Wout van Aert to ride the Tour of Britain 2021

The Belgian won a mountain stage, time trial and the final sprint at this year's Tour de France

Wout van Aert winning stage 21 of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert will be riding the 2021 Tour of Britain with his Jumbo-Visma team, the organiser has confirmed.

The Belgian road race champion and Olympic silver medallist comes into the race as one of the clear favourites to take the overall title, as well as the potential to win every stage thanks to his ability to win bunch sprints, time trials and mountain stages.

He is the second high-profile rider to be confirmed for the Tour of Britain in 2021 after Mark Cavendish was revealed as the first rider on August 16.

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Tour of Britain organiser Sweetspot confirmed Van Aert's participation in a press release, saying: "Wout van Aert's participation in the Tour of Britain reiterates Team Jumbo-Visma’s support of the race. In recent years, the world’s number three-ranked team have selected the likes of Primož Roglič (runner up in 2018), Tom Dumoulin (third place in 2016) and Dylan Groenewegen to compete in the event. The remainder of their six-man squad for the Tour of Britain will be announced in due course."

Van Aert, who is 26-years-old, has had yet another successful year, albeit not quite as dominant as the 2020 season. 

He wasn't able to defend his Strade Bianche title, coming fourth, but he then went on to finish second overall in Tirreno-Adriatico behind double Tour de France winner, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

A few top-10s came in the Classics along with wins at Gent-Wevelgem and the Amstel Gold Race. He took a break, in which he was forced to have his appendix removed, and came back for the Belgian National Championships road race which he won in a three-up sprint with Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo).

Van Aert then went to the Tour de France and for almost all the stages didn't finish outside of the top 30, winning stage 11 that went over Mont Ventoux twice, the final time trial on stage 20, followed by the sprint in Paris on stage 21.

He then headed to Tokyo and the Olympic Games, taking part in the road race and time trial. He finished second in the road race and sixth in the time trial.

The Tour of Britain starts on Sunday, September 5 in Penzance before winding its way up Britain to finish in Aberdeen eight stages later. 

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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.