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. 

>>> Tokyo Olympics: Chloe Dygert and Kate Courtney headline US squad

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.

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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.