In a file titled ‘Showing off the moustache to the highlanders’, the Belgian rode a little over 64km through the countryside west of the city. The area will host the time trial events at the upcoming UCI Road World Championships, which will be spread out across the south of Scotland this August.
Though the exact individual time trial route is yet to be released, it’s likely Van Aert was conducting a recon of the roads expected to be used, and did so on his Cervélo P5 time trial bike.
In the process, Van Aert collected two of the local area’s KOMs, bettering an eight-year-old course record on the seven-kilometer-long ‘Kippen Looper’ segment by one minute and thirteen seconds. He also claimed a Strava crown on an extended 27km segment called ‘Best Guess West’, taking almost four minutes off the previous best time.
"We see you, Wout van Aert," tweeted the UCI World Championships account. "Hopefully taking in Stirling's rich history along with all those local KOMs."
After a strong classics campaign, in which he won the E3 Saxo Classic and placed third at Paris-Roubaix, Van Aert is now undergoing a rest and training block before his next scheduled race at June’s Tour de Suisse.
The Jumbo-Visma rider’s Strava upload from Scotland comes after a series of rides completed in his native Belgium this week. On Thursday, Van Aert rode 180km out of his hometown of Herentals, crossing over the Dutch border and stopping for coffee and cake on the way.
This August, the Belgian is expected to compete in both the road and time trial events at the ‘Super Worlds’ anchored in Glasgow. He has twice finished a runner-up against the clock, in 2020 and 2021, losing out to Italy’s Filippo Ganna both times.
When Stirling was announced as the site of this year’s time trials, Paul Bush, the chair of the upcoming World Championships, said in a statement: “I am delighted to confirm Stirling as our second location outside of Glasgow to host the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, further showcasing this as a truly pan-Scotland mega event.”
Local council leader Scott Farmer said the hosting was a “massive win for Stirling”, and will help establish the city as a “world-class events destination”.
Having already travelled to Scotland with the support of Belgian Cycling, it is likely Van Aert will complete further training rides in the region over the weekend.
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