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

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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.
Piddy had him (and WVA) on the ropes a bit last year at Namur, but MVDP prevailed - and he was a bit behind them both in terms of form. As for WVA, I'd agree he is better in full-on tractor pulls (Dendermonde last year for example), but anything less than a tractor pull and MVDP still has a big head to head advantage. I'm relatively new to CX, but from what I understand there used to be a lot more tractor pulls back in the day?
 
Also, I think folks are getting ahead of themselves with Piddy being better than MVDP on the MTB. When he beat him in the Spring last year MVDP was nowhere near top form and Piddy was on our close to a peak. Top vs. top I take Piddy over MVDP on maybe one World Cup course. Still a huge power differential between them. There aren't many "sustained climbs" in WC MTB races. How did Piddy fare at SB vs. MVDP when the latter decided to go?
 
Also, I think folks are getting ahead of themselves with Piddy being better than MVDP on the MTB. When he beat him in the Spring last year MVDP was nowhere near top form and Piddy was on our close to a peak. Top vs. top I take Piddy over MVDP on maybe one World Cup course. Still a huge power differential between them. There aren't many "sustained climbs" in WC MTB races. How did Piddy fare at SB vs. MVDP when the latter decided to go?
I literally saw 0 people claiming Pidcock is better at MTB than van der Poel.
The form argument is complete bs.
Since when is SB considered MTB?
 
Top vs. top I take Piddy over MVDP on maybe one World Cup course. Still a huge power differential between them. There aren't many "sustained climbs" in WC MTB races.

There are enough to make a difference: Albstadt has 2-3 decent climbs, Leogang is a climbers course, Les Gets also has enough climbs, the rooty climb at Nove Mesto for example. There must a 15kg difference between them, you can't overcome physics, even MvdP.

However, they've only done 3 XCO races against each other, so it's still a bit early to decide who's better - but Pidcock seems far better suited to MTB than MvdP,
 
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However, they've only done 3 XCO races against each other, so it's still a bit early to decide who's better - but Pidcock seems far better suited to MTB than MvdP,
I agree. As Pidcock said himself, he was born to MTB. He has the low weight, power, and handling skills to dominate if he decided that was his goal. And he did dominate at the Olympics. MvdP has a much higher center of gravity on the MTB and that challenges your cornering abilities and he weighs more which adds up on all the climbs on a 1.5 hour XCO race.
 
re: VDP and MTB I think COVID was a real curse. In 2020 it would have come just after 2019 where he was really good in MTB. And Pidcock had no Olympics plan yet. It formed pretty late.
Plus there was no Tour plans in 2020 either.

What happened with covid is -> he did no single MTB Race for over 1,5 years. And his prep to Olympics was very sub optimal.
And I know everyone will say "just another mvdp excuse" but tbh... can you really expect miracles after doing 1,5 no mtb race, then just a few world cups and expect to win??
 
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Yeah, I think you're right. He was the best rider in 2019, yet missed two weekends and still finished 2nd in the World Cup. He won Lenzerheide in August 2019, and never raced on the MTB until Albstadt in May 2021.
He also missed the test event in October 2019, to race a road event.
Covid did mess things up, and then the delayed road season meant he missed the two XC World Cups in October 2020 - plus the Worlds in Leogang.
The prep for the Tour meant he had only 2 XC World Cups in which to prepare for Tokyo....... and he was never quite in top form.

Will be interesting to see just how much MTB he does in future,as the Tour is going to get in the way. And the lack of racing will affect his ranking, grid position.
 
He could be going for green in the Tour as well, the management says.

I think that will be difficult. Primarily, because Van Aert is probably impossible to beat, and also because positioning in sprints does not seem to be his strong suit, and that is probably the single most important quality in that contest.

But it would be nice to see him actually try to sprint instead of pulling on the helper's outfit as soon as someone looking like Philipsen or Merlier is also on the start line.
 
He could be going for green in the Tour as well, the management says.

I think that will be difficult. Primarily, because Van Aert is probably impossible to beat, and also because positioning in sprints does not seem to be his strong suit, and that is probably the single most important quality in that contest.

But it would be nice to see him actually try to sprint instead of pulling on the helper's outfit as soon as someone looking like Philipsen or Merlier is also on the start line.
I think that would be a stupid decision. With Philipsen, they have someone who is far more suited for going for green, while they would be clipping Mathieu's wings by having to keep fighting for a few points, doing peloton sprints for 8th place behind a break, or forcing himself to get over climbs not to lose points at the finish where he would otherwise not bother and just pick his day on stages that would really suit him.
 
