Teams & Riders The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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I think his best year for performances across all disciplines was probably 2019.

Won the CX Worlds, then had his first spring classics campaign, with that Amstel finish - followed by his best season of XC, with 5 XCC, and 3 XCO wins, plus a European title.
He then returned to the road, and won ToB, and looked to be 'odds on' to win the Road Worlds, before running out of gas. He then returned to CX to dominate.

This year, he looked in super form early in spring, then that mad stage win in the cold & rain in T-A; he wasn't the same after that. Even in the following MTB races, he didn't seem quite in top form, though managed to win 2 XCC races, and a 2nd in the Nove Mesto XCO race.

I'm not sure the Tour set him up for the MTB race in the Olympics; I've seen/heard that he didn't seem great during the training runs, even possibly laboured.
 
This is exactly what I mean. There are excuses created for both riders. "He wasn't in top shape...", "If he started his sprint earlier...", "He rode this race while the other skipped that one so he's fresher...", "He's not targeting this race...", "He had to work harder/the most so therefore...", "He was only riding so the other wouldn't win..." Lmao, the hypocrisy is glaring. Excuses are made for both van Aert and van der Poel and every other rider that you support all the time and this has been so and will remain so until the end of times.

Get over it.
It'd be also nice to differentiate between the "excuse" and "explanation" and this works both ways. Sometimes what people call an excuse is in fact a justified explanation e.g. of a poor performance, but the other time a seemingly justified explanation is nothing else than giving excuses.
 
It'd be also nice to differentiate between the "excuse" and "explanation" and this works both ways. Sometimes what people call an excuse is in fact a justified explanation e.g. of a poor performance, but the other time a seemingly justified explanation is nothing else than giving excuses.
I was editing my post to include what you just said while you posted this. Some "excuses" hold merit, but they won't be recognized or accepted by supporters of a rival rider or detractors of the rider in question, so it will still be seen as an excuse. I have seen people write paragraphs in order to try and spin a justifiable explanation for a lack of expected performance. It's ridiculous. In my experience chauvinism plays a huge role on this. Especially Belgian supporters vs Dutch supporters. Rationale goes right out the window, both when creating excuses for their riders and when rejecting a genuine "excuse" for a rider from the opposite country. I'm not talking exclusively on this forum mind you.

I'm happy that I can say that I'm a fan of both van Aert and van der Poel. They both have distinct talents that are very admirable and will both go down as greats if they keep at it. Same goes for Piddy by the way, who I also like very much as a rider. CX power baby.
 
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Then why MVDP doesn't win more races ? And MVDP winning a race is often because a number of opponents are not in top shape themselves or do not participate. For example the Strade Bianche and the first stages of the Tour when Van Aert was not in top shape. MVDP was in top form in Milan-San Remo and in the Tour of Flanders, but didn't win.
Just my opinion, but MVDP didn't win MSR and Flanders because he went too deep at TA, as did WVA. IF they don't, I would argue it would have come down to the two of them at both MSR and Flanders, because I think they are a cut above everyone else in the world in those two races - especially Flanders. All that said, as a fan, I'm glad they both went "all in" at TA because"prep race" or not, it was an absolutely epic race and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it during the middle of the week. I like the fact that these guys (especially MVDP) literally cannot help themselves even in races that are supposedly ones to "train through". My guess is that they got that way via CX, where you either compete, or get embarrassed every lap when you're off the back with crazy drunks yelling insults at you.
 
Strade last year was a good example, yes. There have been plenty of fans that kept claiming he is a great climber. Yet he never showed anything close to being a great climber since turning pro. This was because he never actually tried, obviously. Algarve also. Where he dropped quite early on the climb, while Greg Van Avermaet and Geschke followed Lopez, Evenepoel and Schachmann into the final 1k. On Malhao he was going to test himself to see how he 'd cope with short steep climbs, he finished way behind Van Avermaet etc again. Same story. The climbing myth finally died in the stage he lost his yellow jersey in the TDF. He was in shape, and he had an incentive, yet he finished 15 minutes behind Van Aert (who was also trying to take yellow).
If he wants to be a great climber, he will be, it's a question of him losing some weight and train is climbing skills in typhical grand tour climbs.
He never did a great itt, he never train so much the itts, but despite that, he did a great itt in last year's tour, imagine if he trains his itt skills.
He can be whatever he wants, there's so many cycling in his blood, so many watts in that legs, he is the MVP of world cycling, don't forget that :tearsofjoy:
 
