Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglic, Rohan Dennis, Jonas Vingegaard and Tom Dumoulin (retired in the meantime): the Jumbo-Visma banners were absent at this World Time Trial Championship and yet the Dutch team has secured its first rainbow jersey in team history with Tobias Foss.
Foss knocked out the super favorites, but not all tenors were at the appointment. With the Belgian glasses we mainly think of Wout van Aert.
Will there have been mixed feelings with the Belgian leader on Sunday evening (Australian time)?
“Yes and no”, judges Renaat Schotte, one of our reporters in Wollongong. “He will have been very happy for his teammate, but maybe he also thought: if only I had started, then the title might be up for grabs.”
“Although of course there is that saying: the absent are always wrong. We will never know and Tobias Foss is the deserved winner anyway.”
“He has done a specific preparation for this World Cup and maybe that is the big secret to winning this World Cup.”
“Everyone knows him, but nobody expected this. He probably didn’t either. And Wout van Aert simply made this choice.”
Of course Filippo Ganna was the loser of the day after his portion spanking, but can Wout van Aert also be put in that category? No, our reporter says without hesitation.
“A loser, that’s too strong a word. If you don’t participate, you can’t win. And we don’t know if he could have won at all.”
“Don’t worry: in a week there will be little talk about this time trial. And if Wout van Aert wins the road race, everyone will call him the world champion of the big right.”
So the feeling of a wrong guess by not participating is not correct? “No, you should also just stand behind your choice and stand by.”
“Even if he had started, there was no guarantee that he would have been better than this amazing Foss. The Norwegian was grossly underestimated or forgotten.”
“But he doesn’t come out of nowhere. He already finished 9th in the Giro and is probably the biggest surprise since a Vasil Kirijenka or Bert Grabsch, but that’s part of it.”
“Wout van Aert prefers the road race and he will certainly not regret it. On the contrary: he will be genuinely happy for his teammate.”