Wout van Aert returned to training with a 50km ride captioned “Still alive” on Wednesday after taking the previous two days off the bike.
His Jumbo-Visma team told Het Laatste Nieuws (opens in new tab) that Van Aert hadn’t felt fit in recent days, temporarily halting his progress in preparation for the Spring Classics.
Van Aert arrived at altitude camp on Friday to join his teammates training on Mount Teide after losing in the sprint to rival Mathieu van der Poel at the Cyclocross World Championships the previous weekend.
Van Aert had gone into the Worlds with more wins (9-6) and a better head-to-head record (6-4) this season against the Dutchman, but he was unable to secure a fourth stint in the rainbow bands.
On Saturday, Van Aert completed 30km on the rollers and 50km up to the volcano, which is a hot spot for training camps amongst World Tour teams.
Van Aert’s Strava profile revealed Sunday’s ride was much longer at 130km, which he completed after a 5.7km run in the morning.
He will remain at altitude camp in Tenerife for another two weeks to rebuild his fitness before making his road debut at a trio of Italian races, starting with Strade Bianche on March 4.
Van der Poel will also start his season on the white roads in Tuscany before the duo face off again at Tirreno-Adriatico from March 6-12 and in Milan-San Remo on March 18.
Both riders have won Strade Bianche before, with Van Aert claiming victory in 2020 and Van der Poel emulating him the following year, but they will have to contend with last year’s winner Tadej Pogačar, who has made a flying start to the 2023 road season in Spain with two emphatic solo victories.
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