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Tour de France preparation delayed for Wout van Aert after appendix operation

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) will miss the two main pre-Tour de France races, the Tour de Suisse and Critérium du Dauphiné, after having to undergo an operation for appendicitis.

Van Aert has not raced since the Spring Classics, where he finished a successful campaign with a victory at the Amstel Gold Race after also claiming wins in Gent-Wevelgem and two stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico.

According to Sporza, Van Aert will add the Belgian time trial championships in mid-June to his racing programme in hopes of defending his title before going on to target the Tour de France and Olympic Games.

Van Aert has had ample success in the Critérium du Dauphiné since his first WorldTour season with Jumbo-Visma. In 2019, he won two stages and the points classification before taking two stage wins in the Tour de France and crashing out in the mid-race time trial.

Van Aert underwent two surgeries after suffering a major gash to his hip when he collided with the sharp edge of a barrier in the stage 13 time trial. He missed the rest of the 2019 season and the first half of 2020 but came roaring back when racing resumed in the coronavirus pandemic-rescheduled calendar, taking wins in Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo.

Van Aert went on to win one stage and the points classification in the Dauphiné and two stages in the Tour while helping Primož Roglič to second overall.

He is expected to replace racing with an altitude camp with the team in the Sierra Nevada next week, provided he has recovered sufficiently from surgery.

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