Mathieu Van der Poel

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Who knows, but he certainly has great genes, his father noted his class early on, even compared to his brother, his has experience in numerous disciplines, and truly seems hungry and on-form. And, never hurts to have a home crowd cheering you on, nor what sounds like race radio issues that created some chaos.
 
And we now folks trying to explain this. Great genes (his dad was busted for doping as well!) There were radio issues (even if he had not won, it would not be terribly believable given to what extent he destroyed everyone else; also, it's not just Amstel). He was good from a young age (no one is saying he was a donkey or this was the ludicrous Froomformation). He certainly generates a fair bit of fanboy fever, which I guess makes sense as he is personable and is exciting as a racer.
 
He probably has way above average neuromuscular power thanks to CX and the specificity principle - on top of a very strong aerobic engine. Obviously a good thing to have in the classics.

Believable? Hell no.
 
Of course his dad was a doper, look at the years he was riding. Irrelevant. But if anyone can make a good case why he is doping more or better than any of the other riders he completely demolished on Sunday after the earlier attacks and huge pull he did I'd be happy to read it.
 
Re:

Cookster15 said:
Of course his dad was a doper, look at the years he was riding. Irrelevant. But if anyone can make a good case why he is doping more or better than any of the other riders he completely demolished on Sunday after the earlier attacks and huge pull he did I'd be happy to read it.
As has been mentioned, MVDP is a terrific bike racer. Of that there is no doubt.
I am not a doctor, but I agree that the fact his dad was on the gear is irrelevant. But I don't agree with the insinuation that doping was a big problem in the past compared to now.
I cant answer your question, but I think looking at money earned and connections would be a great place to start.
 
Re:

Cookster15 said:
Of course his dad was a doper, look at the years he was riding. Irrelevant. But if anyone can make a good case why he is doping more or better than any of the other riders he completely demolished on Sunday after the earlier attacks and huge pull he did I'd be happy to read it.
Because doping isn't pervasive now?

But no, no case to be made that he's doping more or better than everyone else. Seems most likely that most of the top riders are doping, just as they have been for a long, long time. Dope or not, the guy is obviously a huge talent. Unlike some riders who only came to the fore after taking on new programs.
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
armchairclimber said:
Can you tell us what is interesting, or what part specifically. Never had much love for the man, even before i thought he doped. So i'm not about to sit through 33 minutes if him babbling unless i know why, lol.
Not to put words in armchairclimber s mouth, but I am assuming the interesting part is what was not mentioned.

I ll give you the details so you nor anyone else has to watch:
Armstrong spends the majority of the podcast repeating over and over again the spectacular feat achieved by MVDP. He goes on and on about the best bike race he has ever witnessed.
In between he heaps tons of praise on MVDP, saying he has never seen someone so talented in his entire life. MVDP could ride the best ever off his wheel, and so on and so forth.
All the while his co-host just goes uh huh, yeah, I know, right, unbelievable, etc etc.
The only reason I watched the episode in its entirety was because I was really curious if Lancey-poo would mention the elephant in the room.
Did not happen. There goes 30 minutes of my life.

p.s. I almost forgot to mention that Lance is excited because MVDP is heralding in a new era of cycling. Reason being is they look cool and talk cool and race cool. And that is a wrap.
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
armchairclimber said:
Can you tell us what is interesting, or what part specifically. Never had much love for the man, even before i thought he doped. So i'm not about to sit through 33 minutes if him babbling unless i know why, lol.
His podcast is pretty good. Better than a lot of english-speaking drivel that passes for race analysis. Yeah, he's an arse, and has been horrible to a lot of decent people. Still find the podcast pretty good.

I'm still trying to get my head around "...before I thought he doped".

the delgados said:
p.s. I almost forgot to mention that Lance is excited because MVDP is heralding in a new era of cycling. Reason being is they look cool and talk cool and race cool. And that is a wrap.
He was talking about riders who could be promoted–the guy is definitely interested in becoming a race promoter.
 
Yeah, no one ever accused him of being a shrinking violet.
He has ball of steel.
(har har)
Good luck with the race promoter stuff. Maybe he should hook up with Vince Mcmahon and Michael Ball to create a legends of dopers league.
It would be funny to watch riders in their forties winning grand tours. Not like that ever happened before.
 
