"Wout came out of Norway with a good feeling" - Visma DS upbeat on Van Aert's current level

Team Visma | Lease a Bike have been ravaged with bad luck and injuries so far in 2024. With the Tour de France looming, how the team will look remains unknown. One of those battling hard to fit for the start, is Wout van Aert.

The Belgian superstar is currently training hard alongside fellow crash-victim Jonas Vingegaard at altitude in Tignes. According to Team Visma | Lease a Bike sports director Arthur Van Dongen however, the signs are generally positive at the moment. "Wout came out of Norway with a good feeling," Van Dongen tells In de Leiderstrui, referring to van Aert's recent appearance at the Tour of Norway.

"He was able to race well there for four days, has improved and is now training well," Van Dongen continues, optimistic about van Aert's plans for the rest of, what is likely to be, a very big summer. "The Belgian Championship will then be a good indicator, with a nice, difficult course, as I heard. So it will be nice if we can see how he is doing there."

As mentioned, currently van Aert is at altitude in Tignes alongside Jonas Vingegaard and Christophe Laporte. "The signals I get are that things are going well. But also that they are still far from where they need to be. That could still come, we still have a few weeks," assesses the Team Visma | Lease a Bike sports director. "These are good signals in themselves, but the preparation is in any case different from the usual preparation. In any case, there remain question marks about the Tour de France in every possible way, that's just the way it is."

It's not just the aforementioned trio that see their Tour de France in doubt either with the likes of Dylan van Baarle and Steven Kruisjwijk recently crashing out of the Criterium du Dauphine. "We first have to see who we can send to the Tour," Van Dongen admits. "In what form or capacity or for what purposes, that is for later. Phase by phase. After Dauphiné and Switzerland we take stock with the boys who rode there and the boys in Tignes are also ten to twelve days further."

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