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Wout Van Aert will be clipping into the pedals in Copenhagen on Friday.
Jumbo-Visma officials confirmed to VeloNews on Tuesday that Van Aert is fit and ready to race the Tour de France after a knocked knee forced him out of the Belgian nationals last weekend.
“It looks like the expectations were right: some rest healed the injury and now he’s good to go,” Jumbo-Visma staff told VeloNews.
“He missed the nationals, which was a blow for him, and some training sessions on altitude, but we believe and hope that he is anyway ready to be in the mix for the first Tour de France jerseys.”
- Van Aert skips Belgian nationals after knee knock
- Lefevere rails at Jumbo-Visma Tour riders for skipping road nationals
Van Aert bashed his knee against his bars in training last week. The Belgian baller sat out his road race title defense as a precaution ahead of his big push at the Tour’s green jersey in the coming month.
A couple days on the couch put Van Aert right for the Tour’s rollout Friday and the all-anticipation opening time trial through Copenhagen.
The 27-year-old is expected to be in the mix with riders like Mathieu van der Poel, Filippo Ganna and home hero Mads Pedersen in the quest for the first yellow jersey.
“After a few days the knee was still hurting, so we decided to stop training and do some examinations. They showed some irritation, so Wout had to stop training for a week since the incident. He was allowed to do jogging and swimming only,” the team said Tuesday. “Last weekend he did some excercises, which felt OK. Yesterday he has been able to do normal training.”
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl boss Patrick Lefevere questioned the legitimacy of Van Aert’s injury this weekend.
“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,” Lefevere wrote. “Or is it a coincidence that Primož Roglič is not participating in Slovenia either?”
A lashing from Lefevere will be last thing on Van Aert’s mind when he rolls down the ramp in the hunt for a couple new jerseys for his wardrobe Friday.