The Van Aert vs Van der Poel duel will continue on the road, these are the races in which they will coincide
Van Aert and Van der Poel will meet again in at least seven events in the road season. After closing the cyclo-cross campaign with the World Championship in Hoogerheide, which was won by the Dutchman, less than a month will be left for the umpteenth duel between the two.
Van Aert and Van der Poel write their history hand in hand
Often, to talk about Van Aert, one must inevitably talk about Van der Poel. And the same goes the other way around. It is clear that history has united these two names to give us a memorable rivalry.
The CX season has left us with eleven duels with a balance in favor of the Belgian by 6-5, although it was Van der Poel who won the most important one, the World Championship.
With the arrival of the road, the fight between Van Aert and Van der Poel continues. So far, these two figures of the sport will meet up to seven times, including four classics and one grand tour.
Road races in which they will participate together
The first event in which they will appear will be the Strade Bianche (March 4th). Both know what it's like to win on the sterrato; Van Aert won in 2020 and Van der Poel in 2021, although the Jumbo-Visma rider has also been on the podium on two other occasions.
Neither raced in the last edition, when Pogacar took the victory. The Slovenian will be another of the big names competing in the Italian classic. Pidcock, who skipped the CX World Championships to prepare for the classics, will also be present. The Brit will share the line-up with Van Aert and Van der Poel in the next two races.
With little time to recover, they will start at Tirreno-Adriatico (March 6-12). A race in which Van Aert finished second in 2021, the only time he has taken part, although he took two stage wins. Van der Poel took three stage wins in the two editions in which he has taken part, although he was unable to achieve great results overall.
Without leaving the borders of the Italian country, the next race in which they will compete side by side will be Milan-Sanremo (March 18th), the first monument of the year. Van Aert also tasted victory here in 2020, while a year later he was third. Van der Poel's best result was third last year.
Then it will be the turn to face the Tour of Flanders (April 4th). A race that both riders will surely still have in their minds after the tight sprint they held to decide the victory in 2020, which fell on Van der Poel's side.
The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider repeated his triumph in 2022, while Van Aert was unable to take part in the race due to a positive result in Covid-19.
The last classic in which they will face each other will be Paris-Roubaix (April 9th). Both have yet to win in the tough French race. Van der Poel took third in 2021, while Van Aert was second in 2022.
After some time, they will meet again at the Tour de Suisse (June 11-18). It will be Van Aert's first time participating in this stage race, while Van der Poel raced in 2021 and achieved two stage wins.
And finally (for the time being) they will also coincide in the most precious of all races on the calendar: the Tour de France. Van der Poel will arrive at the Grande Boucle as the undisputed leader of his team, so he will be able to play his cards as he sees appropriate.
For his part, Van Aert will not have as much freedom as his Dutch rival. The Jumbo-Visma leader will be Vingegaard, the current winner, so Van Aert will have to work for him. Still, as was the case last year, it is possible that he will be looking to take the green jersey.