Wout van Aert 'doesn't want to pursue the Tour de France yet' but added GC at Tirreno-Adriatico a possibility next year

The Belgian superstar lasted a lot longer than expected in the mountains supporting his leader

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel during the Tour of Flanders 2020 (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert says that he thinks winning the Tour de France in the near future is unrealistic, but said he does want to chase the general classification at Tirreno-Adriatico next year.

Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) has had another amazing year on the road after coming back from a horrific crash in the 2019 Tour de France time trial, winning the 2020 Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, and stages at the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour.

The Belgian time trial champion says that his aim is still fully on the Classics, but with a few extra goals on the side as he continues to find his limits.

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In an interview with Sport/VoetbalmagazineVan Aert said: "Expanding my Classic record remains a priority. I'm not going to change that plan to aim for a classification in the Tour.

"Yes, I went for a long time in the high mountains, but there is a big difference between leading up to five kilometres from the top and going to the finish, and to be there every day for three weeks,

"Certainly winning the Tour is unrealistic and I don't want to pursue that for the time being. Also because you have to train in a completely different way than for the Classics."

Van Aert has shown that he is one of the best Classics riders in the pro peloton at the moment with some amazing performances, performing well in Italy with wins at Strade Bianche and, his first Monument win at Milan-San Remo.

But he is also looking to potentially see how he performs against some of the biggest and best names in the mountains.

"Maybe I will change course one day [to focus on a Grand Tour], but that is still far away. Then I would first have to shine in Tirreno-Adriatico, Critérium du Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse.

"This is possible in the shorter term, especially in stage races with a time trial, such as Tirreno-Adriatico.

"I want to go for a classification there in 2021. And later also in climbing Classics such as Liège and the Tour of Lombardy."

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All these new targets for Van Aert makes his calendar look very busy as he also has the Olympics and cyclocross to focus on as well, not to mention the constant rivalry with Dutch superstar, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), who is expected to make his Tour de France debut in 2021.

Wout van Aert finishes second at Imola 2020 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Van Aert finished his road season after finishing second at the Tour of Flanders, he still has plenty races to do this year with the cyclocross season.

Van Aert says that he remembers in the past when he used to be reluctant to restart training for cross racing , now he says he can't see that at all and is really focussed on his goals.

The former world cyclocross champion will start his campaign in Kortrijk on November 28, whereas his main rival and current CX world champion, Van der Poel, will start on December 12 in Antwerp.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.