Wout van Aert's trainer says Tirreno-Adriatico 'was so tough, it was not a build up week' for the Classics

The Belgian star managed sixth place at the Tour of Flanders after being dropped by the leaders and fading back into the chasing group

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert's trainer has said that Tirreno-Adriatico had a negative effect on the rider's Classics season which saw the Belgian manage to win Ghent-Wevelgem but missing out on victory in the rest.

Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) has had a very impressive season up to now, but he hasn't managed to convert all of his performances into wins. His trainer, Marc Lamberts, believes that Tirreno-Adriatico was the reason that Van Aert didn't have the expected form in the Classics.

This isn't to say that he is out of form, he managed a win at Ghent-Wevelgem and two stages at Tirreno plus he was in the top 11 of every other race he appeared in, including a podium at the first Monument of the year, Milan-San Remo.

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Lamberts told Het Nieuwsblad: "Wout was the third-best in the race [Tour of Flanders] and that is suddenly no longer enough. I thought Wout was very good, but he hit his limits.

"It has to stop somewhere. It was a tough race. Moreover, Van der Poel also hit his limit, only 20 kilometres later than Wout.

"Physiology is not an exact science. I still support the trajectory we have outlined. With the data I had after the cyclocross World Championships, I would now do exactly the same again: three weeks of altitude training in February."

The team opted for Van Aert to go to Tirreno-Adriatico instead of Paris-Nice due to the stages generally suiting his attributes. That certainly seemed to be the case as he finished inside the top 10 of all but one of the stages. The race was extremely difficult however, with very hard racing especially on stage five.

Lamberts continued: "Tirreno-Adriatico was so tough, partly due to the weather conditions, that you could not label it as a build-up week. If we had known it was this tough, he might have been better to ride Paris-Nice ."

Lamberts, however, still thought that Van Aert reached his best level of the year so far at the Tour of Flanders, but it just wasn't quite enough on the day.

Van Aert's next races are at Brabantse Pijl before heading to the Ardennes Classics and onto Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de France. He also has the Tour of Britain on his provisional list of races later in the year.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.