Wout van Aert has revealed he wants to compete for the green jersey at next year’s Tour de France.
The Belgian cemented his place as one of the world’s best all-rounders during last summer’s Tour by achieving an exceedingly rare treble - winning time trial, sprint and mountain stages in cycling’s biggest event.
His chances of claiming the green jersey, awarded to the winner of the points classification, were hampered however as he had to work in support of Primoz Roglic during the early part of the race and then focused on preparing for the Olympic Games (where he eventually won a silver medal in the road race) as Le Grande Boucle neared its conclusion.
Despite all that, Van Aert still managed to finish fifth in the points classification, just as he did in 2020, and now wants to try and make it third time lucky.
He told Het Laatste Nieuws: "Next year I really want to go for the green jersey, then that's what will happen, and we will make a plan that fits in the general team tactics.”
The ‘plan’ Van Aert is referring to will also have to accommodate his Jumbo-Visma team’s primary goal of supporting Roglic’s bid for the yellow jersey.
The 27 year old confirmed he is prepared to play his part in that and not adopt an entirely free role, but also expects some backing as he seeks to realise his own objectives.
He added: “It does not mean that I am by definition a 'loose pawn' and that the six others can concentrate on Roglic.
"My point is that if I go for green, I expect the team to support me in that. And it would be a bit strange to say, 'Primož I won't help you'."
Nick has been entrenched in the world professional cycling since 2010. He spent six and a half years with Team Sky before becoming Communications Manager for both the Tour de Yorkshire and Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships. Since then he has worked for Velon and Rouleur and is now part of the team at road.cc. Still based in Yorkshire, he rides his road bike as much as he can, although those opportunities have been significantly diminished since becoming a father three years ago.