Wout van Aert May Return to Racing at the Tour of Norway

cycling dwars door vlaanderen
WvA May Return to Racing at the Tour of NorwayDAVID PINTENS - Getty Images

After eight weeks of recovery, Wout van Aert could be back. Visma-Lease a Bike released a statement saying that the 29-year-old Belgian is eager to return to racing and will most likely make his first race appearance at the Tour of Norway from May 23-26.

It would be Van Aert’s first race since the Dwars door Vlaanderen crash, where he broke his collarbone, sternum, and seven ribs. He had planned to race the Spring Classics and the Giro d’Italia, but was forced to forgo those appearances. He has since been recovering from his injuries.

“It hasn’t always been easy sitting on the sidelines, but fortunately, I can now look ahead again,” Van Aert said in his team’s statement.

The Tour of Norway could give Van Aert a chance to get his racing legs back. “I am looking forward to pinning on a race number again. I have been able to train more and more in recent weeks, but it is still different from racing. So, my main goal is to test myself and see how I do in a race. Without any expectations.”

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman said that there are no expectations for Van Aert, just to test out his body and have a safe race. “It’s great to have Wout back in the team after his crash. He starts without any pressure to perform. This is a good moment for him to test himself in competition again. We don’t know yet what the rest of his race schedule will look like. We will see in the coming weeks.”

Van Aert also said, “We are taking things one step at a time. That has proven to be the best way to recover.” He’ll be around familiar faces in Norway, with teammates Bart Lemmen, Koen Bouwman, Tijmen Graat, Menno Huising, and Per Strand Hagenes.

GCN reported that in recent days, Van Aert has been preparing for his return with Jacyo AlUla’s Norwegian rider, Amund Grøndahl Jansen. “The 30-year-old rode with Van Aert on Thursday and captioned his ride on Strava, ‘The Wout is ready for the most important race of the year: The Tour of Norway is coming.’

“Van Aert’s decision had been days in the making, then, and has shown in his training data available on the platform. Over the last week, the Belgian has clocked up more than 500 km in the saddle and spent more than 16 hours on the road.”

Van Aert’s racing schedule beyond the Tour of Norway has yet to be decided. Before the crash, he had planned to race in the Paris Olympic Games and possibly the Tour de France as well, but those decisions have yet to be made.

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