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Wout van Aert signs three-year renewal with Jumbo-Visma

Stage winner Team Jumbo rider Belgiums Wout van Aert R celebrates with Team Jumbo rider Netherlands Robert Gesink after winning the 7th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 168 km between Millau and Lavaur on September 4 2020 Photo by Stephane MANTEY various sources AFP Photo by STEPHANE MANTEYAFP via Getty Images
Van Aert celebratiing after his stage 7 win at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Wout van Aert has extended his contract with Jumbo-Visma, agreeing to stay with the Dutch team until 2024.

Ineos Grenadiers were reportedly interested in signing Van Aert but he denied speaking to other teams and opted to stay with Jumbo-Visma.  

"Also after 2021, I am a very proud member of Team Jumbo-Visma. I am very happy with that", Van Aert said in a video message shot during the team’s training camp in Alicante. 

"I really wanted to extend because I have become a lot better with this team. I think everyone has seen that I have made huge steps forward as a rider in recent years. I was always in shape when I needed to. I owe a lot to the team to be able to work towards my goals. 

"The decision that I wanted to re-sign was made pretty pretty quickly in my mind. I don't have to explain to you that there was more interest in me, but I have never had talks with another team.

"My goal was to extend the contract. We have become the best team in the world. It was best for me to stay. I am glad that it is done and I am relieved that I can speak out about it."

Van Aert joined Jumbo-Visma in 2019 as he focused more on the road and won a legal battle with his former Verandas Willems team. 

He won a stage at the 2019 Tour de France but then crashed out during the Pau time trial after roadside barriers cut into his thigh. He recovered during the winter and the spring COVID-19 lockdown, emerging in superb form in the summer to win Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and the Belgian national time trial championships.

The 26-year-old also won two sprint stages at the Tour de France and worked tirelessly for Primož Roglič in the mountains as he confirmed his wide range of talents. He rounded out his season with runner-up spots at the Worlds time trial, road race, and the Tour of Flanders.

The Jumbo-Visma team announced Van Aert's contract extension with a lighthearted video that played on his wide range of skills. 

The video showed him working for the team in races and then winning the Tour de France sprints but also cleaning the hotel swimming pool, serving coffee to his teammates in the new women's Jumbo-Visma team, answering the phone and even ironing team manager Richard Plugge's shirt. 

"You really can do everything right? You can stay," Plugge says in the video.  

Van Aert's contract was due to end after the 2021 season but Jumbo-Visma have extended and no doubt massively increased his salary early to ensure he stays at the team. The Jumbo supermarket has not been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and plans to open a number of supermarkets in Belgium. They see Van Aert as a key part of their sponsorship strategy.  

"Wout is one of the big names, one of the big stars of cycling. He is the current number three of the world. For us it was important to keep him," Plugge said. 

"There might have been other teams that were interested in Wout, but his intention was to sign from the beginning. We have helped him in his development and that is why he wants to stay. We quickly understood each other's desire. Then the details took some time. I am very happy that we were able to keep him."

Van Aert is currently at pre-season training camp with his team but will return to Belgium for the weekend to compete at Zilvermeercross in Mol in the build-up to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships on January 31.