Wout van Aert posts update after season disruption

The cyclocross and road star says recent weeks ‘took a lot of mental energy’

Wout van Aert crashed out of the Tour de France on the stage 13 time trial (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Wout van Aert has offered an insight into his plans after his schedule was derailed by cancellations.

The cyclocross superstar was looking forward to his much-anticipated return to road racing after his gruesome injury at last year’s Tour de France.

But after starting his season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Van Aert and the rest of the pro peloton suddenly found themselves without a race to prepare for after coronavirus resulted in all events being suspended.

In an Instagram post shared on Thursday (March 19), Jumbo-Visma rider Van Aert said: “Although cycling was not at all what was on my mind in the last week, I would like to give you an update on the current situation as an athlete.

“Since the UCI decided to cancel all races up to and including April, I decided to take a little break from training. I am way more relaxed now because we can make at least some kind of plan.”

The 25-year-old added: “I feel like the uncertainty of the past weeks and the continuous risk of contamination took a lot of mental energy.”

Van Aert, a former cyclocross world champion and Tour de France stage winner, said he will now start training towards a potential return in May and the rest of the summer.

Currently all UCI events are cancelled or postponed, with the next major men’s event expected to be the Critérium du Dauphiné in June.

Van Aert added: “But what really matters now is everyone’s health. Personally I am impressed by the unanimity in the world.

“I hope that all of you stay safe and keep some positive vibes in this special period. Better days will come.”

Mitchelton-Scott rider Jack Haig has also said he has lost his motivation after the cycling season was derailed by Covid-19.

The Australian said “as athletes, we have lost our purpose.”

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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.