Double time trial duel for the European throne between Switzerland and Belgium

We are approaching the end of September, the final stretch of the 2023 season, and Wout van Aert is still a shadow of the rider who captivated the cycling world in 2022. Only four wins this season in which he did not shine in a Tour de France where he left everyone speechless last year and was still close to achieving his main goals: San Remo (3rd), Flanders (4th), Roubaix (3rd), World Championship (2nd) and a Big Boucle from which he left empty-handed. But this week the Belgian has the opportunity to redeem part of the course European Cycling Championships in the Dutch region of Drenthe (from 2:30 p.m., Eurosport).

Van Aert began course-correcting a few weeks ago when he conquered the Tour of Great Britain (plus one stage), his first overall win of the season. A good form (he also won a gravel test in preparation for the World Championships in October) that he will try to continue this Wednesday in the time trial in the national championship jersey of the special discipline. The undertaking will not be easy, because in the fight against the clock he will face the last two continental champions: Stefan Küng (2021 and 2022) and Stefan Bissegger (2022).

Participants in the men's individual time trial at the 2023 European Championships.
Participants in the men’s individual time trial at the 2023 European Championships.

Although it won’t be like that Filippo Ganna (he will take part in the endurance test next Sunday), Van Aert will have tough competition beyond the two Swiss namesakes, for example in the characters Rémi Cavagna, Mikkel Bjerg and Joshua Tarling (Bronze at the World Championships in Glasgow), among others. The route is urban, completely flat and does not present too many technical complications along its length. 29.8 km through the city of Emmen. The route will be identical to the elite women’s event in which the Swiss compete Marlen Reusser, She is currently a major dominator of the discipline and reigning champion. She is portrayed as the big favorite against the main opponent. Lotte Kopecky. Dutchman Riejanne Markus – who races at home and became champion at the last national championships ahead of Vollering and Van Vleuten – and the German Lisa Klein, Podium contender. The Spanish participation between both categories is represented by Xabier Mikel Azparren, Mireia Benito and Sandra Alonso.

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