Mathieu van der Poel takes his hat off to the World Cup performances of his eternal rival Wout van Aert. “And that immediately after the Tour”, responds the Dutch champion who is preparing to harvest in the cobbled classics.
Mathieu van der Poel (25) has ignored the World Cup in Italy. “Not an easy choice,” he says in front of our camera. “When I got back from training on Sunday, I took the last 30 kilometers.”
“Honestly, I don’t think I would have been in the front. The final climb had been too tough for me.”
Not for Wout van Aert. He rode to double silver in Imola. “Very well what he has achieved there”, says Van der Poel. “And that immediately after the Tour, that’s impressive.”
In recent years, the Dutch top player has always been the man to beat, now that role is reserved for his eternal opponent Van Aert. How can he be beaten now?
“Alaphilippe has shown that”, answers Van der Poel. “And I always say everyone can be beat.”
Honestly, I don’t think I would have been at the front of the World Cup.
“Wasn’t good enough after corona break”
The first weeks after the corona break, Mathieu van der Poel could be beaten. The leader of Alpecin-Fenix got off to a difficult start in the Italian races.
“Maybe because I trained too hard,” he says. “I will do too much rather than too little. It was not a drama in those races, but also not what I expected.”
“It has been a different period for everyone”, Van der Poel continues. “Some riders came out stronger, for me it turned out slightly different.”
“I was always used to being in the front, but this time I didn’t play for the win. I just wasn’t good enough.”
VIDEO: Van der Poel has to release in Strade Bianche
“I keep on racing my way”
With a demonstration at the Dutch championship and a stage victory in the Tirreno, Mathieu van der Poel has gained confidence for the autumn. Today he is at the start of the Belgian-Dutch stage competition BinckBank Tour.
“As a final preparation for the classics, but also not just to roll along”, he promises. “I am always happy when we can race, especially now.”
Van der Poel does not intend to change his attractive style either. “No, if I’m good, I will always race my way. Like in the Tirreno. In the queen stage I actually had to wait, but when a group left after an hour, I went there anyway,” laughs Van der Poel, who will also be riding the Brabantse Pijl, the Amstel, the Ronde and Roubaux in the coming weeks. “
|The autumn of Mathieu van der Poel|
|29/09 – 03/10||BinckBank Tour|
|10/10||Amstel Gold Race|
|18/10||Tour of Flanders|
|25/10||Paris – Roubaix|
VIDEO: The interview with Mathieu van der Poel
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