Re: Re:

red_flanders said:
I'm still trying to get my head around "...before I thought he doped".
There is a point, when you do not suspect a rider of doping. Then there is a point where you get suspicious but give hime the benefit of the doubt. Then there is a point where you suspect it, eventhough it hasn't been proven. And finally, you know for sure, when there is proof. I assume most people started to dislike him when they started suspecting he was doping, or when there was proof. Well, i never liked him! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
armchairclimber said:
Can you tell us what is interesting, or what part specifically. Never had much love for the man, even before i thought he doped. So i'm not about to sit through 33 minutes if him babbling unless i know why, lol.
i have no love for the man but his podcasts/previews/reviews are interesting ... he does know the sport.
His incredulity was the most fascinating ... he opens up with, and I paraphrase: I've never seen anything like that in 30 years of watching cycling.

Which is pretty much how I felt when I saw it (I've been watching for a bit longer).
 
Re: Re:

red_flanders said:
Cookster15 said:
Of course his dad was a doper, look at the years he was riding. Irrelevant. But if anyone can make a good case why he is doping more or better than any of the other riders he completely demolished on Sunday after the earlier attacks and huge pull he did I'd be happy to read it.
Because doping isn't pervasive now?

But no, no case to be made that he's doping more or better than everyone else. Seems most likely that most of the top riders are doping, just as they have been for a long, long time. Dope or not, the guy is obviously a huge talent. Unlike some riders who only came to the fore after taking on new programs.
No, that's not what I claimed. I suspect doping might well be as pervasive now albeit at a much lower level than the uncontrolled 90s when his father rode. But the pervasiveness of doping is actually why I am not worried about MVDP having any unfair advantage. I am not concerned and just enjoy the talent. Its refreshing and quite amazing to watch him unleash that finishing speed after doing huge pulls. He must have incredible anaerobic reserves to do that.
 
Re: Re:

the delgados said:
Cookster15 said:
Of course his dad was a doper, look at the years he was riding. Irrelevant. But if anyone can make a good case why he is doping more or better than any of the other riders he completely demolished on Sunday after the earlier attacks and huge pull he did I'd be happy to read it.
As has been mentioned, MVDP is a terrific bike racer. Of that there is no doubt.
I am not a doctor, but I agree that the fact his dad was on the gear is irrelevant. But I don't agree with the insinuation that doping was a big problem in the past compared to now.
I cant answer your question, but I think looking at money earned and connections would be a great place to start.
On the bold bit that depends upon your definition of the problem. If you said doping was as widespread today I'd agree. But no way are they going as fast now. Remember there were virtually no controls in the 90s compared to today.

This was put beyond doubt in last years Tour when no climber could touch Sky on the Alpe and yet they still climbed about 3 minutes slower than the 90s on heavier less aero bikes (41 minutes vs 38* minutes). *Notice I excluded the outliers of Pantani.
 
I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but are there differences in trends between the 90s and now in different lenths of efforts? Seems to me that the shorter efforts these days tend to be closer to the all time highs than the long ones.
 
Re: Re:

Cookster15 said:
the delgados said:
Cookster15 said:
Of course his dad was a doper, look at the years he was riding. Irrelevant. But if anyone can make a good case why he is doping more or better than any of the other riders he completely demolished on Sunday after the earlier attacks and huge pull he did I'd be happy to read it.
As has been mentioned, MVDP is a terrific bike racer. Of that there is no doubt.
I am not a doctor, but I agree that the fact his dad was on the gear is irrelevant. But I don't agree with the insinuation that doping was a big problem in the past compared to now.
I cant answer your question, but I think looking at money earned and connections would be a great place to start.
On the bold bit that depends upon your definition of the problem. If you said doping was as widespread today I'd agree. But no way are they going as fast now. Remember there were virtually no controls in the 90s compared to today.

