Wout van Aert to miss Giro d’Italia

Visma-Lease a Bike rider changes Grand Tour plans after Classics crash injuries

Clock13:36, Thursday 11th April 2024
Wout van Aert's Classics campaign came to an end after a nasty crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen

© Getty Images

Wout van Aert's Classics campaign came to an end after a nasty crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) will no longer race the Giro d’Italia after the injuries he sustained in a crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen two weeks ago.

The Belgian had been planning his Grand Tour schedule around a well-publicised assault at the Giro, but after suffering fractures to his ribs, sternum and collarbone a few days before the Tour of Flanders, the team confirmed on Thursday that he will no longer target the Italian race.

Though Van Aert says his recovery is going well, he is not yet able to train, and there are only 23 days before the start of the first Grand Tour of the season.

“A lot of [the] injuries are quite good at the moment, but my ribs are still a limiting factor. So at this point I cannot train at all. I’m trying to do my first pedal strokes on the bike, but not enough to be able to train. That is why we made the decision to not start in the Giro d’Italia,” Van Aert explained in a video released by his team.

“It’s a big shame. I’m really disappointed to miss also my second big goal of the season, but at this moment I need to prioritise my health, and I need to give my body the time to recover.”

Christophe Laporte will replace Van Aert in Visma-Lease a Bike’s team for the Giro, which starts in Turin in just over three weeks’ time.

Van Aert was involved in a high-speed crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen on 27 March, which also saw the likes of Jasper Stuyven and Alex Kirsch’s Classics seasons come to an end with various injuries. Van Aert underwent surgery on his collarbone shortly after the crash.

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As a result of his fractures, the 29-year-old missed the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, which had been the focal point of his Classics season, but his team remained somewhat optimistic about his chances of recovering in time for the Giro, his second season objective.

However, Thursday was the first time Van Aert has spoken publicly since crashing, and it was to confirm that he would not be back in time for Turin.

He did add: “I’m really happy to tell you that I’m doing well. I’m recovering from all my injuries at the moment.”

The team confirmed that Laporte would replace the Belgian in Italy next month, but did not suggest what Van Aert’s revised programme may look like, and whether that may include the Tour de France.

As well as Van Aert’s absence from the Giro, there are questions over the team’s Tour leader Jonas Vingegaard, who is also out injured after crashing in Itzulia Basque Country. The team have said it is too early to reflect on his participation in the Tour or chances of defending his yellow jersey title.

For more of the latest news from the pro peloton, visit our racing news page.

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