'I had hoped not to suffer like this' - Wout van Aert stays downbeat but realistic on race return

Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike)
Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) (Image credit: Getty Images)

57 days after his 2024 season was put on hold due to a brutal crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen, Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) finally found himself back in a race peloton on stage 1 of the Tour of Norway on Thursday. However, it wasn’t a return to complete normality for the Belgian star.

After recovering from a fractured collarbone, ribs and sternum, rather than compete for the win as he likely would have pre-crash, Van Aert had to “just ride there and suffer in the bunch."

Van Aert finished 60th, 2:52 down on stage winner Thibau Nys (Lidl-Trek) after finishing his work for Bart Lemmen, who was fourth at the line. 

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James Moultrie
News Writer

James Moultrie is a gold-standard NCTJ journalist who joined Cyclingnews as a News Writer in 2023 after originally contributing as a freelancer for eight months, during which time he also wrote for Eurosport, Rouleur and Cycling Weekly. Prior to joining the team he reported on races such as Paris-Roubaix and the Giro d’Italia Donne for Eurosport and has interviewed some of the sport’s top riders in Chloé Dygert, Lizzie Deignan and Wout van Aert. Outside of cycling, he spends the majority of his time watching other sports – rugby, football, cricket, and American Football to name a few.