This was put beyond doubt in last years Tour when no climber could touch Sky on the Alpe and yet they still climbed about 3 minutes slower than the 90s on heavier less aero bikes (41 minutes vs 38* minutes). *Notice I excluded the outliers of Pantani.
Apologies for the poorly worded sentence; I am cringing as I speak. Thanks for taking the time to decipher the meaning of what I was trying to say.
That said, I am not sure what you are getting at. Are you suggesting the drugs don't work as well as before (qm key not working). I don't think you can compare drug testing of yesteryear to today. That is night and day.
Also, there are a ton of variables to take into account, but I will leave that up to people here who are much brighter than me.
 
Re:

42x16ss said:
There are people saying VdP can win all 5 monuments, but in reality, Lombardia and probably Liege as well would be a bridge too far for him. At least I hope so, for the state of the sport. If VdP starts climbing like his grandfather something truly stinks.
What recent indication do we have of mvdp's climbing ability? He got a podium at MTB worlds and won Amstel and those are both events for climbers. We don't have much to go on for long alpine passes but I wouldn't put it past him to win the tour at this point. He's like Jungels but with an extra 100w engine that kicks up to 1000w in the last km.
 
Re: Re:

the delgados said:
Cookster15 said:
the delgados said:
Cookster15 said:
Of course his dad was a doper, look at the years he was riding. Irrelevant. But if anyone can make a good case why he is doping more or better than any of the other riders he completely demolished on Sunday after the earlier attacks and huge pull he did I'd be happy to read it.
As has been mentioned, MVDP is a terrific bike racer. Of that there is no doubt.
I am not a doctor, but I agree that the fact his dad was on the gear is irrelevant. But I don't agree with the insinuation that doping was a big problem in the past compared to now.
I cant answer your question, but I think looking at money earned and connections would be a great place to start.
On the bold bit that depends upon your definition of the problem. If you said doping was as widespread today I'd agree. But no way are they going as fast now. Remember there were virtually no controls in the 90s compared to today.

This was put beyond doubt in last years Tour when no climber could touch Sky on the Alpe and yet they still climbed about 3 minutes slower than the 90s on heavier less aero bikes (41 minutes vs 38* minutes). *Notice I excluded the outliers of Pantani.
Apologies for the poorly worded sentence; I am cringing as I speak. Thanks for taking the time to decipher the meaning of what I was trying to say.
That said, I am not sure what you are getting at. Are you suggesting the drugs don't work as well as before (qm key not working). I don't think you can compare drug testing of yesteryear to today. That is night and day.
Also, there are a ton of variables to take into account, but I will leave that up to people here who are much brighter than me.
No probs. To answer your bolded question, no the drugs don't work as well today and any casual review of verified climbing tines should make that obvious. The controls have big flaws but they are definitely having an effect. Even EPO micro-dosing does not provide the performance boost of unfettered EPO use of the 90s. The climbing times up the Alpe d'huez make it obvious such as the example I provided. I am sure similar examples from other climbs over the same periods will show how much more power the peloton was developing before the EPO test then passport system was introduced. There still seems to be people who think doping today is just as bad or worse. Sorry I don't believe that and I believe I have explained why.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but are there differences in trends between the 90s and now in different lenths of efforts? Seems to me that the shorter efforts these days tend to be closer to the all time highs than the long ones.
I am sure shorter efforts today are closer or even better than the 90s due to improved training and even bike technology. But shorter efforts are less reliant on the aerobic system. The aerobic system is what oxygen vector doping targets. No way are 100% aerobic performances today close to what we saw in the 90s.

But we are discussing MVDP. What I have seen from him isn't totally aerobic. What he did in Amstel was incredible but mostly anaerobic in the final kilometres then sprint. The resulting oxygen debt would have contributed to his post finish line reaction which I don't think was all theatre. Like how rowers collapse.

But he certainly does seem to have incredible anaerobic reserves the way he blew everyone away including all those he had pulled up to the two leaders who decided to play cat and mouse. Quite remarkable. I will be interested to see how he performs in longer climbs than were seen at Amstel.
 
Apr 23, 2016
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Re: Re:

Cookster15 said:
Red Rick said:
I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but are there differences in trends between the 90s and now in different lenths of efforts? Seems to me that the shorter efforts these days tend to be closer to the all time highs than the long ones.
I am sure shorter efforts today are closer or even better than the 90s due to improved training and even bike technology. But shorter efforts are less reliant on the aerobic system. The aerobic system is what oxygen vector doping targets. No way are 100% aerobic performances today close to what we saw in the 90s.

