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Wout van Aert on the classic gist: “With this team, we instill fear in competition”

Wout van Aert on the classic gist: “With this team, we instill fear in competition”

Monday March 7, 2022 at 07:00


The 2021 season was a great year for Wout van Aert. But he wants to do better. This spring, the Kempenaar Hotel’s goal was to win at least one monument. To achieve this goal, the classic Jumbo-Visma essence has been enhanced with Tiesj Benoot, Christophe Laporte and Tosh Van Der Sande. “If everyone was at their level, the difference from last year would be huge,” says Van Aert, 27, forcefully.

Van Aert’s 2021 roster isn’t just part of our collective memory. The multi-skilled racer won the Gent-Wevelgem and Amstel Gold Race in the spring, added a Belgian title, three Tour stages and a silver medal at the Olympic road race in Tokyo in the summer and took home the silver at the World Time Trial Championships in the fall.

You don’t hear the leader of Jumbo Visma complain. However: something is wrong. That fish too big, a lost world monument or title. For now, he’s living on the road in that regard in his victory at Milan-San Remo in 2020. This year, Van Aert wants to take that second monument at all costs, as he trusts us during his training camp in Alicante.

The Belgian champion himself leaves nothing to chance, but the same can be said about his team. For the first time, Jumbo-Visma’s classic spring is highly prized as the big circular action, so to speak. In recent years, a world team has been sent to the Tour de France time and time again. All resources and the Euros were used in pursuit of a stage and final victory in the most important stage race of the year.

“The discrepancy with the way the classics were treated was too great,” Van Aert reports. Partly related to budget, but also the result of prioritization. Under the impulse and at the request of the captain himself, who has developed to the highest level in recent years, the spring work within the Dutch WorldTour team is getting a major promotion.

“I’ve already raised this item with athletic director Meryn Zeman for some time,” says the vice Olympic champion. “The way the team handled the classic spring was not quite on par with its approach to the Tour de France. It is great to see that the work is now being done.”

Van Aert refers not only to reinforcements, but also to enhanced preparation. For example, Spring Core already explored the Belgian Classics courses in December, team management planned meetings fairly early on to talk about tactics, team atmosphere worked hard and much of Spring Core went on a three-week alpine course in Tenerife in February .

You can read the full story about Wout van Aert’s assistants in RIDE magazine’s new season guide. at 180 pages Looking forward to the new cycling season, with lots of interest for all the bike teams, spring classics, the latest materials and the most beautiful cycling adventures. The 2022 RIDE season guide is now out In the shops for sale and To order online