It isn’t coming residence. Or possibly it’s staying residence. Sure, the report for many stage victories in a Tour de France, seemingly on its strategy to the UK on the again of Mark Cavendish, will keep stretched throughout the English Channel between the properties of Cavendish and the legendary Eddy Merckx.
Eddy Merckx. Wout Van Aert simply saved Eddy Merckx’ report. He won’t ever, ever, ever pay for a beer in Belgium once more.
A couple of different exceptional issues about Wout’s win:
- He gained a mountain stage, an ITT and a dash. This has occurred earlier than, however you need to return to 1979 to the reign of Bernard Hinault, who gained the ultimate dash in Paris whereas within the maillot jaune, which he secured with a mixture of ITT and mountain stage wins. That’s who we’re evaluating Wout to.
- Guys have gained mountain and dash levels, but it surely’s fairly uncommon and to do it in the identical Tour is much more uncommon. Thor Hushovd, most just lately, gained a stage that went over the Col d’Aubisque, and likewise gained his share of pure bunch sprints, however not in the identical Tour. Laurent Jalabert gained some sprints and a few hilly levels, however not true mountain occasions.
- As for sprints on the Champs, Hinault is the one winner of the ultimate stage who additionally gained mountain levels in the identical race. No person else is remotely shut. Solely Greg LeMond gained in Paris and within the mountains, however that was the well-known 1989 ITT, not a dash.
Wout Van Aert is only a one among one. No person else is kind of like him. Not even Mathieu van der Poel, who is larger in some respects however clearly not within the climbs, nowhere shut. Add within the significance to Belgians for saving Eddy’s report and I can’t see how one can argue that anybody else gained this Tour.