World Championships 2021: Wout van Aert says he’s ‘only human’ as he admits he didn’t have legs to follow Julian Alaphilippe

Van Aert praised the tactics of his Belgian team, but said he just couldn’t stay with Alaphilippe

Wout van Aert during the Worlds road race
Wout van Aert during the Worlds road race
(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Wout van Aert said he’s only human as he admitted he didn’t have the legs to follow Julian Alaphilippe at the 2021 World Championships. 

Belgian star Van Aert went into the elite men’s road race with the pressure of an entire nation on his shoulders, as the world champion was decided on the roads of his home region, Flanders. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.