‘Cyclocross World Championships gave me peace’ – Wout Van Aert prepares to join Jumbo-Visma

The Belgian is looking ahead to his WorldTour career after he missed out on a fourth world title

Wout Van Aert is looking ahead to the road season after missing out on a fourth world title (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA/ BELGA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Wout Van Aert is preparing for his new road career at WorldTour level after missing out on a fourth cyclocross world title.

The Belgian said his silver medal in Bogense, Denmark on Sunday (February 3) “gave him extra mental peace” after he fell behind Dutch rival Mathieu van der Poel.

Van Aert will join Jumbo-Visma in March for his debut year riding at WorldTour level, ready to start a cobbled Classics campaign.

In his regular column for cycling website Wielerflits, the 24-year-old said: “I was not disappointed about the World Championships. On the contrary, my performance in Bogense gave me extra mental peace.

“After a few difficult months, I feel I am gradually getting back to the way I was, that I have closed that chapter.”

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Van Aert said has undergone heart checks with his new road team, and has picked up equipment ready to make his debut next month.

He will now spend three weeks in Girona with his wife Sarah, before he opens his road season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Van Aert took three consecutive cyclocross world titles before his streak was cut down by van der Poel in Denmark.

Van der Poel and Van Aert looked evenly matched in the opening laps of the slippery course, with the eventual winner drawing out a significant lead that was closed down by his Belgian rival.

But an off-camber section plagued Van Aert, with a slip giving van der Poel the opportunity to power away.

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Van Aert has struggled to find previous form in the CX season, possibly hampered by an ongoing legal battle with his Vérandas Willems-Crelan after he unilaterally terminated his contracted.

He had been due to join Dutch team Jumbo-Visma in 2020, but Van Aert’s debut has been moved forward after the acrimonious split with his old outfit.

Van Aert is due to start at Het Nieuwsblad, before going on to ride a full Classics campaign including the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.