Wout van Aert to race Paris-Roubaix following COVID-19 recovery
Belgian star to make racing return after missing Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race.
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Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) will make his return to racing at Paris-Roubaix after recovering from COVID-19.
The Belgian rider was confirmed as part of the Jumbo-Visma’s seven-rider team for Sunday’s classic. Van Aert is unlikely to ride as the team’s leader, with Christophe Laporte and Mike Teunissen expected to spearhead the squad.
“We are always extremely careful with the health of our riders after a corona infection,” sports director Merijn Zeeman said in a press release.
“The medical staff has an important and decisive role in this. We have closely monitored the situation together. A doctor visited Wout for four days to monitor the reactions of the training sessions on his body. He also had very extensive examinations before he resumed his training. At the beginning of the week, the medical staff has decided that he is fully fit and can continue his efforts at a sporting level.”
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Van Aert’s last race was Gent-Wegelgem and he missed the Tour of Flanders after testing positive in the lead up to the race. The 27-year-old had been a firm favorite for Flanders after a convincing win in E3 Saxo Bank Classic. He had also won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February, a stage in Paris-Nice, and finished eighth in Milan-San Remo.
Jumbo-Visma admitted that his COVID-19 case hampered the Belgian’s preparation for Paris-Roubaix, and that while he would not race as the team’s pre-race leader, his presence on the roster was an important indication that the rider’s health was back to where it should be.
“Among other things, on his heart function, Wout’s health is excellent. But after a week of isolation, top form is no longer possible. His run-up to Roubaix is moderate and he will miss Thursday’s reconnaissance. All in all, it’s a far from ideal preparation,” Zeeman said. “Nevertheless, a rider like Wout can play an important role in supporting Christophe Laporte, Mike Teunissen, and Nathan Van Hooydonck.”
Jumbo-Visma’s team for Paris-Roubaix: Wout van Aert, Christophe Laport, Mike Teunissen, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Edoardo Affini, Timo Roosen, Mick van Dijke.
From Fall 2021