According to some reports, Ineos Grenadiers will try to sign Wout van Aert for 2022 season.
The British team had a first meeting with Van Aert’s management during the last Tour de France. Sir Dave Brailsford was enthusiastic about the opportunity to recruit the Belgian superstar.
Wout van Aert still has a contract with Jumbo-Visma until the end of 2021. The Belgian is very happy at the Dutch team and has already indicated that he would like to extend his contract. However, it is also clear that after this superseason there will be a different price tag around Van Aert’s neck.
He won in 2020 Milan-Sanremo, Strade Bianche, two stages in the Tour de France, a stage in the Dauphiné and the Belgian Championships time trial. He also finished second at the World Championship in both races and was also second in Tour of Flanders.
Brailsford was already in talks with Van Aert in 2018 about a transfer to Team Sky. It was already clearly indicated to the Belgian rider that the combination cyclocross / road cycling would not be a problem at all. This has recently been proven with the recruitment of Thomas Pidcock. Just like Van Aert, Pidcock also has a personal sponsorship contract with Red Bull.
In the summer of 2018, however, Van Aert opted for Jumbo-Visma. This was also because the negotiations with the British team went quite slowly, while the Dutch team moved faster.
Van Aert has already indicated several times in the media that he feels at home at Jumbo-Visma. However, his personal ambitions must continue to fit within the goals of the team. The 26-year-old rider no longer makes it a secret that the green jersey in the Tour de France is one of his goals in the coming years. Whether that fits with the yellow dream of Roglic and Dumoulin we will see.
Brailsford has been wanting to strengthen his team for the classics for years. The victories in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are still missing from the records of the British team.
Another question is whether the Dutch team can meet Van Aert’s salary requirements. Due to his phenomenal season, his market value has increased enormously and he is one of the most sought after riders in the peloton.
Jumbo-Visma already has quite a few expensive guys. Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk and Dylan Groenewegen are big earners. In addition, the price of many riders of the second plan, including Sepp Kuss and George Bennett, has been increased by their performances in recent months.
Ineos Grenadiers, on the other hand, has the largest budget in the pack. In 2020, the team already had a budget of almost 51 million euros. They are able to pay Van Aert the highest salary of the WorldTour.