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This is exactly what I mean. There are excuses created for both riders. "He wasn't in top shape...", "If he started his sprint earlier...", "He rode this race while the other skipped that one so he's fresher...", "He's not targeting this race...", "He had to work harder/the most so therefore...", "He was only riding so the other wouldn't win..." "If only he didn't mix multiple disciplines..." "If only he didn't fall he would have surely won..." Lmao, the hypocrisy is glaring. Excuses are made for both van Aert and van der Poel and every other rider that you support all the time and this has been so and will remain so until the end of times.

Like someone else also mentioned, some of these "excuses" hold merit, but it won't be recognized or accepted by someone who doesn't like the rider in question so it will still be seen as an excuse by those people. The point is, excuses galore for everyone. Get over it.
Agreed.

But Sagan only won fewer than ten monuments because the others ganged up on him, though.
 
This is exactly what I mean. There are excuses created for both riders. "He wasn't in top shape...", "If he started his sprint earlier...", "He rode this race while the other skipped that one so he's fresher...", "He's not targeting this race...", "He had to work harder/the most so therefore...", "He was only riding so the other wouldn't win..." "If only he didn't mix multiple disciplines..." "If only he didn't fall he would have surely won..." Lmao, the hypocrisy is glaring. Excuses are made for both van Aert and van der Poel and every other rider that you support all the time and this has been so and will remain so until the end of times.

Like someone else also mentioned, some of these "excuses" hold merit, but it won't be recognized or accepted by someone who doesn't like the rider in question so it will still be seen as an excuse by those people. The point is, excuses galore for everyone. Get over it.
I can only speak for myself here, but imho there is a big difference with saying something like "he wasn't in top shape"... because that's an argument you can make a few times a year, after a long and busy period or at the beginning of one, or after a recovery etc... i mean, it happens. You can use that excuse a few times and it's true for any and every rider some times, but you can't keep making that throughout the year, year after year. It's different from an excuse like "he wasn't interested / he didn't try". Because that's a "get out of jail free" excuse. You can use it whenever, where ever you want. It's not only disingenuous, it's also extremely arrogant. Let the lowly chumps fight for small change when Van der Poel isn't even interested.

And to be clear, i don't have issues with the rider. Just with the part of his fanbase that keeps making those kinds of excuses.

If he wants to be a great climber, he will be, it's a question of him losing some weight and train is climbing skills in typhical grand tour climbs.
He never did a great itt, he never train so much the itts, but despite that, he did a great itt in last year's tour, imagine if he trains his itt skills.
He can be whatever he wants, there's so many cycling in his blood, so many watts in that legs, he is the MVP of world cycling, don't forget that :tearsofjoy:
Sorry, can't tell if you're serious or not. First of all, in road cycling as well as in cyclocross, he has proven not to be the best at continuous efforts, but rather at interval efforts, which i think he is the best in the world at (maybe with Alaphilippe?). So assuming him losing weight would turn him into an elite climber seems like jumping to conclusions to say the least. Moreover, the fact that he could not possibly combine that with all the things he excels at now. If he were to lose weight in the order to be an elite climber, he would not be able to dominate cyclocross or mountainbike, he would not be able to be one of the top 5 / top 3 favorites in basically every classic race he enters (or at least not the cobbled ones, maybe his chances in the Ardennes classics would improve). So taking that step, which is far from certain to be successful, would come at a serious cost.
 
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Not this 'climber' talk again. He's not a natural climber, look at the size of him, his strengths are short explosive efforts. He'd have to lose weight, ( and I'm not sure were from) and there's no guarantee that will work. Plus all the training camps, and time away......and less racing the races that suit him.

He's fine as he is now; ripping it up most of the time in CX, MTB & Road.........

Instead of wanting him to be a climber - why aren't we asking the other riders to change and do other disciplines?
 
