

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