Since the last time Wout van Aert won one of cycling’s Monuments, Mathieu van der Poel has won four. An alarming stat for the Belgian and one which will no doubt have lingered at the back of his mind after Van der Poel was the first man across the line in the Roubaix velodrome last April. 

Van Aert won Milan-San Remo in 2020 but has failed to add further Monument victories to his palmarès since. For much of his career, he has been unable to escape comparisons with his long term rival and that shows no signs of abating anytime soon. 

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