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Van Aert continues his winning ways with victory in first stage Dauphiné

Van Aert continues his winning ways with victory in first stage Dauphiné

Wout van Aert has continued his impressive victory march. The 25-year-old Belgian, who already won Strade Bianche and Milan-SanRemo this month, won the opening stage in the Criterium du Dauphiné today. After 218 kilometres, Van Aert was the fastest in the sprint of a reduced peloton and claimed the tenth season victory for Team Jumbo-Visma.

The stage was animated by an early breakaway, controlled by Team Jumbo-Visma. After the breakaway was caught and Tony Martin had finished his work, Robert Gesink and Sepp Kuss increased the pace at fifteen kilometres from the finish line, with the three team leaders and Van Aert in their wheel.

In the final kilometre, Van Aert was brought in an ideal position for the sprint by Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic.

“The dream continues”, Van Aert said. “I was still quite tired after Milan-SanRemo. So I did not immediately see this victory coming. Although I did have the mindset to go for it. I had also indicated that in the meeting yesterday and also during the stage. The boys did a fantastic job. It also indicates how we function as a team and what the atmosphere is like. When riders like Tom Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic are working for you, it certainly gives you extra motivation. This is a very nice victory and it also was a perfect situation for us. So, as you can see, it works both ways. On the one hand we want to keep our GC guys in the front and on the other hand I still had the opportunity to do my own sprint. So you see, when the opportunities arise, I certainly will not hesitate to seize them. I will definitely enjoy riding in the yellow jersey tomorrow.”

Dumoulin was full of praise for his teammate. “This is really great. It is nice to achieve this together. Wout wanted to go for it this morning and this stage was a great opportunity. We were at the front on the final climb and Primoz and I countered the necessary attacks. Luckily, I still had enough energy left for a lead-out after Steven continued to pull to the top of the climb. I think I did a lead-out of about eight hundred metres. It is very special that Wout finishes it off like that.”

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