According to Belgian analyst Michel Wuyts, the route and profiles of the race could have been tailormade for the Jumbo-Visma star to mount a first GC challenge. "The course fits him like an Armani jacket. Fine cut, minimally oversized but by no means ridiculous," he analyses to HLN. "Six sprint stages, six hill stages, two time trials. An all-rounder couldn't dream of a more pleasant playground. There are plenty of scoring opportunities."
"Hoping for Tom Pidcock, eh" - Cyclocross race organiser reacts to snubs from Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert
Given van Aert's incredible work for Jumbo-Visma at the Tour de France in recent years, helping to guide Jonas Vingegaard to back-to-back Maillot Jaune triumph's, Wuyts also believes that van Aert is owed the Giro d'Italia by the team.
"Give Wout van Aert the Giro d'Italia. Give him the freedom, the oxygen and the variety that he lacks in the oppressive Tour pattern," Wuyts says. "Give him the lead in Italy. He is entitled to that. The looser atmosphere in the Giro becomes a relief. The adoration of the tifosi will please him, the wavy character of the boot will inspire him. In the country in which he won the Strade and Milan-San Remo, he can harvest without stress."