But we are discussing MVDP. What I have seen from him isn't totally aerobic. What he did in Amstel was incredible but mostly anaerobic in the final kilometres then sprint. The resulting oxygen debt would have contributed to his post finish line reaction which I don't think was all theatre. Like how rowers collapse.

But he certainly does seem to have incredible anaerobic reserves the way he blew everyone away including all those he had pulled up to the two leaders who decided to play cat and mouse. Quite remarkable. I will be interested to see how he performs in longer climbs than were seen at Amstel.
One thing that I noticed while watching Amstel Gold, was it appeared that Alaphillippe (and to a lesser extent Fuglsang) was "tired" in the closing kilometers after a long break. I rewatched the last kilometers 8-10 times, and each time I don't see much of a let-up on effort by the leading duo. Sure Fuglsang sat on towards the end, but Alaphillippe wasn't necessarily soft-pedalling. I see more tired riders this year...if that makes sense. Froome, in the TDF last year, was faking it, but this year it seems to be occurring more often. Heck, even Milan San Remo blew apart at the end, which doesn't happen much anymore.

Maybe VDP is benefitting from a cleaner peleton? This could explain Sagan's poor form. Is Lappartient dealing with the issue behind closed doors?
 
One thing that I noticed while watching Amstel Gold, was it appeared that Alaphillippe (and to a lesser extent Fuglsang) was "tired" in the closing kilometers after a long break. I rewatched the last kilometers 8-10 times, and each time I don't see much of a let-up on effort by the leading duo. Sure Fuglsang sat on towards the end, but Alaphillippe wasn't necessarily soft-pedalling. I see more tired riders this year...if that makes sense. Froome, in the TDF last year, was faking it, but this year it seems to be occurring more often. Heck, even Milan San Remo blew apart at the end, which doesn't happen much anymore.
Tramadol ban meaning a replacement has not been found yet for the "finishing bottle"? Though that seems unlikely. Or the average speed has increased so riders are more tired at the finish?
 
Jul 20, 2015
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Mamil said:
I've watched very little cyclo-cross - obviously van der Poel is exceptionally good at it, but how much of that particular ability should we expect to translate to the road? For a clearly elite athlete, in particular one with an impeccable family cycling pedigree, how much specific road training and racing should be required before that individual can be hanging with and even beating the likes the Alaphilippe and Kwiatkowski?

Looking purely at his Amstel performance, it was certainly impressive, but there are some extenuating factors. Had Ala and Fuglsang not screwed up he would never have won it, he didn't waste any energy until the last 10k's apart from that one short attack with around 40-odd to go, and, while Simon Clarke is a really solid rider, he's hardly elite and he came 2nd. No question van der Poel's last 3k's and his sprint were remarkable, as his whole spring has been, but I'm not quite convinced that his performances are unbelievable just yet.

On the comment on his future GC ability, well why not, should he ever choose to head down that path? He's naturally stick-thin and tall-ish, not unlike dare I say it Froome or perhaps more relevantly his fellow Dutchman Dumoulin, and obviously has a big engine and Poulidor for a grandfather. I'd find it more believable (relatively) that some others, the Dawg included.
Well, he isnt merely 'good' at CX. He is a god. For years, the entire field has been racing for 2nd- and the field has guys like WoutVA, Stybar, Pauwels, Nys, etc. Not a bunch of also-rans. So, if we only look at that, he is likely one of the best bike handlers, and biggest engines that CX has ever seen.

Does that translate to the road? It seems to, in some cases. Both Wout and MVDP are clearly on a very high level and both are under 25.
Again, if you arent following what MVDP has been doing to the field in CX, you should check Youtube. It's remarkable.

(Pause for a moment to point out that my comments so far are not related to 'preparation', but rather to establish that this kid is special among bike racers)

As I understand it, he is 6ft tall and weighs 165-170lbs. It would be a remarkable transformation for him to become a GC guy, especially in a Grand Tour. A picture of him standing next to Dumoulin (6'1" 157lbs), or Krusjswijk (5'5"- 146lbs) would be a good comparison.
I suppose that MVDP could suck down to maybe 160 without looking Froome-ishly skinny.
So, MVDP carries a lot of mass on a fairly big frame- wide clavicles- making it difficult to drop weight.

