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Wout van Aert mikt meteen op de gele trui in de eerste rit van de Tour de France: “Het wordt survival of the fittest dit weekend”

Wout van Aert immediately aims for the yellow jersey in the first stage of the…

Wout van Aert.
Photo: BELGA

With a freshly shaved haircut, Wout van Aert spoke to the press in Brest on Thursday morning. Before moving to today’s standings – the round – he first returned to the last Belgian championship. “I wasn’t expecting to wear the jersey this year, but I’m in better shape than I expected. I hope to keep doing it.”

Van Aert won the Waregem after a sprint against Edward Theuns. In the round, opponents of a different caliber will soon be waiting. “I rode one of the best sprints of the season in terms of power and values ​​on Sunday. When I started the sprint the sprint was low, so you can’t compare that to a sprint on the Tour, but my start and acceleration were good. I am sure I will also be able to compete with International level opponents in the coming days. At the moment, my enemy level is the best under the current circumstances.”

The first sprint won’t take place until Monday. On the opening weekend, two hill runs await in the Breton hinterland, which can be compared to the Ardennes. “I’ve only seen the two stage track online. Excavation Thursday and Friday. It will be a full day of driving on narrow, winding roads and steep slopes. It will also be a stressful weekend for the rating riders. Survival of the fittest. The timing of the sprints or the effort would be very important. Normally such a course would suit me, but it wouldn’t be easy, because the Tour peloton is always high.”

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Wout van Aert immediately aims for the yellow jersey in the first stage of the Tour de France:
Photo: Photo by Mark Van Heck

If Van Aert shares the stage victories in the opening weekend, the yellow jersey will come in handy for the first time. “Of course yellow is in my head, but I don’t see it as a goal in itself. It is every rider’s dream to wear yellow. My teammate Mike Teunissen has already told me a little bit about how he feels.”

The question is whether Van Aert will be able to drive himself in the opening weekend or should he help his teammate Roglic not to waste time. “I am here to win a stage in the first week, but it is also clear that the team is here with one big goal and that is the Primus arrangement. In recent years, we have already proven that both goals can be united.”