Heistse Pijl organiser admits "Wout's goals in competitions are at a higher level" as he rules out Wout Van Aert's start at his home race

On Wednesday afternoon, the Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl was presented in Herentals. The race built entirely around the cobbled climb Heist-op-den-Berg will take place this Saturday and everyone's been wondering whether Visma | Lease a Bike leader Wout Van Aert would turn up to the race near his home.

"The answer to this is no," organizer Jef Van den Bosch immediately made clear at the presentation. "Although I understand that I have received a lot of questions about this in recent days. Wout's link with Heylen Vastgoed and the fact that the race is held in his familiar environment. I also don't deny that it has been discussed occasionally. But we must honestly dare to say that Wout's goals in competitions are at a higher level than ours."

"We always look at it in a larger context and that importance takes precedence. His participation in the Tour of Norway was mainly to see where he stood. And because Wout really wanted to race. In retrospect we can say that it was not obvious at the beginning of that stage race. But he did come out of it with the necessary confidence. The focus and planning can now be further adjusted in function of his further goals. But as mentioned, Heist-op-den-Berg is not among them."

Van den Bosch, who is also manager of Van Aert, has once again put together a nice startlist, including two sprinters who beat the Belgian star in Norway; Jordi Meeus and Alexander Kristoff. "If you look at the honors list, there are many riders with names on it. Tom Boonen, Dylan Groenewegen, Arnaud De Lie and last year Olav Kooij. Our competition is really ideal for giving young people the opportunity to take the next step in their cycling career."

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