Referred to as the favorite to win the stage, van Aert finally finished fourth in this fifth stage.

Jumbo-Visma leader Wout van Aert made no secret of his disappointment after finishing fourth in the time trial of stage five on Tuesday.

“I may not have thought Pogacar would be the strongest competitor today, but we can no longer call that surprising,” he admitted. “I gave everything I had and made no mistakes, but didn’t have the legs I hoped I had. The disappointment is great. On weekends I wasn’t good enough to take part in the fight, but I did everything to waste as little time as possible with putting This experience in mind. I’ve worked in that direction, but it’s a pity that I missed out on both the stage win and the yellow jersey.”

“When I came across the course this morning, I knew it was going to be tough: at first it was really hard and then it’s constantly up and down, the strength is constantly changing. So, you need very good legs to push your limits every time, and then recover again. It wasn’t I have that today.”

Van Aert is still only 30 seconds away from the yellow jersey. “Maybe we should think about this,” he added. “But at the moment, I am especially disappointed by this stage, I wish I could be close to victory, but I am far from it.”

So Van der Poel will remain in yellow for another day. “This may be his first time at 100%, but you can tell right away that he is doing very well.”

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