For the Jumbo-Visma star, there will be no second time to rejoice: ‘It’s the first big disappointment.’
SONDERBERG, Denmark (VN) — Wout van Aert came in second for the third day in a row on Sunday’s third stage of the Tour de France, but he was not celebrating at the finish line this time.
He was in yellow on Saturday after two consecutive second-place finishes, but Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) threw a brilliant jab and stabbed Van Aert’s bike to deny him the victory.
Van Aert said that he has now come in second place three times in a row, but this time, it was his decision. This is the first major letdown, according to Van Aert. “The past two days I got beaten by stronger riders. Dylan was strong today, but I think I pulled too soon off the wheel of Christophe [LaPorte]. I was too early in the wind.”
Following his second-place showing in the first time trial and his defeat on Saturday to Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Van Aert evaded a late-race crash to take the lead in the decisive sprint.
Jakobsen and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) were out of position, giving Van Aert free access to the finish line.
He said, “We came in well-positioned for the final.” “I am now three times second, and each time I [am] getting closer.”
Van Aert was glared at fiercely by TotalEnergies’ Peter Sagan, but he dismissed the criticism.
“No”, Van Aert stated, “I saw him come past me, and I saw him trying to say something, but I could not understand him with all the noise, I was not sure what he was complaining about.” He claimed that he had no idea where Sagan ended up or what transpired there.
Heading back to France after three days in Denmark
On Monday during the Tour’s first rest day, Van Aert will wear the yellow jersey back to France.
Van Aert expressed astonishment at his performance in the initial stages of the race in Denmark; therefore he is looking forward to the even tougher phases that will take place in France soon.
He said that every stage has some challenging areas, like the cobblestones, so what’s coming will be incredibly difficult. “It’s in my favor when the stages are a bit harder. I am looking forward to this.”
Van Aert stated that they are looking forward to integrating their two aspirations of green and yellow. “We are in a good place for green and for the GC. We stayed out of trouble in Denmark, and Jonas and Primož are looking strong.”
In Denmark, the mission has so far proven successful. Van Aert merely needs a victory to wrap up the story.