News – AU – Wout van Aert makes his season debut in Strade Bianche: “I think I’m ready” – VeloNewscom

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Wout van Aert on the way to victory at the Strade Bianche 2020 Photo: Photo: Tim de Waele / Getty Images

Wout van Aert has been camping on the Teide volcano for almost three weeks. On Thursday, he and his teammates from Jumbo-Visma gave a preview of the Strade Bianche on Saturday

Just a few hours before his eagerly awaited encounter with Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe, van Aert sounded relaxed and confident

“I think I came out well in altitude training. I feel good, especially in the last week at altitude, I was able to take a nice step,” said van Aert on Thursday “I think I’m ready”

While most of his direct rivals have already raced in 2021 and won in some cases, van Aert will get his first taste of the live competition on Saturday when he competes as the defending champion

Van Aert said he was expecting a great battle over the white roads of Tuscany and insisted it wasn’t a three-driver race

“Alaphilippe and van der Poel are two guys to keep an eye on, but there are a lot more strong drivers in this race than on the opening weekend,” he said. “It’s one of the strongest fields we’ve seen in the course the years have seen I think it’s wise to keep an eye on more people

“It’s probably the strongest field in a one-day race,” he continued “Traditionally there are a lot of climbers in this race people like Fuglsang and Pogačar now I think that’s very nice It shows how important this race is”

Forecasters call for a probability of rain on Saturday and cooler temperatures Van Aert said this is welcomed after the pack went through summer conditions when Strade Bianche was postponed for August last year

“The condition of the gravel roads is good,” he said. “I think they are a little better than last summer. A little bit smoother Back then there were a lot more potholes Now there are still, but it’s okay if it stays this dry like now, it’s still tricky. It rained a little this morning. It will depend a little on whether the dust is gone or not ”

Of course, when you’re at the forefront of the race you won’t choke on dust. And this is where Van Aert hopes he will be once the action starts

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Strade Bianche, Wout van Aert, UCI world tour, 2021, Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe

News – AU – Wout van Aert at the season debut in Strade Bianche: ‘ I. think I’m ready ‘- VeloNewscom

Source: https://www.velonews.com/news/road/wout-van-aert-on-season-debut-at-strade-bianche-i-think-im-ready/