The European Championships are ready and will begin this Wednesday when it comes to the elite riders. Wout van Aert is certainly a headliner in the events that are to come, and the Belgian team is positive that he'll have good form despite recent illness.
"I expect Wout to be fit. Wout really stayed off the bike for a day or two. These were not crucial training days, but of course illness is never the ideal scenario. Recovery always takes energy," Belgian coach Sven Vanthourenhout told Het Nieuwsblad. “I know that he was able to do what he had to do in terms of training for both the road race and the time trial. He hasn't had the same intense preparation as for a World Championship but he should certainly be competitive. I don't want to be negative. I rely on the Tour of Britain where Wout was in good shape and also felt mentally fresh.”
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After winning in Britain, where he also took a stage win, van Aert came down with stomach issues. That has hindered his preparation to the Europeans slightly, however Vanthourenhout believes that now after it, the Jumbo-Visma will have the legs he showed in recent racing. “I just explored the run-up to the local lap. We are going to have a nervous, chaotic race, where two leaders are only an added value. We are going to have a very thinned out group, I don't expect a sprint of ten or fifteen men. Hopefully there will be two more of us," he continued, having also the card of Arnaud De Lie to play.
"If Van Aert and De Lie both end up in a promising position, a choice will always be made between one of them, says Vanthourenhout. “Which choice cannot be estimated in advance. I have a clear idea of where the cards are at the moment, but the price can always decide differently. We are going to make good agreements with two honest guys who know that they will often compete in championships together in the future.”