Wout van Aert gave Jumbo-Visma the second stage victory in a row in Wednesday’s Tour de France, after Primoz Roglic had already been the strongest in the first uphill finish on Tuesday.
“Very nice of course,” said Jumbo-Visma rider Robert Gesink, who only heard after the finish that his teammate had won. “If we can take two stages in the first week, it’s very good for morale within the team
Gesink is happy to see that both Roglic and Van Aert are in good shape. “We knew Primoz was in good shape and when he shows it this way it’s very good. We’ll take that with us to the real mountains.”
“We’ve all seen that Wout is finishing a good series. It’s super cool that he can take this stage here”, said Gesink, who also did the necessary ruts for his teammates.
Stage winner Van Aert, of course as satisfied as Gesink, spoke of a simple stage, but a difficult finish. “The stage was perhaps the easiest I’ve ever ridden in my cycling career. There was no breakaway and the speed was not high in the peloton, so everyone arrived fresh at the finish. However, the final part was hectic. There was a lot of wind.”
“I knew this was a stage I could win”, said the Belgian, who won the Strade Bianche and Milan Sanremo before the Tour. “I’m glad the team allowed me to go for the win”
So Van Aert certainly has nothing to complain about. “I had a lot of time today to recover from the mountains and if the form is good, you’ll recover better. The team is doing very well. We have to try to hold on to this now. At least I have my stage win inside. From now on I’m going to help the team.”
Van Aert not only had some help from his own team, he was also able to take full advantage of the sprint train of Cees Bol, who also competed for the win, but eventually finished second. “We did very well today”, analyzed the 25-year old Dutchman. “Everyone on the team had super good legs and no other team could come alongside”
“I can’t blame myself,” said Bol, who finished third on the first day and came in seventh on Monday. “But I don’t like it. That little hill at the end wasn’t to my disadvantage, but also not to Wouts disadvantage. If you look at his results, he is currently the best in the world. On arrivals like this, too, apparently.”
Bol keeps believing in a win this Tour anyway. “Faith in victory is even more strengthened by this second place. We have to be patient for a while, I think. Winning a stage is a dream for me. If it’s going to work out, I’m convinced it’s going to be beautiful.”