|Is||Athlete Sport cyclist|
|Birth||15 September 1994, Herentals, Arrondissement of Turnhout, Province of Antwerp, Belgium|
Wout van Aert (born 15 September 1994) is a Belgian professional road and cyclo-cross racer who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Jumbo–Visma. He won the men's elite race at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He joined Team Jumbo–Visma in March 2019, on a three-year deal after terminating his contract with Vérandas Willems–Crelan in 2018.
Van Aert was born in Herentals, Flanders, into a family not involved in cycle racing, although one of his father's cousins is Dutch former professional cyclist Jos van Aert. He started his career in cyclo-cross where he became World champion (2016, 2017, 2018) and Belgian champion (2016, 2017, 2018, 2021).
He rode the 2018 Strade Bianche, held partly on gravel roads in torrential rain. He broke away with Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and the pair lead the race for much of the final 40 kilometres (25 miles) before Tiesj Benoot (Lotto–Soudal) attacked from a chasing group to catch and then drop them in the final sector of dirt roads. Benoot soloed to victory by 39 seconds ahead of Bardet, who dropped van Aert in the final kilometre; van Aert ultimately completed the podium a further 19 seconds in arrears, despite having to remount his bicycle after falling on the final climb in Siena.
Van Aert rode with the Vérandas Willems–Crelan team during road races in 2018. Over the year, he expressed dissatisfaction with the news that the team was set to merge with Roompot–Nederlandse Loterij for 2019. Having already signed a contract to ride with Team Jumbo–Visma from 2020 onwards, he terminated his contract with Vérandas Willems–Crelan in September 2018. Were he to join another team for 2019, Sniper Cycling – the owners of the Vérandas Willems–Crelan team – were said to be demanding €500,000 in compensation. LottoNL–Jumbo were reported to be interested in signing van Aert a year earlier than originally agreed, and confirmation of the transfer was announced in December 2018, with van Aert joining the team from 1 March 2019.
In June 2019, van Aert won two stages and the green jersey in the Critérium du Dauphiné, became national time trial champion, and won the bronze medal in the road race at the national championship. In July 2019, he was named in the startlist for the Tour de France. On 15 July, van Aert won Stage 10 from Saint-Flour to Albi, in a sprint finish ahead of Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan. On 19 July, he had a crash during the individual time trial stage in Pau, and was forced to abandon the race due to his injuries. It was not known at the time whether he would recover for the cyclocross season or even the classics at the start of the 2020 road cycling season.
Van Aert later told newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that the crash was so severe that it could have ended his career, worsened by a mistake during his surgery, when doctors did not properly work on one of his tendons. In November 2019, van Aert won the Flandrien of the Year award.
On 1 August 2020, Van Aert won the first rescheduled 2020 UCI World Tour race to be held following the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 Strade Bianche after attacking solo with around 13 kilometers remaining. The following week, Van Aert won the rescheduled 2020 Milan–San Remo after outsprinting French rider Julian Alaphilippe, the defending champion, of Deceuninck–Quick-Step, in a two-up sprint, after the duo had broken away from the peloton on the descent of the Poggio. On 2 September 2020, he won the 5th stage of the Tour de France from Gap to Privas, in a light uphill sprint. He also won the sprint in the 7th stage Millau to Lavaur. At the 2020 World Championships in Imola Wout van Aert won the silver medal in both the individual time trial and in the road race.
Van Aert started the 2021 road season on 6 March at the Strade Bianche and came in fourth place. He then rode the Tirreno-Adriatico with Overall aspirations, winning the opening stage in a bunch sprint ahead of elite sprinters like Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani. After consistent and strong performances in the rest of the race, including a victory in the last stage, a 10.1 kilometre time trial, he managed to win the points classification and finish second in the general classification behind the 2020 Tour champion Tadej Pogačar. After Tirreno-Adriatico Van Aert became third in Milan–San Remo behind Jasper Stuyven and Caleb Ewan. On 28 March Van Aert sprinted to victory in Gent-Wevelgem after making the winning selection during the early stages of the race. On 18 April Van Aert won the Amstel Gold Race after a thrilling sprint which was decided by a photofinish before Tom Pidcock.
On 7 July Van Aert won Stage 11 of the 2021 Tour de France by attacking on the last climb of Mount Ventoux over 32 kilometres from the finish. Afterwards Van Aert said this victory on such an iconic mountain stage was the biggest win of his career. On 17 July 2021 Wout Van Aert won Stage 20, which was a 30.8km individual time trial, in the time of 0h 35’ 53" [50.3km/h]. On 18 July 2021 Wout Van Aert won Stage 21 winning the 108.4km final stage of the 2021 Tour de France to take his third stage win in the 108th Tour de France race, crossing the finish line on the Champs-Élysées beating Jasper Philipsen to second place and Mark Cavendish to third place. After the race, Van Aert said that "I guess I gave myself a problem because I have to catch a flight tonight (to the Olympics) and all these interviews will take a while... (but) to win three stages like this is priceless". He was the first rider to win a mountain stage, a time trial and a bunch sprint at the same Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1979.
In the Olympic road race he finished 1' 07" behind winner Richard Carapaz but won the sprint in the chasing group, earning the silver medal.
In September 2021, van Aert won the Tour of Britain.
At the 2021 UCI Road World Championships he earned the silver medal in the individual time trial.
Major championships timeline
- 4th Overall Sint-Martinusprijs Kontich
- 8th Overall Ster ZLM Toer
- 4th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad U23
- 4th Grote Prijs Jef Scherens
- 1st Schaal Sels
- 2nd Dwars door het Hageland
- 4th Grand Prix Pino Cerami
- 8th Overall Tour of Belgium
- 1st Prologue
General classification results timeline
|Grand Tour general classification results|
|Tour de France||DNF||20||19|
|Vuelta a España||—||—||—|
|Major stage race general classification results|
|Volta a Catalunya||—||NH||—|
|Tour of the Basque Country||—||—|
|Tour de Romandie||—||—|
|Critérium du Dauphiné||47||32||—|
|Tour de Suisse||—||NH||—|
Classics results timeline
|Tour of Flanders||9||14||2||6|
|Giro di Lombardia||—||—||—||—|
|Omloop Het Nieuwsblad||32||13||11||—|
|E3 BinckBank Classic||—||2||NH||11|
|Dwars door Vlaanderen||83||—||NH||—|
|Amstel Gold Race||—||58||NH||1|
Major championships timeline
|Olympic Games||Time trial||Not held||—||Not held||6|
|World Championships||Time trial||—||—||—||—||—||—||2||2|
|National Championships||Time trial||—||—||—||6||—||1||1||—|
|—||Did not compete|
|DNF||Did not finish|
Awards and honours
- Flandrien Award: 2019, 2020, 2021
- Belgian Sportsman of the year: 2020
- Belgian National Sports Merit Award: 2020
- Vlaamse Reus: 2020
- Kristallen Fiets: 2020