Van Aert: "Blessings for deceased friend, he gave me strength the last weeks"

Wout van Aert had already become Belgian champion in time trial and he trades in the tricolores in the field, but now he has also won the Belgian Championship on the road for the first time. “One of the most beautiful jerseys in the peloton. I hope I can show it in the Tour.”

Wout van Aert hadn’t raced for 2 months and was therefore at the start of the Belgian Championship with doubts. “It may sound ridiculous after my win, but I can still do a lot better.”

“Actually I had to undergo the race and hope that I could start at a good moment. But I have already ridden BKs that it didn’t turn out well and today it worked.”

“It was still a difficult final, because Theuns joined Remco and me, but refused to ride full. Remco and I had to carry the flight and in the end it was still narrow in the sprint. But it seems like I am now always narrow win in the sprint. Fortunately the photo finish was clear this time.”

“”The Smol” has given me strength”

Van Aert had a few difficult weeks, with appendicitis and surgery and with the legal troubles with Nick Nuyens. Yet all that was nothing compared to what happened to his friend.

“I dedicate this victory to “De Smol” (Glenn Smolderen), a friend who lost his battle with bone cancer last month. I thought about him a lot. It was difficult to get here, but he has given me strength. “

“In any case, this gives a lot of confidence for the Tour. A lot of riders came to ask if I hadn’t thrown the sand in my eyes in recent weeks, but I was really unsure at the start here. I hope I can show my jersey in the Tour. It’s one of the best in the pack.”

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