Wout van Aert ‘never started Tour de France before in such poor form’

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Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) has significantly played down expectations for his sixth straight start in the Tour de France, saying that while happy to be taking part, his form is in no way close to what he would like.

The 29-year-old Belgian champion has won nine stages of the Tour so far in his career. Perhaps no other rider has done so on such varied terrain in recent years, ranging from time trials to bunch sprints to a solo win on a mountain stage in 2021 that included a double ascent of the much-feared Mont Ventoux.

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