One day after his fourth world title of cyclocross, celebrated at home with pizza and wine, Mathieu van der Poel is looking forward to coming summer. “If someone tells me that I have a better chance of winning at the Games if I don‘t ride the Tour, I’d rather not do the Tour.”
end of last year, Van der Poel did not say that a combination of the Tour and the Games would be a difficult puzzle, but the rider of Alpecin-Fenix will not reluctantly ride the Tour of France, where he will just be at the start. “That‘s what said a lot, I also understand the importance,” he said in an online press conference.
His team, who will debut in the Tour this year, attaches great importance to the presence of ‘signboard‘ Van der Poel. “In the end they pay my wages and occasionally add some water to the wine is not bad”, acknowledges the 26-year-old Dutchman, who is active both on the road and in cyclocross and mountain biking. “I already get a lot of freedom and privileges, because I can combine three disciplines. And it’s not that it‘s a punishment to ride the Tour.”
Whether Van der Poel will leave the Tour, is still a question. “At first it was the plan to leave the Tour completely, but if I risk the chance that I’m not super at the Games, I consider getting out early.”
Preparation for the mountain bike
The Tour de France finishes on 18 July this year and the Olympic mountain bike race, where Van der Poel wants to grab gold, is scheduled for 26 July in Tokyo.
“ In preparation for the Tour, I will ride a number of world cups on the mountain bike and I plan a longer training camp on the mountain bike”, explains Van der Poel, who finds it no problem that he has fewer miles on the road in his legs when the Tour starts. “Switching from the mountain bike to the road bike is a good thing for me and I need the mountain bike ilometers to get in shape for the Games.”
Watch here how Van der Poel took the world title of cyclocross in Ostend on Sunday: