Wout van Aert at E3.

Van Aert out, Laporte in for Visma at the Giro

Wout van Aert will miss the Giro d'Italia as he continues to recover after his Dwars door Vlaanderen crash.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 11.04.2024 Photography by
Kristof Ramon
More from Dane +

Just over two weeks after a crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen ended his Cobbled Classics campaign, Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) has confirmed that he will miss the Giro d’Italia.

The 29-year-old Belgian suffered fractures to his collarbone, sternum, and ribs in the pileup – which took out several other big names as well – and although his recovery seems to progressing, he will not be ready in time for the upcoming Grand Tour.

“A lot of injuries are quite good at the moment but my ribs are still a limiting factor, so at this point I cannot train at all,” Van Aert said in a video posted to his team’s social media accounts. “I’m trying to do my first pedal strokes on the bike, but not enough to be able to train, and that’s why we made the decision to not start in the Giro d’Italia.”

A debut appearance at the Giro had been a key objective for Van Aert, who has won nine stages and a green jersey at the Tour de France across five starts there but has yet to line up for the Giro. That will remain true for at least another season.

“It’s a big shame,” he said. “I’m really disappointed to miss also my second big goal of the season, but at this moment I need to prioritize my health and I need to give my body the time to recover.”

In Van Aert’s absence, Christophe Laporte has been added to the squad that will roll out from Venaria Reale on May 4. Laporte’s own Classics campaign was marred by illness, but he returned to racing in time to make the start at Paris-Roubaix last week.

Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Things seemed to be going so well for Visma-Lease a Bike back at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

The 2024 Giro will mark the Frenchman’s own debut in the race, where he figures to be in the mix on intermediate stages while bolstering Olav Kooij’s chances in the bunch sprints. Unlike Van Aert, however, Laporte probably won’t draw too much attention in the general classification battle, where many wondered how Van Aert might fare even if he was quick to dismiss the notion.

With the Giro out of Van Aert’s program, his calendar for the remainder of the season is a question mark. Prior to Dwars door Vlaanderen, he had been expected to race the Giro, skip the Tour, and then take on the Olympics before a possible Vuelta a España start, but the team has not yet said whether changes to that program are in order with the Giro no longer an option.

It’s worth pointing out that Visma may be considering any and all options to bolster its Tour roster now that another one of the team’s star riders has had his own season derailed by a crash. Reigning Tour champ Jonas Vingegaard is currently recovering from two surgeries after a serious pileup at the Itzulia Basque Country left him and several other notables with a variety of major injuries.

In short, crashes threw Visma’s initial 2024 gameplan out the window, and only time will tell how the team will proceed from here.

What did you think of this story?