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Wout van Aert wants some peace and quiet at home

Belgian star asks fans to respect his privacy as profile continues to rise.

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Wout van Aert is hoping fans will check their fervor at the race track.

The Belgian star revealed that over-zealous fans are starting to invade his privacy as his star continues to rise within the international peloton.

“It happens every week that people just ring the doorbell. I prefer to be left alone at home,” Van Aert said Thursday.

“I notice that the attention for me is increasing. I always think it couldn’t get any worse, but then it turns out that it can.”

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The 28-year-old Van Aert is a top star in Belgian cycling, perhaps eclipsed only by the sudden rise of Remco Evenepoel.

Van Aert said fans regularly camp out in front of his home and even ring the door bell on his front door in hopes for a few moments with the Jumbo-Visma star.

“People just ring at my door. There is no need for that. The chance that I will open the door is minimal. It happens regularly that people are at my door, even on a weekly basis,” Van Aert said during a press conference. “They call with a special request: for a sweater signing or they organize something special.

“Everyone has their unique story and I understand that, but it is not always easy. I prefer to be left alone when I am at home.”

Van Aert’s profile continues to rise thanks to his ever-increasing performances on the bike.

Though compatriot Evenepoel won Belgium’s first grand tour in 40 years and its first rainbow jersey in a decade, Van Aert continues to draw the ardor of fans.

Van Aert earned his chops in the muddy tracks of cyclocross, but his star continues to rise thanks to exploits at the Tour de France, where he won the green jersey in 2022.

“It still surprises me sometimes,” he told Sporza. “I used to be known in cyclocross, but now it goes much wider outside Belgium.

“Perhaps not [overseas], but certainly throughout Europe and that is always a special sensation. Abroad I had the feeling that I was ‘at ease’ for a long time, but suddenly I am also recognized there.”

Van Aert is learning to live with the spotlight on his every move.

Like Tom Boonen and every big cycling star before him, the modern media landscape includes fans with smart phones who can capture any moment just about anywhere in the world.

His advice to fans who knock on his door?

“Usually I just don’t open the door,” he said with a laugh. “Maybe you can write that, then maybe fewer people will come.”