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by Mark Zalewski
January 17, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chloe Hosking jumps up to top step of podium in hilly stage 3 of Santos Women’s Tour; Tour Down Under GC battle looms at Paracombe: ‘One of the hardest stages the TDU has seen’; Fractured clavicle ends Toon Aerts’ season; Riders react to Italian World Cup course; Wout van Aert shifts focus to world championship questionable for Hoogerheide; Fight for Giro d’Italia wildcard invite to be fierce; Pinarello responds to claims of intellectual property infringement; Vanmarcke reveals spring Classics programme; Devriendt has knee surgery; Video: 2017 Cylance Pro Cycling; The Road Less Traveled – Why do you ride gravel?; Steven Ceballos Urbano de Manizales jump.
After securing the overall World Cup series win on Sunday at the round in Fiuggi, Italy, Wout van Aert (Veranda’s Willems-Crelan) says he is glad to be able to now focus entirely on preparations for the UCI World Championships in Luxembourg in two weeks. While he had planned to race the final round in Hoogerheide this weekend, a lingering knee injury could see him skip the race in favour of staying ready for the defence of his world title.
“Sunday is still Hoogerheide the final round, but I can now travel without stress to Hoogerheide,” he told Sporza after the race. “In my head I had distractions, but now the focus shifts to the World Championship. That is important mentally — I can now calmly prepare myself with a week [of training] in Spain.”
However, Sporza reported that van Aert is still dealing with a knee injury sustained during the race in Otegem, the day after he defended his Belgian national title, and that a visit to the doctor Monday morning could result in him missing the final World Cup event.
“This morning I visited Dr. Toon Claes. An examination showed that I need to rest a few days,” Van Aert said. He is suffering from friction between the tendons in his knee and his kneecap, but is still hoping to race. “Thursday I will know if I can participate in the race in Hoogerheide. The knee pain is serious, and I am taking no risks. Hopefully a few days rest will bring some relief.”
While van Aert’s dominating win on Sunday was another indication he is a favourite to defend his title, the other favourite, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon), was not present. The head-to-head comparison in Hoogerheide would be the final chance ahead of the World Championships.