Wout Van Aert will ride his first Tour de France this year, after Jumbo-Visma announced their squad that will travel to France in July.
The Dutch team will arrive in Brussels on July 6 with GC and stage win ambitions. Steven Kruijswijk will target the overall classification, after finishing fifth in last year’s edition, and Dylan Groenewegen will contest the sprint stages, having picked up a total of three Tour de France stage wins across the 2017 and 2018 races.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
Three-time cyclo-cross world champion Wout Van Aert will ride his debut Grand Tour after signing for Jumbo-Visma last year. The Belgian 24-year-old has ridden two spring Classics campaigns, where he has managed top 10 finished in Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, as well as two third places at Strade Bianche and a second place at this year’s E3 BinckBank Classic.
“Wout is ready for this next step,” said Visma’s sport director Merijn Zeeman. “He makes our team stronger. He hasn’t had a lot of race days yet and Wout has prepared himself in an ideal way. After the Tour, he will ride the Prudential Ride London and after that, the preparation for his cyclocross season starts.”
Laurens De Plus, who abandoned the Giro d’Italia 2019, a crucial blow to Primož Roglič’s GC ambitions, will also ride his debut Tour de France, which will be his third Grand Tour having ridden the 2017 Giro as a 21-year-old, as well as last year’s Vuelta a España, where he didn’t finish stage 19.
Two names missing from the line-up are the Primož Roglič, who will skip the race having recently taken the last GC podium spot at the Giro d’Italia 2019, as well as veteran climber Robert Gesink.
The Slovenian finished fourth in last year’s Tour, and went to the this year’s Giro as a favourite following an early season that saw him pick up wins at the Tour de Romandie and Tirreno-Adriatico. Roglič looked likely to pick up his first Grand Tour victory after dominating the two opening time trial, but his form faltered in the mountains in the final week, with Movistar’s Richard Carpaz taking the win, with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) second.