Green jersey Van Aert bright spot on tough Sunday
Wout van Aert has won the points classification in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Th...
Wout van Aert has won the time trial in the Criterium du Dauphiné in an impressive way. In the 26 kilometre time trial in Roanne the Belgian rider of Team Jumbo-Visma was the only one to finish under 34 minutes. He was more than half a minute faster than the number two.
Team leader Steven Kruijswijk rode a more than promising time trial. The Dutchman finished fourth at 49 seconds from Van Aert. In the overall standings Kruijswijk is now fifth at 24 seconds from Adam Yates. Van Aert has moved up to ninth place and retains the lead in both the points and the youth ranking.
For Van Aert, who already finished on the podium four times this season - of which twice in the Dauphiné - it is his first victory of the season and the twenty-fourth for Team Jumbo-Visma.
“It’s a great win. I can’t believe it”, Van Aert says. “I have worked a lot on my time trial in recent weeks, but I never expected to win here. I am very happy with this victory. Obviously the course suited me very well with the long straight roads and that climb. I knew I could do good time trials, but I never really focused on it because of my cyclocross duties. This highly experienced team focuses on this discipline and that makes a big difference. This was my first time trial in the colours of Team Jumbo-Visma and I immediately won the race. It is also my first WorldTour victory. It couldn’t have been more beautiful.”
Steven Kruijswijk was happy with Van Aert’s victory. “It is super nice that he wins. With a second and third place this week, he was close twice already. It was also a good day for myself. I know I can do good time trials and this fourth place confirms this. I am happy that my form is good. It provides confidence for the coming days and certainly for the Tour. It’s a pity that I lost time in the second stage, but we are back in a good position for the Alps. I am happy with the way this day evolved.”
Sports director Grischa Niermann experienced a super day. “It couldn’t have been better today. In advance we had hoped to have two riders in the top ten, but this victory and the fourth place are beyond our expectations. It was really a time trial for the GC riders and the climb was far from easy. Wout and Steven rode a very consistent time trial and confirmed to be in a good shape. Wout is going to be of value for Steven in the Tour. Not only in the mountains, but also in the flat stages and in the team time trial. We already knew he could do this, but now he has proved it too.”
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