Wout Van Aert is fit and ready to compete in the Tour de France despite an injury that forced him out of the Belgian nationals.
The Tour de France, which is set to start tomorrow on July 1 in Copenhagen, looked to initially be without Van Aert after he hurt his knee against his bars in training.
However, Jumbo-Visma has confirmed that he has recovered in time.
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When asked about his fitness, Van Aert said to Eurosport: “I feel good again but it was a bit in doubt after the injury. It was bad timing, but luckily I healed right on time to make the start.”
Van Aert missed the nationals and some altitude training sessions, but the belief from the Jumbo-Visma camp is that his training from before will be enough to have him ready for the oldest and most prestigious Grand Tour.
A few days after bashing his knee against the bars, Van Aert had alerted the team that there was still some pain.
Some examinations showed that there was some irritation, so in order to be on the safe side, the 27-year-old stopped training for the week.
He was only allowed to do some light exercises like jogging and swimming before he resumed training.
The Belgian is expected to be right in the mix for the opportunity for the first yellow jersey, alongside Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Mathieu van der Poel, Ineos Grenadiers’ Filippo Ganna and Trek–Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen.
Whether Van Aert’s injury was serious, or even real, is something that Patrick Lefevere, general manager of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, has a hard time believing.
“I’m not going to say it didn’t happen, but if Jumbo-Visma prefers to keep its leaders for the Tour away from the championships, say so clearly,” said Lefevere.
“Or is it a coincidence that Primoz Roglic is not participating in Slovenia either?”
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Stream the Tour de France live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
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