Wout Van Aert Exits Tour de France
This morning Team Jumbo-Visma announced its Belgian rider Wout van Aert has left this year’s Tour de France and is returning to his home.
In week one of Tour de France 2023 it was reported that van Aert’s wife Sarah was pregnant and van Aert would abandon the race immediately, should his wife give birth to their second child during the Tour.
On rest day one a rumor spread via Lidl-Trek’s Mattias Skjelmose that van Aert would abandon this year’s Tour after rest day one. This rumor turned out to be false and van Aert remained in the Tour in order to fight for stage victories and to support team leader Jonas Vingegaard.
Commenting on his decision to abandon Tour de France 2023, Van Aert made the following statement to Roadcycling.com:
“As everyone knows, my wife Sarah is pregnant. Things are now starting to become a bit tight at home. After consulting with team management, we have decided the right place for me to be is now at home. A doctor has been seeing Sarah at home for the past few weeks and he has now assessed that labor is imminent. This is the reason for me deciding to return home.”
“I was hoping to reach Paris, so leaving the Tour is a strange feeling for me, but it does in no way pose a dilemma for me. I am delighted to learn of the team’s kind way of accepting my decision. Our seven remaining riders will perform well in the rest of the Tour and my teammates will continue to support Jonas (Vingegaard) well.”
After being very successful in last year’s Tour de France, van Aert did not manage to win any stages in this year’s edition. Early during the race some analysts and cycling fans criticized Vingegaard for not spending sufficient energy on supporting van Aert in sprints.
Van Aert won three stages in Tour de France 2022. He also finished second in four stages and won the points classification. His great initiative and performances in last year’s Tour exhausted van Aert and he did only participate in five one-day races after the Tour and ended his 2022 season following the World Championships Road Race on September 25.
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