On the sidelines of his return to competition after two months of absence, Mathieu van der Poel confided that he would compete in the road and mountain bike world championships this summer, after the Tour de France.
We have not seen him in competition since his triumph over Paris-Roubaix on April 9. But there was a good reason. Mathieu van der Poel is going to have a very busy summer and he really needed to recharge the batteries and train hard. This Saturday, the 28-year-old Dutch rider will take part in the Belgian race Through Hageland, before taking part in the Tour de Belgique (five stages) next week.
Two races that will serve as an appetizer before the Tour de France (July 1 to 23), which he hopes to finish with two retirements for his first two participations, then the road race world championships on August 6 between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and finally the MTB World Championships two days later, still in Scotland, as part of the new World Cycling Championships for all disciplines.
Van der Poel: “Winning a stage on the Tour”
On Monday, the grandson of Raymond Poulidor spoke during a video-conference to discuss these different objectives: “The objective is to try to win a stage in the Tour. It’s always a good thing. And the other objective is obviously to arrive in the best possible shape in Paris and to try to prepare for the Worlds. Normally, I will also do the MTB Worlds (cross country) the week following those on the road. But I will not have any specific preparation. I will go without any pressure”, explained the one who had won the bronze medal at the World Mountain Bike Championships in 2018 and the gold at the European Championships the following year.
Winner of only two races this year, but not just any races (Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix!), Mathieu Van der Poel hopes to enrich his prize list during the Belgian races in June. “I prefer to give everything to try to win a stage in Belgium rather than being in the gruppetto of a mountain stage in Switzerland”, he justified to explain his absence from the Tour de Suisse, a World Tour event well more raised.