Wout van Aert is very likely going to race the Giro d'Italia next year but the overall classification is likely to be too much of a stretch. The Jumbo-Visma rider has further discussed his view in a recent interview.
“Suppose if I were to go, then I would prefer to go for stages. I don't see limits easily, but I am realistic. Riding a classification cannot really be combined with the other things I want. Maybe it can be done if I sacrifice a lot, but I don't want that," van Aert shared with De Rode Lantaarn. The 'other things' remain the cobbled classics, and van Aert's full focus will be on them throughout the spring.
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Between Paris-Roubaix and the Giro there is less than a month. For once, that is little time to do specific training for a Grand Tour, taking into consideration that van Aert will peak for the cobbled classics and then will require some rest. Combining the two goals with maximum focus is not possible and so he has made his choice already. “For example, I can finish fifth, but if I have to lose weight for that, have to spend a long time on an altitude training course and am bored, then I don't think it's worth it," he argues.
"Now I do a lot of different things that I find cool and where I get satisfaction from being able to combine them. If I have ranking ambitions, it is not to win, that's how realistic I am. Then it is not worth the sacrifices." Ultimately, this seals the rumour that he will be going to the Giro with full focus on the pink jersey. It wouldn't be a big surprise however if he were to test himself, as he will not have the Tour de France ahead that will require him to save himself. If Van Aert starts off the race strong and nets the wins he hopes to achieve, then within a low-pressure lineup he could still see how far he can go.
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However fighting for the win is unrealistic, specially for a rider of his weight, who will at some point struggle in the brutal Italian mountains. He admits that he may have the capacity to fight for a minor spot but it does not motivate him: “I think a lot is possible, but I am also realistic. For myself, my plans have always been feasible. It's about winning or winning together. If I start for a place of honor, that appeals to me less than winning races.”