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Sport Wout van Aert: I kept the faith even in hard times

23:51  01 august  2020
23:51  01 august  2020 Source:   cyclingnews.com

Wout van Aert adds Strade Bianche winning Bianchi to his bike collection

  Wout van Aert adds Strade Bianche winning Bianchi to his bike collection Belgian keeps his dirt-covered jersey and bike for future personal museum"Over the years I've become a collector of special cycling jerseys. I think those souvenirs are much more beautiful than the trophies you get on the podium. I plan to make a private museum with everything later in life," Van Aert said, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

a group of people riding on the back of a bicycle: Team JumboVisma Belgian rider Wout van Aert ride during a break away through a dusty gravel road in the oneday classic cycling race Strade Bianche White Roads on August 1 2020 around Siena Tuscany Photo by Marco Bertorello AFP Photo by MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images © Provided by Cycling News Team JumboVisma Belgian rider Wout van Aert ride during a break away through a dusty gravel road in the oneday classic cycling race Strade Bianche White Roads on August 1 2020 around Siena Tuscany Photo by Marco Bertorello AFP Photo by MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) savoured and celebrated his victory at Strade Bianche, remembering that a year ago he was returning home from hospital after his terrible crash during the Tour de France time trial, a serious muscle tear caused by contact with a roadside barrier.

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He has spent the year working hard to get back to his best and showed it with his late solo attack on the final sector of dirt roads a few kilometres from Siena.

His ride up the steep Santa Catarina climb cancelled the pain of his 2018 cramps and his victorious descent into the Piazza del Campo cancelled any bad memories.

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"It means a lot to win. This is a special season for everyone in so many ways so it's nice to say I've won and my season is already good. Not many riders can say that in 2020," he said post race as the emotions sunk in.

"I've worked really hard for today and the coming races. I didn't want to miss any chances. I focused on this race very much and it paid off.

Démare wins Milan-Turin and promises to be ahead of Milan-Sanremo

 Démare wins Milan-Turin and promises to be ahead of Milan-Sanremo © Panoramic Perfectly guided by his Groupama-FDJ teammates, Arnaud Démare was clearly ahead of the Australian Caleb Ewan, the Belgian Wout Van Aert and the Slovak in the sprint Peter Sagan after 198 kilometers between Lombardy and Piedmont, in northern Italy. “I'm coming very, very well. I have really good legs, the team is amazing and did a wonderful job. It's perfect ”, summarized Démare, asked about his feelings before Milan-Sanremo. “We are not afraid of anyone.

"It's now exactly one year that I came home after two weeks in hospital. If you'd told what would happen in a year, I wouldn't believe you, but I kept the faith even in even hard times, so this is a huge satisfaction after a lot of hard work."

Van Art accepted that he was leaner and on his best-ever form, as the Belgian had noticed and highlighted in the days before Strade Bianche.

"I'm back at the point where I can focus on winning and doing my best," he said after a year with a lot of physio, recovery and training and little success.

"Maybe I can say I'm at my best-ever level, so it's important to think of the positives and not looking back."

Van Aert didn’t hesitate when the race exploded on the Monte Santa Maria dirt section with 50km to go and again on the final steep Le Tolfe climb. He was almost happy to be able to put himself in the hurt box.

"Sport at the highest level is about handling pain better than your rivals. We're all in pain and so the best thing is to not think about it and stay focused on what you have to do," he explained.

"Cyclocross is the same. Road racing is longer but there's always pain to deal with. But when you've not been in the hurt box for a while its good to be back."

Nibali lacks Poggio punch but aggressive Trek-Segafredo animate Milan-San Remo .
'We didn’t have a fast finisher and so we could only play our chances by attacking' says NibaliThe 2018 Milan-San Remo winner surged away from the select group of contenders on the Poggio, sitting in the saddle to try to put out maximum power and stay aero.

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