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Van Aert skips Belgian championship as a precaution with a view to the Tour | NOW

Wout van Aert will not start on Sunday at the Belgian road championship. The defending champion does not want to take any risks with a view to the Tour de France, which starts in a week.

Last weekend, 27-year-old Van Aert hit the handlebars with his knee during a training session in Tignes, France, and has suffered from it in recent days. According to the Jumbo-Visma rider, the damage is not too bad, but he is still forced to take it easy.

“I am really sorry that I cannot defend my jersey. I would normally never cancel for the Belgian championship,” responds Van Aert, who won the battle for the national title on the road for the first time in 2021.

“But if I don’t want to endanger the Tour, this is the wisest decision,” said Van Aert. The rider from Herentals hopes to participate in the Tour de France for the fourth time in July. He has already won six stages in his previous three participations.

Van Aert is part of the Jumbo selection in France, which has two leaders with Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard. The team is completed by Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss, Tiesj Benoot, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Christophe Laporte.

The 109th edition of the Tour de France starts on Friday 1 July with a time trial over 13 kilometers through the streets of Copenhagen. The round ends in Paris on 24 July.

Read all about the Tour de France on our special page

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