Wout van Aert‘s limited cyclocross schedule has been revealed, and it includes only five races during the holiday period in December, though more could yet be added.
The Jumbo-Visma star does not want to gamble on his 2024 road season which includes the Spring Classics, the Giro d’Italia, Paris Olympic Games, and the Road World Championships in Zürich.
According to Het Laatste Nieuws, van Aert will line up for three races where he took the win last season – the two Exact Cross rounds in Mol on December 22, and Loenhout on December 29 and the Superprestige in Diegem on December 28.
His schedule also includes the World Cup of Antwerp on December 23 and the X2O Trofee of Baal on January 1.
As it stands currently, the three-time cyclocross champion will skip four UCI World Cup races, Namur on December 17, Gavere on December 26, Hulst on December 30 and Zonhoven on January 7.
That is a fact that displeases the UCI and World Cup organiser Flanders Classics. Seeing many big names skip World Cups, UCI President David Lappartient brought up the idea of banning cyclocross riders who skip UCI World Cup races from participating in the World Championships.
He first raised this thought when U23 world champion Thibau Nys skipped Sunday’s Dendermonde World Cup after racing the Superprestige race in Niel on the previous day.
Van Aert’s long-time rival, and reigning cyclocross world champion Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) also plans to start his cyclocross season in Mol and will face off against the Belgian in his five confirmed races.
The Dutch world champion will compete in 15 races in total this winter, leading up to the Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor on February 4.
Van Aert’s official cyclocross racing schedule should be released in the next few weeks and may yet include more races. It is not clear if the UCI Cyclocross World Championship in Tabor fit into the plan.
The 29-year Belgian rider is currently in Colombia, as the guest of honor for the Giro del Rigo, a very popular gran fondo organized by Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost). The Colombian superstar plans to retire after the 2024 Olympics in Paris, after 18 seasons as a pro rider.