Wout van Aert has revealed to Colombian media that his main goal for the upcoming season will be the Giro d’Italia. The Belgian superstar’s debut at La Corsa Rosa has been heavily rumoured throughout the off-season, with this confirmation told to the press during his time at Rigoberto Urán’s El Giro de Rigo gran fondo.
With two time trials, short stages and lots of punchy finishes, the route seems tailor-made for the Belgian, be that to chase the maglia rosa itself or to pursue a number of stage wins.
Van Aert’s appearance at the Giro was first rumoured by La Gazzetta dello Sport, with the Italian publication stating he would lead their GC ambitions. No confirmation has come from the team, with team manager Richard Plugge insisting initial reports were premature.
When asked what his key goal for 2024 was by Colombian site Mundo Ciclístico, Van Aert said: “That is mainly the Giro d’Italia.”
Jumbo-Visma revealed a limited cyclocross calendar for the multi-discipline superstar on Tuesday with a focus on Spring Classics stated as the reason for riding less cross. The Giro may also be playing a part in that decision.
It appears to be an open secret now that Van Aert will start the Giro, with senior directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman also revealing earlier this month that the Jumbo-Visma team will head to Italy with lowered ambitions (than the overall win) and a roster including their best young talent.
Jumbo-Visma made history in 2023 becoming the first men’s team to win all three Grand Tours in a season, with three different riders no less. But, their Giro Champion Primož Roglič has departed for Bora-Hansgrohe, explaining Zeeman’s reservations about targeting the win and highlighting why Van Aert could be backed with full leadership on debut.
One issue which contradicts Van Aert’s reported confirmation is that he yesterday posted on social media alongside sponsor Red Bull, that he would be completing a charity run on May 5 in Breda. This would arrive one day after the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia in Venaria Reale.
Jumbo-Visma’s team presentation on December 22 is where Van Aert’s and all of their riders’ goals for the 2024 season will be revealed and the rumours will be ended.
Van Aert’s conversation with the Colombian site came during his trip to ride Rigoberto Urán’s 155km gran fondo in Cundinamarca. He spoke highly of the Colombian fans during his time there and the Colombian pros who have risen to the top of the…