I can only speak for myself here, but imho there is a big difference with saying something like "he wasn't in top shape"... because that's an argument you can make a few times a year, after a long and busy period or at the beginning of one, or after a recovery etc... i mean, it happens. You can use that excuse a few times and it's true for any and every rider some times, but you can't keep making that throughout the year, year after year. It's different from an excuse like "he wasn't interested / he didn't try". Because that's a "get out of jail free" excuse. You can use it whenever, where ever you want. It's not only disingenuous, it's also extremely arrogant. Let the lowly chumps fight for small change when Van der Poel isn't even interested.

And to be clear, i don't have issues with the rider. Just with the part of his fanbase that keeps making those kinds of excuses.



Sorry, can't tell if you're serious or not. First of all, in road cycling as well as in cyclocross, he has proven not to be the best at continuous efforts, but rather at interval efforts, which i think he is the best in the world at (maybe with Alaphilippe?). So assuming him losing weight would turn him into an elite climber seems like jumping to conclusions to say the least. Moreover, the fact that he could not possibly combine that with all the things he excels at now. If he were to lose weight in the order to be an elite climber, he would not be able to dominate cyclocross or mountainbike, he would not be able to be one of the top 5 / top 3 favorites in basically every classic race he enters (or at least not the cobbled ones, maybe his chances in the Ardennes classics would improve). So taking that step, which is far from certain to be successful, would come at a serious cost.
You're right, i also don't want that he becomes a grand tour gc, he's awesome to see, like he is at the moment. I'm just saying that if he wanted to become great in the mountains and in the itt, he would become, because he has a unbelievable engine. His itt at the tour was unbelievable without training that skill.
I think that he is also good in continuous efforts, look at his performance in one of the stages of tirreno adriatico.
 
Not this 'climber' talk again. He's not a natural climber, look at the size of him, his strengths are short explosive efforts. He'd have to lose weight, ( and I'm not sure were from) and there's no guarantee that will work. Plus all the training camps, and time away......and less racing the races that suit him.

He's fine as he is now; ripping it up most of the time in CX, MTB & Road.........

Instead of wanting him to be a climber - why aren't we asking the other riders to change and do other disciplines?
From his muscles, which would mean he can forget about excelling at roughly everything he excels at now.

You're right, i also don't want that he became a grand tour gc, he's awesome to see, like he is at the moment. I'm just saying that if he wanted to become great in the mountains and in the itt, he would become, because he was a unbelievable engine. His itt at the tour was unbelievable without training that skill.
And yet you're the guy claiming Evenepoel has shown nothing to become a GT GC guy... while on this very subject, he's shown a lot more potential at a much younger age than Van der Poel (huge engine, 2x podium WCC ITT at age of 21, long range attacks while ACTUALLY being already lightweight). You see why one would have difficulty with taking such a post seriously.
 
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And to be clear, i don't have issues with the rider. Just with the part of his fanbase that keeps making those kinds of excuses.
Exactly.

What makes hyperdedicated fans so annoying is that, no matter the merits of an event, they will predictably and endlessly argue for the interpretation that makes their own favoured rider look better.

In doing so, they actually do a profound disservice to the idol they think they're defending, because the net effect of all their thousands of arguments is only that their rider becomes more odious to neutral people following these discussions.

...

I feel you're getting closer to a long awaited epiphany. :joycat:
 
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From his muscles, which would mean he can forget about excelling at roughly everything he excels at now.


And yet you're the guy claiming Evenepoel has shown nothing to become a GT GC guy... while on this very subject, he's shown a lot more potential at a much younger age than Van der Poel (huge engine, 2x podium WCC ITT at age of 21, long range attacks while ACTUALLY being already lightweight). You see why one would have difficulty with taking such a post seriously.
Believing is different of proving.
 
So reports are that MvdP will return to Cyclocross on December 18th, and do mostly World Cup races to gain important UCI points for the WC starting spot. These races have been mentioned as likely:

18-12 - Rucphen
19-12 - Namur
26-12 - Dendermonde
02-01 - Hulst
30-01 - World Championships

He'll probably add a few more crosses, as well as a training stage, in January. Even so, this definitely seems like it will be the lightest CX season of his career.

