Wout van Aert

This is the page about Wout van Aert. The Belgian rider, who competes for a Dutch team, is both a cyclo-cross and road cyclist and has been riding for Team Jumbo-Visma since 2019. IDLProCycling.com keeps a close eye on all news related to Pogacar, along with maintaining a biography of his career.

Wout van Aert

Van Aert as a world star in Cyclo-Cross

Wout van Aert was born on September 15, 1994, in Herentals, Belgium. In his early career, he achieved his greatest success in cyclo-cross, where he has been competing at the professional level since 2014. In his first full season among the elite, he was already one of the top contenders. In early 2015, he finished second at the World Championship and third in the Belgian cyclo-cross championship. The following season, 2015/16, he won his first World Championship and the Belgian cyclo-cross championship, also topping the UCI Ranking.

In the subsequent years, Van Aert continued in the same vein, stringing together world titles, Belgian titles and general classifications, though he never clinched the European Championship. In total, he won the World Championship three times, took silver twice at both the World and European Championships, and finished third once at the European Championship.

Van Aert makes his mark on the road

Parallel to his cyclo-cross career, Van Aert also made significant strides on the road. Gradually climbing the ranks in the peloton, his cyclo-cross skills made him a consistent outsider in the spring classics. He also has a strong time-trialing ability, which led Jumbo-Visma to sign him for the 2019 season. That year, he made a definitive breakthrough on the world stage with two stage victories in the Critérium du Dauphiné, a third place in Strade Bianche and a second place in E3 Harelbeke.

In 2019, Van Aert, buoyed by his strong spring performances, participated in the Tour de France for the first time, impressing by winning the very windy tenth stage. He was attentive and made it into the lead group, securing the win with his powerful sprint. However, his Tour ended in disappointment due to a crash in the final time trial. He caught his leg on a fence, resulting in significant leg injuries, ending both his Tour and his 2019 season.

Wout van Aert

Van Aert is in peak form upon his return after the COVID break 

Van Aert underwent months of recovery, with concerns at one point about the future of his career. Thanks to the prompt action of Belgian doctors and his own remarkable perseverance, he eventually made a full recovery. While he didn't compete on the road for the rest of 2019, he returned to cyclo-cross in December. Van Aert quickly regained his competitive form and celebrated his comeback in early 2020 with a victory in Lille. Van Aert had definitely returned, that much was clear. Following a successful return to cyclo-cross, where he impressively finished fourth at the World Championships, Van Aert shifted his focus back to road racing, marking his comeback with an eleventh place in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Eager for more, he, like the rest of the cycling world, had to contend with the coronavirus pandemic from March onwards.

Racing was on hiatus for months, resuming only when a new cycling calendar was announced in June. Van Aert returned in peak condition, winning Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, and two stages in the Tour de France. He became the Belgian national time trial champion, secured silver at the World Time Trial Championships, helped Roglic to silver in the Tour, and was a strong presence in the Flemish autumn races. However, in the Tour of Flanders, he was bested by a stronger Mathieu van der Poel. Continuing in cyclo-cross over winter, Van Aert returned to the Flemish spring races in 2021 after a high-altitude training camp. It was a period of highs and lows. A silver medal at the World Cyclo-Cross Championships was somewhat disappointing, but he won Gent-Wevelgem and two stages in the Tirreno. In the Tour of Flanders, he fell short, only to bounce back and win the Amstel Gold Race and the Belgian National Championship on the road.

Wout van Aert

In the Tour de France, Van Aert started with a slight setback due to gastrointestinal issues, but he more than compensated for it later in the race: the Belgian won both a stage featuring a double ascent of Mont Ventoux and the final two stages, a time trial and the iconic Champs-Elysées sprint. This remarkable feat boosted his confidence for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo and the World Championships in his home country.

Van Aert falls just short at Olympic Games and World Championships 

In Japan, Van Aert finished second in the road race. In the time trial, won by teammate Primoz Roglic, Van Aert didn't fare as well, finishing sixth. At the World Championships in Belgium, all eyes were again on the national team's leader, who started with a second-place finish behind Filippo Ganna in the time trial. In the road race, Belgium controlled the race throughout the day, but Van Aert fell short in the finale, managing only an eleventh-place finish. A similar outcome followed a week later in Paris-Roubaix, where he also finished eleventh.

With the 2022 classics in mind, Van Aert skipped the Cyclo-Cross World Championships in North America. He hit the ground running in his first race, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, claiming victory for Team Jumbo-Visma. In Milan-Sanremo, following a strong performance in Paris-Nice, he narrowly missed out, but then went on to win the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. Drama unfolded just before the Tour of Flanders when Van Aert tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss the event. He returned two weeks later for Paris-Roubaix, where he finished second. He also secured a second-place finish in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Subsequently, the Belgian rider, adorned with the green jersey from the Critérium du Dauphiné, headed to the Tour de France, where he made a significant impact in the first week. After three second-place finishes, Van Aert clinched victory on the fourth day and went on to win the eighth and twentieth stages and took home the green jersey. What made his performance even more remarkable was his key role in supporting Jonas Vingegaard, particularly by staying competitive in the mountain stages. This earned him praise from around the world.

In autumn, the Jumbo-Visma rider focused on the World Championships in Australia, where he watched his compatriot Remco Evenepoel secure the gold medal and he finished fourth himself. He also won the Bretagne Classic and came second in the BEMER Cyclassics Hamburg and the GP Montréal. Meanwhile, his contract with Jumbo-Visma was extended through 2026.

Wout van Aert

2023: A "lesser" year for Van Aert 

Van Aert started his season with cyclo-cross as usual, crossing the finish line first in nine races in total. He skipped the European Championship at the end of 2022 and also did not participate in the Belgian National Championships. However, he did compete in the World Championships, where he once again battled against Van der Poel. This time, it was the Dutchman who took the win, preventing Van Aert from capturing his fourth world title.

Although Van Aert had a very solid 2023 road season, it wasn't quite what he had hoped for. He often finished second and achieved 'only' six victories. His first win of the year came at the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, where he out-sprinted Pogacar and Van der Poel. It appeared that Van Aert might replicate this success in other classics. He finished in the top-4 in Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Roubaix, and the Tour of Flanders but couldn't clinch a win in any of these races. His next victory came at the Belgian National Championships, where he won the time trial. However, he couldn't compete for the win in the road race, finishing 47th.

In the Tour de France, the Belgian also failed to secure a win. He finished in the top-3 in four stages but couldn't claim a victory. During the Tour, he primarily rode in support of his team leader Jonas Vingegaard. The team managed to secure the top spot on the podium in Paris with the Dane, but by then, Van Aert had already left. He exited the Tour after the seventeenth stage to attend the birth of his second son. After the Tour de France, Van Aert's first race was in Glasgow, where he finished second in the road race behind his eternal rival Van der Poel. In the time trial, he couldn't compete at the top level, finishing fifth.

In autumn, Van Aert participated in the Tour of Britain. Jumbo-Visma dominated the event, and Van Aert ultimately won the general classification. Following his stage victory on the fifth day, he maintained his lead in the general classification. After this win, Van Aert prepared for his final races of the season. At the European Championships in Drenthe, he narrowly missed out on victory again, finishing second in the road race and winning bronze in the time trial. The Belgian's last races of the season were in Italy, where he claimed his sixth victory of the year in the Coppa Bernocchi. He concluded his season at the World Gravel Championships, finishing eighth after several mishaps, remarkably achieving the highest speed of all riders in the field.

Wout van Aert News

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