Jumbo-Visma’s rider, Wout Van Aert, endured a knee injury on Thursday morning. The incident happened at the training camp of the team in Tignes. As a result, the team has decided to pull their star rider out of the Belgian Championships to avoid any risks. The statement was made public on June 23, where it is clarified that necessary precautions are taken to avoid putting the position of the athlete at risk, prior to the Tour.
Wout Van Aert feels sad for missing out on the Championship:
I think it’s a real shame that I can’t defend my jersey. I would normally never forgo a Belgian championship
But he also knows the risks involved with his injury and is reluctant to test the limits ahead of such a big event:
I also regret missing the time trial because it just didn’t fit the schedule. However, this is the wisest decision because I don’t want to jeopardize the Tour
The 27-year-old Belgian is a part of Jumbo-Visma’s roster for the Tour de France, which was announced earlier. He will be accompanied by Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, who are the team’s leading GC. Primoz has just won the Dauphine, while Vingegaard stood second. Nevertheless, Aert won three stages last year and will be pursuing the green jersey this year.
The Belgian will have to renounce his Belgian road title due to his injury. Moreover, he will also be absent from the Time Trial event on Thursday, in Gavere. The injury happened when Van Aert hit his knee against the handlebar of his bike while training. According to the team, it has led to “minor irritation”, hence the precautions.
Recently, Van Aert had stage wins at Dauphine, which pushed him to pursue the Green Jersey. While some teams have retained their professionals from taking part in different championships, as a precaution to avoid Covid-19, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Tiesj Benoot will be seen racing on Sunday as planned.
Since Wout Van Aert lost his win at Dauphine to celebrating a little too early, it is being speculated that he might be the next “Eternal Second“. Or it may be just bad luck. One can never know.
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Featured Image Via YouTube/ FloBikes