Marking a first in his career with Jumbo-Visma, Van Aert’s appointment as the spearhead for the Italian Grand Tour heralds a new chapter for the Belgian ace. Van Aert, no stranger to the grueling demands of Grand Tours, boasts an enviable record at the Tour de France with nine stage victories and the prestigious Škoda Green Jersey from the previous edition.
The unveiling of the 2024 Giro route, spanning from May 4-26, has set the stage for what promises to be a gripping race. Notably, the course re-introduces the fabled Passo dello Stelvio and incorporates a challenging segment of the Strade Bianche gravel roads on its sixth stage.
This route, especially with its generous allotment of 68 kilometers dedicated to individual time trials and six mountain top finishes, seems tailor-made for Van Aert’s formidable blend of speed and endurance. The Belgian’s mastery in time trials, underscored by three national championships, could well tilt the odds in his favor.
A particularly decisive moment could be the ascent to Prati di Tivo on stage eight, a climb Van Aert knows intimately, having secured a ninth-place finish there during the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico.
Adding to the excitement, there’s a growing buzz around the possibility of a showdown with cycling luminary Tadej Pogačar. The Slovenian, a two-time Tour de France champion, is reportedly eyeing a dual campaign at both the Giro and Tour in 2024, setting the stage for a riveting clash of titans.
Who do you think will win?