Cycling News

Wout van Aert after Norway: ‘The confidence has grown’

Van Aert may do the Tour…is that bad news for Vingegaard?

Two months after his brutal crash in Dwars door Vlaanderen, Van Aert is finally feeling good again. He recently finished the Tour of Norway, his first race since the tough day in Belgium.

“Plus, the confidence has grown,” the Visma-Lease a Bike rider said, after finishing his stint in Scandinavia. And despite Van Aert beginning the Tour of Norway without high expectations of results he came close to a victory twice.

After an over eight-week hiatus, rode the Tour of Norway from May 23 to 26. The incident left him with fractures in his collarbone, sternum, and seven ribs. Consequently, the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne champion had to withdraw from all the Spring Classics and miss out on his debut at the Giro d’Italia. He then underwent an extensive rehabilitation period.

“It hasn’t always been easy sitting on the sidelines, but fortunately, I can now look ahead again”, Van Aert said. “I’m not in the best shape; it’s a test. But I’m looking forward to it.”

Before the race, he said he didn’t expect much and that his form was not quite there yet .“I am looking forward to pinning on a race number again. I have been able to train more and more in recent weeks, but it is still different from racing,” he explained to Het Laatste Nieuws. “So, my main goal is to test myself and see how I do in a race. Without any expectations.”

Before the race, Visma – LAB directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman said the race is a good start for his star rider, but he knows it’s just the beginning of his entry back into the pro peloton.

“It’s great to have Wout back in the team after his crash. He starts without any pressure to perform. This is a good moment for him to test himself in competition again. We don’t know yet what the rest of his race schedule will look like. We will see in the coming weeks,” Zeeman said.

But he definitely delivered, with a fourth on Saturday and a third on Sunday.

“There is still a difference between having the right ambitions and not putting in the effort. I wanted to throw myself into it and am happy that it worked out in the last two days,” he said.

The two results have helped Van Aert regain some confidence and he says he’s excited for his continued comeback.

“A lot of uncertainty has been eliminated. I felt myself getting better and that was what I hoped for. The confidence has grown. The most important thing is that I didn’t have any pain,” He said. “It’s been a positive week and definitely one we…

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