The Italian has returned to his roots by participating in several cyclo-cross races over the winter, leading to speculation he would try for Worlds but, after a training camp with the national team in Ardea, he has agreed with the national coach Fausto Scotti to leave the spaces open to specialists and young riders.
"I won’t be taking part in the upcoming cyclo-cross World Championships on January 31. In agreement with the national coach Fausto Scotti, we’ve taken the decision not to take part in World Championships," Aru said in a video posted to social media. "It’s only right to leave the space to the specialists and young riders who have dedicated time to this discipline."
Aru dipped his toe into the 'cross scene in Italy, racing six events in Ancona, San Fior (Treviso), Cremona, Sant'Elpidio, Lecce and Variano di Basiliano, and said after debuting with his new team in Cremona that the races made him feel "like a child doing his first races. This is sport, this is my passion".
"For me, cyclo-cross was a good restart after these difficult years for me," he said to Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday. "It was an experience that allowed me to restart and I really needed it. If I went back over the years, I would do it a thousand times over."
"I want to thank cyclo-cross scene for welcoming me and I want to thank my team Qhubeka-Assos for allowing me to participate in various cyclo-cross races. I wore their colours for the first time in a cyclo-cross race. Now I’ll continue at my training camp with Qhubeka-Assos. We’re having very productive days of training and meetings. The road season will start shortly, and I hope I can pin a number on my back in road races soon."
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