Van Aert embraces bikepacking with a three-day trip through France
After the classics campaign, Van Aert is taking a break for a few days, riding with friends through the hills of the Champagne region of France, close to the Belgian border, on a three-day trip of just over 400 kilometers.
Van Aert enjoys a cycling vacation
That riders like Wout Van Aert are truly passionate about cycling is clear when, after an intense spring, giving everything in the very tough cobblestone classics and with hardly any rest after the cyclocross campaign, he decides to spend his vacations pedaling.
This is how the Jumbo-Visma rider spent a few days on a Cervélo Aspéro, leaving his home town of Herentals to head south towards the French region of Champagne, home of the famous vineyards that produce the world's most famous sparkling wine, as well as a perfect region for gravel riding, as we discovered on one of the stages of the 2022 Tour de France for women, on a day that included several dirt sections.
A clean slate for Wout van Aert after a classics season that was not as successful as he would have liked, although he did manage to win the E3 Saxo Classic, in one of the most spectacular races we have ever seen, or second place a couple of days later in Ghent-Wevelgem, where he handed the victory to teammate Christophe Laporte.
As can be seen in Van Aert's Strava account, the first stage consisted of a route of 169 kilometers and 1,700 m of elevation gain that took the group from Herentals to the Walloon town of Darbuy, in the heart of the Ardennes. On the second day they did a stage of 156 kilometers and 2,686 m of elevation gain to reach French lands, specifically the town of Signy-l'Abbay. Finally, they concluded this adventure with a stage of just over 100 kilometers, and yes, touring the vineyards of Champagne in a day that led them to Baslieux les Fismes.
Like his nemesis Van der Poel, the Jumbo-Visma rider will not return to competition until the Tour de Suisse, a race that will serve as preparation for a Tour de France where he must be a key part of his team's quest for the second yellow jersey from teammate Jonas Vingegaard.