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