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Wout van Aert could be set to face off against Remco Evenepoel for the Belgian time trial title in June, with the Jumbo-Visma star contemplating participation in the race on the road to the Tour de France.
Van Aert is currently training at altitude with the Dutch team’s Tour de France squad in Sierra Nevada, having spent much of May in Spain alongside Tour champion Jonas Vingegaard as well as Dylan van Baarle, Tiesj Benoot, Nathan van Hooydonck, Christophe Laporte, Steven Kruijswijk and Wilco Kelderman.
He’ll take on the Tour de Suisse next month as a final preparation for the Tour, while the majority of the team’s Tour squad heads to the Critérium du Dauphine.
However, he won’t join his teammates for another altitude camp in Tignes at the end of June, opening up a slot to take part in the time trial at the Belgian National Championships.
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According to a report by Het Laatste Nieuws, Van Aert is seriously considering taking part in the time trial in Herzele three days before the road race in Izegem on June 25, for which he is already confirmed.
He has twice been crowned national time trial champion in the past, winning the title in 2019 and 2020, while he won the road title in Waregem in 2021. Evenepoel is the reigning national time trial champion.
Van Aert hasn’t seen racing action since completing his Spring Classics campaign with a podium finish at Paris-Roubaix in early May. Since May 9 he’s been working at altitude with his Jumbo-Visma teammates at an altitude camp which runs to May 29.
The group have put in some monster rides in Sierra Nevada, including a 244km ride on Sunday logging 5,329 metres of climbing – as much as Friday’s Giro d’Italia queen stage through the Dolomites to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Another big ride on Wednesday totalled 212km and 4,228 metres of climbing.
According to Van Aert’s Strava, he has logged a total of 1,942km of training rides at camp, adding up to 46,723 climbing metres.
Ahead of the Tour de Suisse, he’ll return to altitude at Diavolezza on the Swiss-Italian border near St Moritz. After eight days of racing in Switzerland (June 11-18) he’ll head back to Belgium, where a bid for a third national crown could be on the cards ahead of the Tour and then his August goal of winning the rainbow jersey in Glasgow.