Wout van Aert continued his spectacular debut stage race for Jumbo-Visma at the Critérium du Dauphiné, outsprinting Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) after a technical stage 5 finale into Voiron. The victory means back-to-back stages for the young Belgian, after winning the individual time trial in Roanne on Wednesday ahead of Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
The two stage victories follow a third-place finish on stage 1 and a second-place finish on stage 3 and see van Aert lead the sprinter’s green jersey classification, as well as the best young rider’s classification with three tough mountain stages to come.
Van Aert is no stranger to consistency, finishing in the top-20 on five out of the six northern one-day Classics this spring and the Belgian believes getting these results breeds further success down the line.
“I think a good atmosphere and good results bring good results,” Van Aert said in the stage winner’s press conference. “If you feel good and when you have results in the previous days it’s always easier to perform again and harder to come back [from losses].”
After an incredible debut Dauphiné, the Belgian will follow the race with his first Grand Tour at the Tour de France next month, which was announced by Jumbo-Visma just ahead of the race. His performances this week have continued to raise his profile after two impressive Classics campaigns and the question was raised as to whether Van Aert can continue this success and target the green jersey at the Tour de France next month.
“I think this year, no [on targeting the green jersey at the Tour de France]. It’s my first Tour de France, I’m just happy to have a supporting role for the team. It’ll already be extremely difficult just to do the Tour de France, so it’s best to start in that supporting role.
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