I'd hope that he continues to focus on 1 day races and CX, and does not try to go the GC route.

Also- max power according to his Strava was 1400 with an average around 290 for just under 6 hours. Strava's version of NP was around 330.
That is mind boggling.

Whatever he is doing, it is working.
 
.Froomestrong. said:
Well, he isnt merely 'good' at CX. He is a god. For years, the entire field has been racing for 2nd- and the field has guys like WoutVA, Stybar, Pauwels, Nys, etc. Not a bunch of also-rans. So, if we only look at that, he is likely one of the best bike handlers, and biggest engines that CX has ever seen.
Van der Poel and Van Aert raced their last WC CX at the U23 (which Van Aert won), when Stybar won his last WC (in one of the more epic duels with Nys). By that time Stybar had already swapped CX for roadracing. He still did some races in preperation of the WC, but he did not ride the entire season, not even 1 / 3rd of it, IIRC. The year later, he raced even fewer races. Nys at that time was turning 38 years old before the new season started. Boom had long left, Albert had quit due to his heartcondition, and Pauwels... he was never really of the same level as Nys, Albert, Wellens (for 2 seasons or so), Boom or Stybar.

So directly comparing Van Aert or van der Poel to those guys is hard. Basically the only "grandmaster" that was still riding, was Nys, and he lost all his explosiveness and was ready to retire. You could compare them to guys like Van der Haar, who was still young, but had 3 or so years more under his belt... but he also wasn't quite of that level.

So you can't really compare them directly. The thing is, that other than Pauwels, already past 30 at that time and past his prime, Van der Haar, Meisen and Meeusen, basically the entire field got swamped by a new generation. Obviously Van Aert & van der Poel, but also guys like Aerts, Sweeck bros, Vantourenhout, Hermans, Vermeersch, Merlier, Adams... they are all within 2 years of Van Aert & van der Poel (in age). So, there have been very little points of reference to compare them to the previous generation.

That said, i've started watching CX as a kid since the days or van der Poel sr, Pontoni, Herygers, Groenendael, De Bie... Never seen any of them stand out like that and decimate the entire field.

As the entire field racing for second, that 's not a little bit disrespectful towards Van Aert. Three time Worldchampion in a row, and if it weren't for a mechanical in 2015, he would likely have won that too. People seem to forget fast, but Van Aert has a pretty impressive resumé (especially considering the competition). Fact of the matter is that Van Aert has been focussing on the spring the past two winters. The fact that he wasn't able to compete anymore with van der Poel, wasn't a surprise.

The real surprise is (as well as the reason we are posting in this topic), that van der Poel obviously didn't need any "focussing on the road" and neglecting CX, like Van Aert had been doing, in order to simply make the transition to full classics level road racing. Up untill that point, everybody thought that Van Aert's transition had been highly impressive (2x third in Strade, 6th in San Remo, top 10 in RVV, 2nd in E3...). But then van der Poel came and basically started winning left & right. To be clear, i think van der Poel has been increasingly lucky in his spring races, unlike Van Aert, meaning i rate Van Aert's ride in San Remo and Roubaix, about as high as anything van der Poel did, but the latter did have certain conditions on his side. Van Aert was left by his team to chase alone for 25k into the wind in PR, while van der Poel did actually have a lot of help from teammates at that point in RVV. Circumstances in AGR, also were in his favor, being able to ride from group to group, cars in between so the leaders couldn't see who was coming and how far, while the radio wasn't working on top of that... But the difference is, van der Poel won Denain (whatever that means), Brabantse Pijl, Dwars door Vlaanderen and Amstel. Van Aert won zilch, bupkis and diddly squat.
Had Van Aert not forgotten to eat in Roubaix, during his mad chase, maybe we would have been posting in a Van Aert topic in the clinic section as well.

In conclusion, the two things that surprise me about van der Poel's spring is:
How easily he made the transition to 275k races (esp RVV), without making any concessions (unlike Van Aert).
His leadout sprint in AGR, where he's basically sprinting for 1.4k and nobody is able to jump off his wheel.

Especially the last part, is something that instills doubt.
 

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