"Who are we to say that he should not do that?" - Jeroen Vanbelleghem supports Wout van Aert's rumoured choice to challenge for Giro d'Italia classification

Rumours are that for the first time in his career, Wout van Aert is set to ride the Giro d'Italia in 2024 and may even have the backing of the Jumbo-Visma team to mount a general classification challenge.

This has understandably created much discussion in the cycling world. For Eurosport analyst Jeroen Vanbelleghem, the choice to challenge for a potential Grand Tour victory makes perfect sense for van Aert. "Of course, an analysis is being made of what went wrong with Van Aert this year, who did not win any major races," he says to Eurosport.nl. "Mathieu van der Poel has the winning focus at the crucial moments and the over-my-body mentality that Van Aert has less."

This supposed lack of a killer instinct however, wouldn't rule van Aert out of Maglia Rose contention believes Vanbelleghem. "He makes his own choices. Now there is criticism again because he might ride the Giro for a classification. If he wants to discover new things himself in order to satisfy his hunger for racing, who are we to say that he should not do that because he is much more important in the classics?"

"He wants to discover new things himself and challenge him to the limit," he adds. "Van Aert said that he should change his racing behaviour to make racing easier. to win, by not riding with Van der Poel or Tadej Pogacar. However, he better remain himself, because I don't think that is the reason. He could also win Paris-Roubaix if he had not had a puncture. In Flanders, I think Van der Poel and Pogacar are a little stronger, which Van Aert also does. So I don't think it is due to the racing behaviour."

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