Wout van Aert rules himself out of fight for Tour of Norway stage wins: "I'm going to hang on as long as possible"

For the first time since his nasty, spring-ending crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen, Team Visma | Lease a Bike superstar Wout van Aert will be back in action at the 2024 Tour of Norway this afternoon. Playing down expectations however, the Belgian insists he isn't there to compete for wins.

"I feel good, I am happy and happy to be back," the 29-year-old Belgian says ahead of stage 1 in a pre-stage interview with Sporza. "My expectations are low, unfortunately. I couldn't train properly for a long time, so it's another step in my rehabilitation. I scouted the finish yesterday. It's a pity I don't have the best legs. It won't be possible to go for results."

Just because van Aert won't be competing at the front, doesn't mean he doesn't have an important role to play for Team Visma | Lease a Bike at the 2024 Tour of Norway however, with the Belgian keen to give back to his teammates and give all he can in service of the others. "Today is a first good test to see where I stand," he explains. "So I'm going to throw myself around and hang on as long as possible to possibly help someone in the team."

The rest of the Team Visma | Lease a Bike lineup at the race includes general classification hopefuls, Per Strand Hagenes and Koen Bouwman, plus the Dutch trio of Bart Lemmen, Tijmen Graat and Menno Huising, giving the men in yellow-and-black plenty of opportunities for success in the coming days.

In a strong field that also includes notable riders such as Thibau Nys, Jordi Meeus, Alexander Kristoff, Ethan Hayter, Elia Viviani, Sasha Weemaes and Magnus Cort Nielsen however, there are a number of renowned riders looking to deny Team Visma | Lease a Bike any success at all.

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