wout van aert

Successful comeback for Wout van Aert in Norway

CyclingMay 27, 20:16
Wout van Aert's return to competitive cycling has been marked by a successful performance at the Tour of Norway. The Belgian rider, representing Visma-Lease a Bike, showcased resilience and determination, finishing third in the final stage of the race. Despite ongoing concerns about his recovery from a severe crash in the spring, Van Aert's performance has buoyed his spirits and those of his team.
Ahead of the Tour of Norway, Van Aert expressed his apprehension due to the lingering effects of his crash, which had resulted in a broken collarbone, sternum, and seven fractured ribs. However, the four-day stage race in Scandinavia exceeded his expectations. "There's a lot of uncertainty gone now. I have felt better every day. It was what I was hoping for. Trust has certainly grown," Van Aert shared with Het Laatste Nieuws.
Notably, Van Aert reported no pain throughout the race, a significant milestone in his recovery. His consistent improvement and ability to compete at a high level were evident as he managed to secure fourth place on Saturday and third place on Sunday. His performance demonstrated not only his physical recovery but also his mental resilience.
Van Aert's journey through the Tour of Norway was not without incident; he crashed on stage 2 but quickly recovered to assist his teammate, Bart Lemmen, securing a strong finish. This teamwork was followed by Van Aert's impressive sprints in the final two stages, underscoring his competitive spirit.
While Van Aert's return did not culminate in a victory, he expressed satisfaction with his progress and performance. The Belgian rider acknowledged a critical error in the final stage but remained positive about his overall experience. "Such a ride as today has given me confidence again," he said.
Visma-Lease a Bike made significant efforts to support Van Aert's recovery, including bringing an extra osteopath to Norway. Despite the successful comeback, both Van Aert and his team are cautious about his participation in the Tour de France. Van Aert declined to speculate on his future races, indicating that further evaluations would determine the next steps.
Visma-Lease a Bike sports director Arthur van Dongen echoed this cautious optimism, suggesting that while the Tour de France is a possibility, no decisions have been made. "I'm not saying that the Tour is not feasible, or that there is a line through the Tour. It's too early to say anything about that already," Van Dongen stated.
The Tour de France begins in Florence, Italy, on June 29 and finishes in Nice on July 21. With the men's individual time trial at the Paris Olympic Games looming as Van Aert's primary goal for the season, the coming weeks will be crucial in determining his race schedule.
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