'I never expected to be here on this level' – Emotional Wout van Aert celebrates Tour de France opening stage podium

Wout van Aert takes third place ahead of Tadej Pogačar on stage 1 of the 2024 Tour de France in Rimini
Wout van Aert takes third place ahead of Tadej Pogačar on stage 1 of the 2024 Tour de France in Rimini (Image credit: Getty Images)

Emotions ran high after the opening stage of the 2024 Tour de France in Rimini – and not just because the French home favourite Romain Bardet claimed a breakaway stage win and the first yellow jersey of his career in his final outing at the race.

Leading the peloton home behind Bardet and his DSM-Firmenich PostNL teammate Frank van den Broek was Belgian star Wout van Aert, rounding out the podium for the best result since he crashed out of the spring Classics at Dwars door Vlaanderen three months ago.

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Dani Ostanek
Senior News Writer

Dani Ostanek is Senior News Writer at Cyclingnews, joining in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired full-time. Before joining the team, they had written for numerous major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly and Rouleur.

Dani has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, Road World Championships, and the spring Classics. They have interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Mathieu van der Poel, Demi Vollering, and Remco Evenepoel. Their favourite races are the Giro d'Italia, Strade Bianche and Paris-Roubaix.

Season highlights from the 2024 season include reporting from Paris-Roubaix –  'Unless I'm in an ambulance, I'm finishing this race' – Cyrus Monk, the last man home at Paris-Roubaix – and the Tour de France – 'Disbelief', gratitude, and family – Mark Cavendish celebrates a record-breaking Tour de France sprint win.