"This performance says nothing about what is to come" - Wout van Aert optimistic after Belgian Championships

A week before the Tour de France, Wout van Aert showed himself for the first time since his Dwars doors Vlaanderen crash, at the Belgian Cycling Championships. The leader of Visma | Lease a Bike entered the sprint for the victory, but lacked a bit in the end and crossed the line only in fifth.

"I felt that I had to focus on the sprint, but I clearly fell short against the fast men," he responded to WielerFlits. "It wasn't that fantastic actually," Van Aert could still laugh after the finish. "The door was open from the back, but it wasn't as difficult as I thought. I was a little too far in the last kilometer and I had to shoot a cartouche to move up. So yeah... I know I'm a bit of an underdog, and it showed."

"I am satisfied and had good legs. I don't think I am at the top level, but it is reassuring to be one of the best again," said Van Aert. "It is one of the most hotly contested championships, but it remains a Belgian Championship. I expect an even higher level in the Tour de France. This performance also says nothing about what is to come," he assures.

Saturday is already the race in Florence, where the Tour de France starts. What else will Van Aert do before the Grand Départ? "Train a little, rest a little and then fly to Italy," he looks ahead to three weeks of mainly working for his team.

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