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Teams & Riders Official Wout Van Aert thread

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Giro and Vuelta confirmed, no Tour.

But Kooij will also go to the Giro. I can't imagine Wout being too thrilled about that. Does he then have to do leadouts like in Britain? I guess the points jersey is off the table, then.
It's been said here already, but there is a fine chance of Wout being in pink for the first 8 days or so. The pink jersey leading out sprints will be satisfying for him. Let's be honest, if we wants classifications jersey, nothing is going to stop him from that either.
Tecnically he already 'won' it.

With Pogačar racing the Giro, I don't see Van Aert being in pink for long. He is probably the favourite for stage 1 but with stage 2 finishing in Oropa, I expect Pogačar to take the jersey there.
Could be right. Pogi will want to be in pink as long as possible, defying conventional wisdom of course. There is a season's long mental game at play.
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I understand he has to choose. But not riding the Strade (again) and Milano-San Remo ? It is enough that he has slightly weak legs in Flanders and a flat tire in Roubaix to experience another failed classics season. And 30 already next september.
He has said to Danish Tv2 that the real reason for not riding the Tour is that he doesn't want to be faced with the questions of where his loyalty really is during the Tour :D

If for example his loyalty was questioned in the 2023 season, on where he basically 100% backed Jonas, gave away all his personal ambitions, and results, compared to lets say Tour 2022. Then indeed he made the right choice. To say fine, then you do it better. I am hence doing Giro-Vuelta double. And lets see if my sacrifice made any difference, at the Tour 2023, compared to Tour 2024.

And on top of that it's time for PR plus Worlds attempt. Like Matthew did last year. Difference being, van Aert getting Vélo d'Or, after such a feat.
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This year, his loyalty was clearly with his wife! And rightfully so, pregnant partner takes priority over any race.

Yeah but if we compare Tour 2022 (and previous Tour editions) to Tour 2023 edition. On Tour 2023 van Aert was a mere domestique. That in my opinion hasn't happened before. As he mentioned it up in an interview, if that sacrifice was not appreciated and credited, rather to instead his loyalty to be questioned, then indeed, what is the point in doing the Tour in 2024 season. And i feel that van Aert needs some freedom anyway, otherwise it won't work on the long run. We'll see.
Yeah but if we compare Tour 2022 (and previous Tour editions) to Tour 2023 edition. On Tour 2023 van Aert was a mere domestique.

Otoh, I'm pretty sure I also recall some people criticising him for "abandoning" Vingegaard this year.
Besides, since he knew he was very likely gonna leave early, it was probably quite smart to not go around chasing points for the green jersey; riders who leave early - without being injured or sick - tends to get some criticism, whereas last year he showed that he could both basically murder the point competition and be a bona fide domestique for Vingegaard, even though some questions were raised about his loyalty at first.