PROFESSIONALS | 29/08/2022 | 09:10
by Francesca Monzone
For Wout van Aert there are no secrets with the national team coach Sven Vanthourenhout and he already knows that he will lead the Belgian expedition for the World Cup, which with Evenepoel will have two spearheads. Belgium also wants the rainbow jerseywhich escaped him in 2020 in Italy in Imola last year at home in Leuven, again at the hands of Alaphilippe.
Belgium wants to win and is proving it these days, with the successes of Remco Evenepoel at the Vuelta and the victory of Wout van Aert at the Bretagne Classic. The Flemish won by power, after doing what he wanted in the race: first by controlling his opponents and then by winning an impressive sprint. “This is a victory that encourages me for the races I will face in Canada and then for the World Championship,” said van Aert after yesterday’s victory. Over the distance of 255 km, perfect for testing a Van Aert World Championship, thanks also to an incredible Jumbo-Visma, he made the perfect run, without letting his opponents breathe. The Flemish this season has shown his best skills as a powerful and at the same time imaginative rider, able to get back in shape soon after Covid and the Tour de France, in addition to wearing the yellow jersey, he took home the green one of the points classification.
“It was not the best day for the team – said Van Aert – We had a bit of bad luck last week and we had to replace some guys, adding elements that were not prepared for this race”. But despite this Van Aert was the real juggler of the race, imposing his own pace by making a first selection, to play the final with that explosiveness that belongs only to great champions. “I just tried to stay in control as best I could. In some moments I was forced to solve problems in racing alone and I had to use a lot of energy, luckily I had something left to play for the final, where I was able to make the right choice, the one that really worked ” .
His program of approaching the world championship includes very few races: the Canadian GP in Québec on Friday 9 September, followed three days later by the Montreal GP. Van Aert is very confident and in agreement with the team and the national team manager Sven Vanthourenhout has thought that 4 games (Hamburg, Plouay and the two Canadian trials) are enough to arrive in Australia with the right preparation. «There are still four weeks to go to the World Cup, we still have a lot of time. I’m happy with how my legs are reacting. I have been training hard for the past three weeks and I think the best weeks are yet to come. The most important thing is to maintain this condition and then the rest will come naturally. I feel good and this gives me confidence to face the World Cup ».
Van Aert returned to Liege on a charter flight from Brittany and today landed in Sardinia where he will stay for a week of training. Next week he will fly to Canada via Paris and face the Montreal GP. The Belgian team that will go to Australia will be communicated by Sven Vanthourenhout, only next Tuesday, but the Flemish is calm because he already knows what his role will be for the world championship. Van Aert said he is perfectly in line with the choices of the coach, who will most likely make a two-headed team, with Van Aert and Remco Evenepoel leading the time trial as well. «It is a luxury for me to be in the selection of Belgium for the World Cup in Australia. It goes without saying that, given how Remco is racing, we will have two leaders in the race. It will be a great World Cup, I have no doubts about that ».
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