Wout van Aert selected to ride Tokyo Olympics

The Belgian star is set to take part in the road race and the time trial after riding the Tour de France

Wout van Aert sprinting to silver at the 2020 World championships in Imola, Italy
(Image credit: Eric Lalmand/Getty Images)

Wout van Aert has been selected as one of the riders to represent Belgium at the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan.

Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is likely going to be the country's leader in the road race as well as going for the gold medal in the time trial too.

Belgium comes into these games as defending champions with Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r-Citroën) taking the gold medal five years ago in Rio, Brazil. 

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Van Aert has had another super season taking Amstel Gold Race in a dramatic photo finish with Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) as well as an amazing performance in Tirreno-Adriatico, winning a bunch sprint on stage one, beating Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) in the time trial on the final stage and finishing second overall behind Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

But, he will be hoping to go one better than the last time he rode for the national team in road racing and time trials as he took the silver medal in both events at the World Championships in Imola 2020.

Van Aert will be one of the main favourites for both events but the support around him will be world-class as well. Former European time trial champion Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) is expected to be lining up alongside Van Aert for the time trial. 

The rest of the squad for the men's road race has not yet been announced but we know that the women's side is sending a very strong team of Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing), Valerie Demey (Liv Racing) and Julie Van de Velde (Jumbo-Visma) with Van de Velde also riding the time trial.

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Jumbo-Visma has also announced Van Aert's upcoming race calendar with the Belgian star surprisingly not taking part in the Belgian National Time Trial Championships, instead focussing on the road race before heading to the Tour de France.

At the Tour, Van Aert will once again be working for his leader Primož Roglič but may get his chance to go for stage wins in sprint stages and potentially a tilt at the green jersey. 

Van Aert may consider leaving the Tour early to fly over to Japan for the games.

The remaining two races on his list are the two Olympic events with no mention of the European Championships or the WorldCchampionships as of yet.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is 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.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.