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Van Aert climbing back in the saddle at Tour of Norway

By AFP

May 17, 2024 10:25 PM


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Wout Van Aert, who seriously injured in a crash at the end of March, will make a "tentative comeback"¨at the Tour of Norway, his Visma Lease a bike team announced on Friday.

"I'm not in the best shape," the 29-year-old Belgian said in a statement on the team website. "It's a test. But I'm looking forward to it."

Van Aert sustained a broken collarbone, sternum and ribs as well as damaging a lung in the one-day Around Flanders race on March 27.

The Tour of Norway is a four-day race from May 23-26, which, his team said, "will give Van Aert a chance to get back into the race rhythm".

While rehabilitating he missed the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, as well as the Giro d'Italia.

"It hasn't always been easy sitting on the sidelines, but fortunately, I can now look ahead again", Van Aert said.

"I am looking forward to pinning on a race number again. I have been able to train more and more in recent weeks, but it is still different from racing."

The team's sporting director, Merijn Zeeman, said there were no immediate expectations.

"It's great to have Wout back in the team after his crash. He starts without any pressure to perform. This is a good moment for him to test himself in competition."

"We don't know yet what the rest of his race schedule will look like. We will see in the coming weeks." said Zeeman.

Van Aert won road race silver in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. The men's road race in the Paris Games this summer is on August 3.

The Tour de France starts on July 29.

Visma's other leader, Jonas Vingegaard, who has won the last two Tours de France, is also recovering from injury. The Dane was hospitalised after suffering rib and collarbone fractures and sustaining lung damage in a mass crash on the Tour of the Basque Country on April 4. The team has not yet announced when he will return to competition.


AFP


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