Wout van Aert extended his contract with Dutch cycling team Jumbo-Visma on Thursday claiming his team had become the best in the world. The 26-year-old Van Aert was arguably Jumbo’s star performer in the 2020 Tour de France and has extended until the end of 2024 in a major coup for the supermarket-backed outfit.

“We have become the best team in the world. It was best for me to stay,” Van Aert said on Thursday.

“I am glad that it is done and I am relieved that I can speak out about it,” he said, after it had been reported he may switch to British outfit Ineos.

Jumbo are a regular sight at the head of a peloton in their striking, wasp-like yellow and black outfits and boast an all-star cast.

They now rival Ineos in strength in depth, with Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin previous grand tour winners.

The powerfully built Van Aert was silver-medalist at the 2020 world championships in both the road race and the time-trial. He also won the Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche one-day races and was voted Belgian sportsman of the year ahead of Romelu Lukaku. Van Aert won two stages on the 2020 Tour de France and led Primoz Roglic to within a day of winning the Tour itself. He is also a three-time cyclo-cross world champion.

Peter Sagan (SVK – Bora – Hansgrohe) – Wout Van Aert (BEL – Team Jumbo – Visma) – Sam Bennett (IRL – Deceuninck – Quick Step) – Caleb Ewan (AUS – Lotto Soudal)

RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

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