"Confidence has grown” - Wout van Aert buoyed by encouraging showing at Tour of Norway with podium in final sprint

It's a long road back to the front end of a bike race for Wout van Aert since his disastrous, spring-ending crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier this year. Over the last couple of days at the Tour of Norway however, there have been encouraging signs for the Belgian.

"Confidence has grown,” reflects the upbeat Team Visma | Lease a Bike superstar in his post-stage 4 interview, having sprinted to 3rd on the day behind Alexander Kristoff and Jordi Meeus in a frantic finale to the Tour of Norway. "There is still a difference between having the right ambitions and not making any effort. I wanted to throw myself and I'm happy that I succeeded in the last two days.”

After a quiet first couple of stages and even another crash on stage 2, van Aert has been right back in and amongst things over the last couple of days. With Team Visma | Lease a Bike boss Richard Plugge revealing recently that he's keeping a close eye on the progress of both Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard as they recover from injury, the signs for the Belgian are positive ahead of the Tour de France next month.

“A lot of uncertainty has been removed. I felt myself getting better and that was what I hoped for. Confidence has grown. The most important thing is that I had no pain," he concludes with growing optimism. "It has been a positive week and certainly one that we will evaluate to see what lies ahead. But I'm not going to do that in front of the camera.”

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