Van Aert has been given the green light to begin training after spending nearly five months recovering from injuries sustained after a horrific crash at the Tour de France in July.
Following his two-week training camp in Girona, Van Aert said that he will undergo physiological testing to assess how well he has recovered and if he can begin racing cyclo-cross.
He confirmed that he wanted to use some of the cyclo-cross season to prepare for his 2020 road racing campaign where he will first target Omloop Het Nieuwsbald as part of the spring Classics.
He hopes to race in several cyclo-cross events beginning at the Azencross cyclo-cross race in Loenhout, Belgium, on December 27.
“After those two weeks, I will undergo a physical test, and only when that test gives the green light will I be allowed to cross," he told the Belgian press.
"In total, I hope to ride around eight crosses this winter. In February, I will go on an altitude training trip to Tenerife to work towards the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad."
Van Aert made his debut at the Tour de France in July as part of the Jumbo-Visma squad that won the stage 2 team time trial. He also won stage 10, and went into the stage 13 individual time trial as one of the favourites.
He crashed with one kilometre to go during the time trial after he clipped the road-side fencing through a righthand corner. He was transported to nearby hospital in Pau where he underwent an initial surgery to repair the torn skin, capsule and muscle of his upper thigh and hip.
He was then transferred to a hospital near his home in Herentals where he underwent a second operation and spent the first part of his recovery process. Doctor Toon Claes, who performed the surgery, said it would take two months before he could begin intensive rehabilitation.
Van Aert told the Belgian press last week that he hoped to race the Azencross cyclo-cross race in Loenhout, which will mark his first race since the crash. He wants to use a series of cyclo-cross races to help build form ahead of the 2020 road race season with Jumbo-Visma.
"If the recovery continues as it is now, I will make my comeback in Loenhout on December 27. My rehabilitation has progressed much faster this past month, and I can now train and increase the load," Van Aert said
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