Wout van Aert will make his road racing campaign debut at this weekend’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in what marks a change of plans for the Belgian and his Jumbo-Visma squad.
Van Aert’s early season program has been expected to include Strade Bianche, the GP Industria and Artigianato, and Milano-Sanremo.
The coronavirus has hit the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto, with travel restrictions and religious and sport events already cancelled there as a precaution.
Milan-Sanremo starts in Lombardy and races through it for the first section of the race. And though it does not take place for another 3 weeks, RCS Sport says it is concerned it will be asked by the public health authorities to cancel the event.
“With van Aert’s start in the Omloop, we anticipate a possible cancellation of other races on his program,” Jumbo-Visma said in a statement.
Van Aert spent months recovering before returning to competition in cyclocross events in late December.