Van Aert: Next year I really want to go for the Tour de France green jersey
Belgian set to combine work for team and own ambitions next July
Wout van Aert has said that he wants to go for the green jersey in next year's Tour de France.
Speaking in an interview with ex-pro Dirk De Wolf for Het Laatste Nieuws (opens in new tab) ahead of their Kristallen Fiets awards, the Belgian said that he's hoping to aim for the points classification next July, despite his team Jumbo-Visma's main goal being to win the overall with Primož Roglič.
Last year, Van Aert won three stages, including the final sprint in Paris, eventually finishing fifth in the points classification 166 points down on Mark Cavendish. He also finished fifth in the green jersey battle in 2020.
"Next year I really want to go for the green jersey," Van Aert said. "Then that's what will happen, and we will make a plan that fits in the general team tactics.
"Even then, it does not mean that I am by definition a 'loose pawn' and that the six others can concentrate on Roglič.
"My point is that if I go for green, I expect the team to support me in that. And it would be a bit strange to say, 'Primož I won't help you'."
Back in August, Van Aert said he had the chance to work towards green after Roglič left the Tour midway through but said that he instead turned his focus to preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
"I am a rider who can take rides and points without the teammates being bothered by it," he said. "We will definitely look into that next year. And we'll see who can help me with that."
Back in 2020 he also said that he wants to one day win the green jersey. The all-rounder certainly has a very good chance of taking it next year, given his ability to compete on terrains where traditional sprinters – and even the likes of Peter Sagan – cannot, including the Ventoux stage this year and Amstel Gold Race in the spring.
Following the end of his road season at Paris-Roubaix, Van Aert is set to return to competition during the cyclo-cross season in December.
He'll make his 2021-22 season debut at the Superprestige round in Boom on December 4, and will first face off against Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock at the UCI World Cup in Dendermonde on December 26.
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