Van Aert's challenge

The Belgian makes his World Cup debut with three cyclo-cross rainbows (14:25 TDP and Eurosport). Pello Bilbao, with the illusion of finishing among the top ten in Imola.


One of the cyclists of the moment, the Belgian Wout Van Aert, debuts today in Imola (Italy) in a road World Championship and will be among the favorites to take home a rainbow jersey. In the case of the Jumbo cyclist, to accompany the three multicolored jerseys that he already has for his cyclocross titles, which would mean making an unprecedented double in the absolute men's category (having been world gold on the road and in mud). Something that women like the French Pauline Ferrand-Prévot or the Dutch Marianne Vos have achieved, but that in the men's category touched another Belgian, the legendary Roger de Vlaeminck, when he was silver on the asphalt and gold in the mud in the same season (1975) .

The tremendous versatility that Van Aert has shown since he made the jump to the World Tour, exemplified in the recent Tour de France, means that no one discards him from any of the modalities in which he will compete, for which he will have two chances to achieve a medal: today in the time trial (14:25, Teledeporte and Eurosport) and in the long distance test on Sunday with the powerful Belgian block.

"I do not know yet how tired I am from the Tour, but I will run with ambition, that no one thinks that I am going to take the time trial as a warm-up for the road," says the champion of his country of the modality, who yesterday recognized the tour and counted on the advice of his compatriot Campenaerts. An ambition that will have to be seen if it is enough against those who will be his great rivals, distinguished specialists such as the Australian from Ineos Rohan Dennis, who aspires to his third title; his Dutch partner in the Jumbo, Tom Dumoulin; the Italian from Ineos Filippo Ganna (eye to the favorite for many); another leader of the British formation like Geraint Thomas… in what will also be another chapter of the rivalry between the two formations of the World Tour.

An appointment in which the only Spanish representative, Pello Bilbao, who comes from doing a good Tour next to Landa, will also try to shine, although the characteristics of the route: 32 km not very technical and flat, it is not the one that best suits him . "It's a fairly simple time trial from a technical point of view, removing the approach to the circuit. Once you enter the circuit, the road is wide, very fast and without any complications," explains the Basque, national champion, who also sets his own goal: "It would be great to finish in the top-10. I'm not a heavyweight, but I hope to get the extra point from the Tour."

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