“The initial plan was to develop my best form after the Dauphiné and to be on top from the first week of the Tour. This first week consists of difficult sprint stages and a time trial. It suits me very well. I had made a big blow. goal of the yellow jersey the first week, ”said Van Aert.“I’m afraid it’s more realistic. I will have to be more patient until I get really great this summer. ”
Van Aert has had a week without a motorcycle after surgery three weeks ago and has said he is the weakest rider in the current Jumbo-Visma team camp in the Sierra Nevada. However, skipping the Critérium du Dauphiné should give him time to get back in shape for the Tour de France.
“We have our entire Tour team here in the Sierra Nevada and I’m the least by far here. In principle, I can reach a good level of form thanks to training camps and altitude, but it is not known at what level I will be able Every day, I try to push my limits without forcing them ”, declared Van Aert.
“Because of this operation, I almost had to start from scratch. You can compare it to a winter break.
He should also be careful not to over strain his abdominal muscles.
“During the operation, they had to go through my navel and three places in my abdominal muscles. I don’t have a lot of pain on the bike because the abdominal muscles are not strained too much. It only hurts when I lean back or tighten my abs. If I had to do cyclocross now instead of road racing it would be much more difficult. “
Van Aert’s only race before the Tour was supposed to be the Belgian Championships in mid-June, but now it looks like he will be missing too.
“If I were to participate in the Belgian time trial championship, I would miss five days of the second altitude training camp in Tignes, and I would really need those extra training hours and the altitude stimulus Van Aert said.
“When the high altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada is over in early June, we will do a first assessment. Based on that, we then decide which is the best scenario; either I will not do any more races before the Tour, or only the Belgian road race, or both championships.
“I always hope to be the best during the Tour, but that’s anything but a certainty. If that doesn’t work, I’m sure I’ll be better after the Tour. I am not at all worried about Tokyo. [Olympic Games] and autumn, with the World Championships and Paris-Roubaix. If everything goes according to plan and I can complete my training without delay, there are many actions that I can take. Such a setback is never convenient, but because of what I have experienced in the past, I can handle this period better. “