Wout Van Aert will race his cyclo-cross bike for the first time ever on Irish soil this season when he heads to the Dublin round of the World Cup
The Belgian champion will begin his cyclocross season on 4 December at the World Cup round in Antwerp.
After a two month break from racing, the Belgian will resume competition on home soil before travelling to Ireland for the World Cup round in Dublin on 11 December.
Jumbo-Visma released their rider’s programme (opens in new tab) until the end of the year this afternoon, which contained a December packed full of cyclocross competition.
As well as racing in Antwerp and Dublin, van Aert will compete in the ‘Exact Cross’ event in Mol, near Antwerp as well as a world cup slot in Gavere, Belgium on Boxing day. He will end the month with another round of ‘Exact Cross’ in Loenhout, Belgium on 30 December.
Whether van Aert will race the cyclocross world championships in February still remains to be seen.
Last week reigning world champion Tom Pidcock announced that he will begin the cyclocross season at the Merksplas Super Prestige race on 19 November in Belgium.
The race on Belgian soil will be Pidcock’s first outing in his cyclocross rainbow jersey which he won in Fayetteville, USA in January.
After participating in the Merksplas Super Prestige race, Pidcock will compete in the Overijse World Cup slot in Belgium a day later.
It is also still unknown as to whether Pidcock will attempt to defend his cyclocross world title next year.
At the recent Tour de France route announcement in Paris, Pidcock made clear that the 2023 spring classics remain as being a main goal and that he was unsure how long he would compete in cyclocross for this winter.
He said: “I don’t know yet, crossing in the winter and being good in the classics is a difficult combination, I’m definitely going to ‘cross, although I don’t know exactly how much yet.”
Last year Wout van Aert skipped the world championships as he prepared for the “opening weekend” of the road season in which he took the honours at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma team have already suggested that the spring classics are one of their riders main targets for 2023 with the Belgian aiming for Tour of Flanders or Paris Roubaix victory in April.