Jumbo-Visma's Wout van Aert has told the Belgian media that he does have ambitions to one day try to win the green points jersey at the Tour de France, but that next year may not be the time to attempt to do so as he'll be heading to the Olympic Games in Tokyo after next summer's Tour with medal ambitions.
"I want to go all out for the green jersey one day, but after [next year's] Tour, we've also got the Olympic Games," Van Aert told Belgian TV channel VRT's sports show Extra Time Koers on Wednesday evening, according to Het Nieuwsblad. "We'll have to see how we're going to approach that Tour with Tokyo in mind."
Van Aert was given enough freedom to win two stages of this year's rescheduled Tour, and his points haul from those meant that he finished fifth in the overall points classification. However, he spent the rest of the race working in the service of Jumbo-Visma's GC contender Primož Roglič, with Van Aert showing what was a surprising aptitude for domestique duties on the climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees.
While Van Aert followed the Tour with second place in the World Championships time trial, eighth place at Gent-Wevelgem and second place at the Tour of Flanders, Roglič won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and is now defending his Vuelta a España title.
The weekend after the Tour, however, the two met as competitors, riding for their respective nations – Belgium and Slovenia – at the Worlds road race in Imola, Italy, after which the Belgian media gave somewhat of an impassioned response to the fact that Roglič didn't do more to repay Van Aert in the chase of eventual winner Julian Alaphilippe of France, with the Belgian having to settle for silver, as he did in the time trial.
Any potential friction – which neither Van Aert nor Roglič had ever said existed anyway – had clearly been forgotten long ago, with Van Aert praising his teammate for his Liège victory and his current Vuelta performance, which netted Roglič a second stage win and a move back up to second place overall on Wednesday.
"I think it's really great that he's still so good," Van Aert said on Extra Time Koers. "I didn't expect that. After missing out on the overall victory at the Tour, he went on to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège two weeks later, proving that he's a real champion."
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