Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Saturday, 9 December, will be the first cyclocross race of the season for Wout van Aert. After two months without racing, the former cyclocross world champion will compete in Essen. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma can't wait to start the cyclocross season, even though he will unfortunately be racing less than last year.
"It's a conscious decision to do a shorter programme", the 29-year-old Belgian says. "Last year, I found it mentally difficult to focus on the cyclocross season and then move on to the spring. I didn't want to leave anything to chance with the spring classics. That is why, with a heavy heart, I am riding a more limited programme."
"It will definitely be difficult to reach a high level", the former world champion continued. "I have a few races to get in shape, and then it will stop already. I hope to prove myself during these races. For the first time, it will be different from what I am used to, but with a higher goal in mind."
"It's great to see the fans again. These races are always special for me"
The peak of the cyclocross season for Van Aert is around Christmas. The Jumbo-Visma rider will race in Mol, Antwerp, Asper-Gavere and Heusden-Zolder. "I am looking forward to starting the cyclocross again soon. It's great to see the fans again. These races are always special for me."
Van Aert has reservations about his participation in Zonhoven and Benidorm. They almost coincide with the team's training camp in January, and that causes snags. In addition, fatigue built up just before and after the training camp will also play a role in the final assessment of whether starting fits in the run-up to the spring.