Wout van Aert will make his road season debut at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad , keen to take on the combined might of QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, Tom Pidcock and his other Classics rivals, yet without the pressure to win and to be at his very best for far bigger goals in March and April. The Opening Weekend race is more a test for his reinforced Classics team.
The Jumbo-Visma team leader is hungry for success but is also focused on being at his best from Milan-San Remo on March 19 until Paris-Roubaix on April 17 — a month packed with major classics and major goals.
"My goals are later in the spring, hence the conscious choice to build a really broad base. Hopefully, I’ll have some extra explosiveness after the first races, so that I’m at my best for Milan-San Remo, then I want to extend that form to Paris-Roubaix," Van Aert explained to Wielerflits in a long interview.
"I think the guys who already have two short stage races in their legs will have a little advantage in the opening weekend. The effect of my altitude camp will come a little later and should give us that little bit extra in March-April.
"Omloop is more of a test for us to see how we can race together as a team. Of course, we want to achieve a result. We’ll start Omloop with ambition but absolutely not with a knife to our throat.
"Omloop is also a special race. Last year a large group came together for […]