Could Wout van Aert win a Grand Tour? ‘It’s a point of no return,’ says Jumbo-Visma star 

After his remarkable performance at the Tour de France 2020, the Belgian says he has other goals to achieve  

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Wout van Aert’s performances at the Tour de France 2020 have been truly staggering. 

The Belgian beaten the best sprinters in the world two win two stages, while decimating the general classification contenders in the mountains in support of his team.  

On the Grand Colombier on stage 15, it was Van Aert who dropped Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic),  Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) while setting a blistering pace for Jumbo-Visma and race leader Primož Roglič. 

These performances over the last two weeks have resulted in speculation about whether Van Aert could train to become a Grand Tour contender. 

But the 26-year-old has poured cold water on the suggestion, saying he doesn’t want to lose his speed by shedding wait and training for the mountains. 

He told Het Laatste Nieuws (opens in new tab): “To win a Grand Tour you have to perform at the highest level for three weeks, an even higher level than how I perform now. I may now let go at some point in the ride. And the moment I let go, I am completely devastated. If I go for the overall victory, I really have to compete until the last. ” 

Van Aert has been a revelation since joining the WorldTour with Jumbo-Visma in 2019, winning three Tour de France stages, his first Monument Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche. 

But Van Aert says he still has ambitions in the one-day races, which wouldn’t fit with training to become a Grand Tour rider. 

>>> Egan Bernal abandons the Tour de France 2020

He said: “I also have other ambitions that I want to pursue.

“If I retrain to become a Grand Tour rider, it’s a point of no return . My body will change, I will lose kilos, then I will lose all my qualities to win Classics and to win bunch sprints. 

“I do not want that. That is too much for me.”  

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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.