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Wout van Aert to shorten cyclocross season and focus on Classics in 2018

Bieles Cyclocross World Championships: Wout van Aert winning the Elite Men's race
Josh Cunningham
12 Apr 2017

World Cyclocross Champion will reduce number of cyclocross races from 42 to 30 in order to stay fresh for Flanders and Roubaix

Reigning World Cyclocross Champion Wout Van Aert has revealed that he will be reducing his 2017/18 cyclocross racing season in a bid to maintain freshness ahead of racing the Tour of Flanders, and even Paris-Roubaix.

Van Aert has already voiced his intention of racing the Spring Classics, but the reduction of his cyclocross schedule to 30 races (he rode 42 during the 2016/17 season) is a new indication of just how seriously that these intentions are to be taken. 

Success in road racing is not a new thing for Van Aert, who in January won his second World Cyclocross Championships in a row: during the 2016 road season he won the prologue of the Baloise Belgium Tour ahead of no less than Tony Martin, before also winning again on the tight, dirty, Classics-style roads of Schaal Sels later in the year. 

Van Aert rides for a hybrid teamm, Verandas Willems-Crelan, that is merger between a four-rider cross team, managed by Niels Albert, and a Pro-Continental road outfit that is lead by Stijn Devolder.

After spending the 2017/18 cyclocross season in the jersey of the former, Van Aert will switch the road team ahead of the spring.

The intention is to ride the Tour of Flanders, which Verandas Willems-Crelan were invited to this year, and if they are selected to participate at Paris-Roubaix, there is every chance Van Aert will be present there as well. 

However, his coach Marc Lamberts offered a word of warning when speaking to Het Laatste Nieuws: 'I advised him to make a choice. Either he goes full for [the Classics], or he chooses to go a hundred percent for cross. Both is not an option anymore.'

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