This suggests to me that he's not willing to drop MTB, but forced to choose between the 3 disciplines, has decided to cut in his strongest one. I guess that makes sense: he has the most to gain in the other two. So that leaves us with:

- Spring on the Road (with most likely a focus on the Flanders, Amstel, Roubaix triple)

- MTB period 1 (two World cups)

- Tour de France (full 3 weeks)

- MTB period 2 (several World Cups + tournaments)
 
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I feel you're getting closer to a long awaited epiphany. :joycat:
Or you? I know what you're getting at, but that is simply not the case. I have a very good understanding of all his weaknesses and have stressed that repeatedly in the past. When i said i believe he would have won the Giro, that was not without reason, but because he was dominating everyone in every race he did, in ITT as well as uphill and that Giro ended with a battle between Hindley and Hart. I can only say you are completely off with your repeated insinuations of me being a looney fanboy.
 
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Guessing MVDP might be getting a big extra jacked up in his training sessions if he's reading (or getting wind of) all the "Big 3", "3 Kings" nonsense in the cycling media. Nice story line, but WVA doesn't have the handle, and Piddy doesn't have the power/explosiveness to consistently beat MVDP in cross.
 
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He'll probably add a few more crosses, as well as a training stage, in January. Even so, this definitely seems like it will be the lightest CX season of his career.

This suggests to me that he's not willing to drop MTB, but forced to choose between the 3 disciplines, has decided to cut in his strongest one. I guess that makes sense: he has the most to gain in the other two. So that leaves us with:

- Spring on the Road (with most likely a focus on the Flanders, Amstel, Roubaix triple)

- MTB period 1 (two World cups)

- Tour de France (full 3 weeks)

- MTB period 2 (several World Cups + tournaments)
So he is continuing with all three disciplines. Doesn't sound like a good idea if he wants to win as much as possible in road racing.
 
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Guessing MVDP might be getting a big extra jacked up in his training sessions if he's reading (or getting wind of) all the "Big 3", "3 Kings" nonsense in the cycling media. Nice story line, but WVA doesn't have the handle, and Piddy doesn't have the power/explosiveness to consistently beat MVDP in cross.
True. MVP is the goat in CX, no doubt. But Pidcock and WVA might occassionaly beat him if the parcour suits them.
 
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Guessing MVDP might be getting a big extra jacked up in his training sessions if he's reading (or getting wind of) all the "Big 3", "3 Kings" nonsense in the cycling media. Nice story line, but WVA doesn't have the handle, and Piddy doesn't have the power/explosiveness to consistently beat MVDP in cross.
WVA will beat MVDP on any heavy, muddy course. MVDP doesn't have the diesel power or running ability of WVA.
 
True. MVP is the goat in CX, no doubt. But Pidcock and WVA might occassionaly beat him if the course suits them.
As we've seen in MTB, Pidcock can beat MvdP; however, that is on courses with climbs......CX doesn't really have those long climbs, and most are short, explosive ones - MvdP territory. Namur is the most MTB-like course, so will be interesting to see how that goes.
And Wout is far better on the heavy mud courses - his raw power is superior, that any technical weaknesses don't matter.
 
WVA will beat MVDP on any heavy, muddy course. MVDP doesn't have the diesel power or running ability of WVA.
With emphasis on heavy, like Dendermonde last year heavy, which is very rare. Wout is simply unbeatable when in form on such a course. Sustained effort is his thing, and it's amazing to watch him lay down the hammer in those situations. Otherwise Mathieu has beaten Wout plenty of times on (regular) muddy courses, he's just the better all-rounder. Wout needs a very specific course to really display his power and dominance. The poster you quoted said "consistently" beat Mathieu, so having mentioned the above, he's right.
 
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Except Dubendorf'2020 or Hulst'2021, for example, just the name some recent ones I'm remembering now.
Well to be fair, in Dubendorf Wout was coming back from his injury, so wouldn't have been anywhere near 100%. I'm not sure Hulst, which was just after Dendermonde was particularly heavy; I've just had a look at the highlights, and there is a short muddy running section, but not really a 'heavy' Cross.
 
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GCN just posted an interview with MVDP and one of the questions they asked him what was his favourite discipline to race. He said MTB was his favourite over CX and Road.
I'll bet that went down like a lead balloon with a road audience; however he has said that before - it took him a while to get that first XCO World Cup win; you can't just overpower people like you can on the road/CX.
 
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