Wout van Aert yet again finished second at the stage four of Criterium du Dauphine in La Bâtie d’Urfé. It looks like Aer is becoming fond of second place on the podium. In fact, he has become so used to finishing behind the Jumbo-Visma’s rider Filippo Ganna that he feels perfectly fine with it.
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Wednesday was an ideal chance for the ridder to make up for his loss, which he faced in Chastreix-Sancy on Tuesday, but he was no match for Ganna, who won owing to his tactful strategy of saving the best effort for last. Aert even took pride in being beaten by the World Champion and commented on the day’s event:
It’s a time trial, and it’s always honest, only two seconds, it’s not a lot but still, it’s a difference. I got beat by the world champion – I like to win, but I have to accept it, and I’m happy with my performance.
Lafay started four minutes ahead of Van Aert, but Aert managed to catch up to him. Although the Belgian had a good start, he was fast, but Ganna was a lot faster. Aert acknowledged the fact and said:
I think I did a really good start, [I was] really on the limit in the corners in the start – maybe that’s why I had an advantage on Filippo in the first split. Then in the second part I thought I did a good pace, but apparently he was a lot faster.
The 27-year-old still has a chance to land the first spot on the podium in the upcoming race. Although the final stages may be hard for him, but he already has 53 seconds in second place on Mattia Cattaneo. It all comes down to his form.
Aert thinks he is in shape and good form, as he was beaten by the world champion by just 2 seconds. He is pleased about falling behind Ganna because it speaks about his good form. With hope in his eyes, Van Aert said:
In the end, I just came up short, it was quite an honest TT and I lost it. He’s the best time triallist in the world, if he’s only two seconds ahead of you on quite a long TT it says something about your shape. I’m really pleased with how it’s going, it’s been a really good Dauphine for me
Even if he ended up second, he still has the yellow jersey to his solace:
I have this nice jersey and will try to enjoy it the next couple of days
During his career, Van Aert has finished 23 times in second place, as opposed to Van der Poel who finished second just 11 times. It looks like Van Aert is giving a run to Raymond Poulidor for his title of the “eternal second”.
Is it Van Aert’s ultimate goal to become the second runner-up, or is it all just by chance? We will soon find out.
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Featured Image Via YouTube/ Dirk B Cycling