Wout van Aert remains the star rider of 2020 as he dominated the Belgian Time Trial Championships to defend his title.
The Jumbo-Visma rider faced competition from the likes of the Hour Record holder Victor Campenaerts and Lotto-Soudal’s Thomas De Gendt, but Van Aert couldn’t be touched on the course around the town of Koksijde.
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Contenders faced a technical 41.6km-long race, taking in four laps of a circuit that left Koksijde and headed for the countryside, before turning back towards an airport runway, before finally finishing in the town.
Van Aert was last off the line as reigning champion and will have been bolstered by his multiple successes in the second half of 2020, including victory in Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and stage one of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
The National TT was Van Aert’s first race against the clock this year, but he looked strong as he negotiated the early part of the course.
Frederik Frison from Lotto-Soudal had topped the leaderboard with a time of 51-27, with only Campenaerts and Van Aert left on the course.
Campanaerts (NTT Pro Cycling) crossed the line almost a minute faster than Frison to move into the provisional lead, but with Van Aert not far behind Campenaerts didn’t have long to enjoy his lead.
Van Aert finished with a time of 50-10, 30 seconds faster than Campenaerts, to secure his second consecutive National TT title and continue his winning streak.
The 25-year-old will spend another year in the Belgian champion’s jersey, having beat Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Yves Lampaert in Middelkerke last year.
Both Lampaert and his team-mate Remco Evenepoel were forced to miss this year’s Nationals due to injury.
Van Aert will now head to the Tour de France on August 29, where he will chase a second Tour stage victory and help support his Jumbo-Visma team-mates in their pursuit of the yellow jersey.
Belgian National Time Trial Championships – Koksijde to Koksijde (41.6km)
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, in 50-10
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Frederik Frison, at 30s
3. Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 1-17