For a moment it seemed that Wout van Aert would still play for the stage win and maybe even the battle for the polka dot jersey, but at 5 kilometers from the top he let the group with the favorites run.
“Perhaps I could have stuck with it a little longer, but when Majka accelerated I knew it would go faster and faster from then on. I was not there to ride in the top 10, but to do something useful. Just in case Jonas (Vingegaard ) gave his go to speed up or respond to someone.”
“We have done a wonderful job. Unfortunately, we miss out on the stage victory, but it is fantastic what Jonas is doing here.”
Will he be a man in the future who competes for the overall victory in Grand Tours? “If you can become 2nd in the Tour, without having started with classification ambitions, then I think so. Just look at how he has grown over the past 3 weeks. There is still a lot that can be done.”
With a view to Tokyo, it seems that not much more needs to be added at Van Aert. His last “climbing training” was successful. “I rode even better uphill this week than in previous weeks. The work is almost done.”