Wout van Aert to ride cobbled Classics and Critérium du Dauphiné in debut WorldTour season

The cyclocross world champion will open his season with Jumbo-Visma in March

Wout Van Aert at the 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Cyclocross world champion Wout van Aert will ride the cobbled Classics and the Critérium du Dauphiné in his debut season with Jumbo-Visma.

Van Aert will join the WorldTour after a turbulent 2018 season that saw him unilaterally break contract with his former team, landing him in court.

But the 24-year-old Belgian has rolls into 2019 with Dutch WorldTour team Jumbo-Visma a year earlier than planned.

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Van Aert is due to open his season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in March, before going on to ride the early Classics including the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, before turning his focus to the Critérium du Dauphiné.

He told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws : “I’ll ride the Dauphiné in service of the team and I hope to learn a lot. I’m looking forward to it.

“The French stage race is a new step in my development process as a road racer.”

After the Dauphiné in June van Aert looks to the Belgian national championships, a test for some of the best one-day racers in the pro peloton.

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He added: “They are certainly still a goal. After that I will rest again and during the Tour I will build up to the autumn and the start of the new cyclocross season without racing, purely with training.”

Van Aert, the current cyclocross world champion, was hugely impressive on the road in 2018, finishing third in Strade Bianche, ninth in the Tour of Flanders and third in the European Championship road race.

His former Pro Continental team Veranda’s Willems-Crelan were rumoured to be merging with Irish outfit Aqua Blue Sport, with the latter announcing the deal online earlier this year.

But Veranda’s Willems denied the merger before later joining forces with Dutch team Roompot-Charles.

Van Aert unilaterally broke his contract due to concerns over the merger process, he said.

He has ridden the current cyclocross as an independent.

Current 2019 race calendar for Wout van Aert

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, March 3

Strade Bianche, March 9

Milan-San Remo, March 23

E3 BinckBank Classic, March 29

Gent-Wevelgem, March 31

Tour of Flanders, April 7

Paris-Roubaix, April 14

Amstel Gold Race, April 21

Critérium du Dauphiné, June 6

Binck Bank Tour, August 12

EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg, August 25

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