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Van Aert joins Team Jumbo-Visma from March 2019

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Wout van Aert racing Koksijde World Cup

Wout van Aert racing Koksijde World Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Wout van Aert second place on the podium in Koksijde

Wout van Aert second place on the podium in Koksijde
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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An unhappy Wout van Aert on the podium

An unhappy Wout van Aert on the podium
(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Team manager Richard Plugge

Team manager Richard Plugge
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Wout Van Aert (Willems Veranda's Crelan) in the breakaway

Wout Van Aert (Willems Veranda's Crelan) in the breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert (Verandas Willems Crelan)

Wout Van Aert (Verandas Willems Crelan)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After months of legal disputes Wout Van Aert has signed a three-year contract at Team Jumbo-Visma that will allow him to join the team from March 1.

Van Aert already had a contract with the Dutch WorldTour team from the start of 2020 but with demise of his current team - Veranda's Willems Crelan - and their subsequent merger with Roompot for 2019, Van Aert was able to void his deal with the 2019 squad's paying agent and join Jumbo a year earlier than scheduled. The matter went to both the Belgian courts and the UCI.

The talented all-rounder will continue to race the cyclo-cross season before linking up with his new road team ahead of the Spring Classics.

"I think I achieved great results last year and that's why I had the opportunity to talk with different teams", Van Aert said in a press release issued by his future team.

"At one point, Team Jumbo-Visma knocked on my door, a team that really appealed to me. Due to circumstances I will be able to move up the ranks in 2019 already. It feels good that I can step up to the WorldTour, because I think I can develop myself a lot at that level."

Van Aert travelled to Spain earlier this week to meet up with the Jumbo management and sign his new deal for 2019. The team had been interested in the young rider for some time and beat Lotto-Soudal and Bahrain-Merida to the 24-year-old's signature.

This year Van Aert mixed cyclo-cross and road, finishing a highly creditable third at Strade Bianche in March and ninth at the Tour of Flanders.
Earlier this month Team Jumbo told Cyclingnews that they were 'on-standby' and waiting to hear from the UCI as to whether it was clearn to offer Van Aert a contract for 2019.

"We were interested in Wout for 2020," said team manager Richard Plugge.

"Things have all gone faster than planned and we can welcome him to our team earlier. That's very good news for the team, because we're getting stronger. He's a very big talent and we hope to be able to develop him into the classic rider we all see in him."