After nearly 5 hours of time trial at Saint-Émilion, Wout van Aert arrived at his hotel in Poitiers. “In these COVID times we have to do all the bus rides. It took a long time before I finished all the commitments. We never sat down at the table before 9pm on the tour.”
Tonight will be another hectic evening for Van Aert, because just before midnight, he takes the flight to Tokyo. With great confidence in the Olympic time trial after his impressive performance in the last try of the tour.
“Of course that was the result I was hoping to achieve. It gives a lot of confidence to work towards the Olympic time experience. The conditions will be more difficult in Tokyo. It was hot today, but it is also very humid in Tokyo. It is also a much tougher time experience.” On the one hand, it is difficult to compare, but on the other hand, this was of course a wonderful rehearsal.”
Filippo Gana will be Van Aert’s main rival at the time of the trial in Tokyo. The Italian is not riding the Tour, but oddly enough, he hasn’t made it to Tokyo yet. Well in Sardinia for Settimana Ciclistica Italiana.
“Honestly, I think he’s a great pick. But he’s always there on the big dates, so he’s definitely going to be one of the biggest contenders. I don’t think Ganna does a road race, maybe that’s why he doesn’t have to get there so early.
The experience of the time in Tokyo will be one with more altimeters than the one on the tour. Rinat Schut wondered who has the advantage there: Van Aert, Evenbühl or Paradise?
“I think Remco Evenepoel, his profile is more in line with such a challenging track. I think it’s in the interest of very good rating riders with a good experience. Then I also think of Roglic. But it remains a test period and there will also be a lot of fast pieces. Of course I am I’m not giving up, but I think they have an advantage.”
Despite the risks, Van Aert still wants to get involved in the Champs Elysees race today. “Professional cycling is risky by definition. It can always go wrong, but on the Champs Elysees there are a few guys who mix. The ratings riders only roll and that makes it a little safer than other sprints.”
“The chance is not great that I will win, I will feel the effort after the time trial. The contenders have been focused on that last stage for much longer. Moreover, it is very difficult to beat Cavendish in this round. It will be a challenge to get the right place in the sprint.”