"He is at an age where there could be a new stimulus" - Sven Vanthourenhout thinks Giro d'Italia would be a good chance for Wout van Aert

Wout van Aert is likely to be heading to the Giro d'Italia in 2024, after racing five consecutive times the Tour de France. With the Olympic Games inspiring a different preparation and many goals achieved, the Belgian is likely to make a change.

"I think that's good. He is at an age where there could be a new stimulus, with a different purpose," Belgian national team coach Sven Vanthourenhout told In de Leiderstrui this week. "That goal remains winning races, in a way that he likes and is used to. But I am positive that this will be taken along a different path." He will likely still aim at the cobbled classics with maximum priority, although it's been reported by Gazzetta dello Sport, it is difficult to imagine that he will be aiming for the overall classification.

"Someone like Wout can handle a lot, he can handle it," Vanthourenhout argues however. "We will see whether the World Championships with a Giro in the legs in 2024 gives a different result. It wasn't quite in 2023, he said himself. It will become clear in 2024 whether this will be changed. With different preparation and different planning, we will see." The Olympic Games will take place two weeks after the end of the Tour de France and van Aert may follow specific preparation towards it, instead of the Tour de France.

"The fact that he chooses the Giro and wants to do something different should be the focus of attention. First try to win a stage and if you succeed, a second. Or winning the pink jersey, those are more important things than riding a [general] classification now. He will want to fill those small gaps that remain in his record. I don't know if a classification fits in with that."

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