I think that would be a stupid decision. With Philipsen, they have someone who is far more suited for going for green, while they would be clipping Mathieu's wings by having to keep fighting for a few points, doing peloton sprints for 8th place behind a break, or forcing himself to get over climbs not to lose points at the finish where he would otherwise not bother and just pick his day on stages that would really suit him.
Don’t worry the team has stated that it might be Philipsen who goes for green.
 
Don’t worry the team has stated that it might be Philipsen who goes for green.
It would make much more sense for Philipsen, since he is (unlike Mathieu) very gifted at positioning for a sprint and doesn't need a whole team working for him in order to get a good result. He is probably also faster in a pure sprint and has a bigger chance of actually winning a sprint than Mathieu. He can get over hilly terrain, he can climb well enough to last 3 weeks. Unlike Mathieu, he can't win on steep puncheur finishes. I'd say, let Philipsen go for green and let Mathieu pick his stages. If they swap them, they might end up empty handed.
 
By the way… I think Mathieu would be a really, really good time trialist, if he would train and like TT. He has the perfect engine, the perfect body for TTing.

I also think MVdP looks perfect, on a TT bike. Maybe even more beautiful than Klöden looked on his TT bike.

Surprisingly, however, Mathieu does not seem to care much about TT…
 
By the way… I think Mathieu would be a really, really good time trialist, if he would train and like TT. He has the perfect engine, the perfect body for TTing.

I also think MVdP looks perfect, on a TT bike. Maybe even more beautiful than Klöden looked on his TT bike.

Surprisingly, however, Mathieu does not seem to care much about TT…
I don't think he has the perfect body for TTing. His shoulders are too wide and straight for that. Ideally a TT'er can pull his shoulders down and inward.
 
I don't think he has the perfect body for TTing. His shoulders are too wide and straight for that. Ideally a TT'er can pull his shoulders down and inward.
That's also the one thing that Ganna kinda lacks as a TTer. Malori has said multiple times that others like Wout have a better position (according to him Küng has an even more compact position than Wout).
 
It would make much more sense for Philipsen, since he is (unlike Mathieu) very gifted at positioning for a sprint and doesn't need a whole team working for him in order to get a good result. He is probably also faster in a pure sprint and has a bigger chance of actually winning a sprint than Mathieu. He can get over hilly terrain, he can climb well enough to last 3 weeks. Unlike Mathieu, he can't win on steep puncheur finishes. I'd say, let Philipsen go for green and let Mathieu pick his stages. If they swap them, they might end up empty handed.
I also think that it makes more sense for Alpecin to bet in Philipsen but next year's route suits Van der Poel well and he brings more publicity so its not impossible that he is the chosen one.

I am curious to see how will he manage next year's classics campaign as I think holding a peak between the beginning of March and the second half of April is almost impossible. If I was him, I would peak just for Flanders and Roubaix with Amstel with a more moderate effort in between and would not give so much attention to the Italian races. Liège is probably unlikely due to fatigue and the proximity with May's MTB races.
 
I also think that it makes more sense for Alpecin to bet in Philipsen but next year's route suits Van der Poel well and he brings more publicity so its not impossible that he is the chosen one.

I am curious to see how will he manage next year's classics campaign as I think holding a peak between the beginning of March and the second half of April is almost impossible. If I was him, I would peak just for Flanders and Roubaix with Amstel with a more moderate effort in between and would not give so much attention to the Italian races. Liège is probably unlikely due to fatigue and the proximity with May's MTB races.
Given that Alaphilippe, Pidcock and Van Aert aren't peaking toward Strade either, it's quite possible for MvdP to win that one even if he doesnt aim his peak form toward it.
 
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Also, Philipsen has never even won a Tour stage, so it might be a bit pompous for him to start the Tour, saying he wants to get the green jersey (I know you could say the same for Colbrelli, who hasn't even won a GT stage ever, but it's not like his fight for green compromises someone else unless Landa really finds his very best level and sets his sights on the Tour).
 
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Also, Philipsen has never even won a Tour stage, so it might be a bit pompous for him to start the Tour, saying he wants to get the green jersey (I know you could say the same for Colbrelli, who hasn't even won a GT stage ever, but it's not like his fight for green compromises someone else unless Landa really finds his very best level and sets his sights on the Tour).
Philipsen is 22 or 23, he's already won GT stages. He will only get better. He also has the uncanny ability to finish very high in sprints, even when he doesn't win. You will not easily find him completely out of position finishing outside the top 10, unlike some other sprinters (and MvdP) when they are supposed to sprint.

It has nothing to do with being pompous. It's just that the concept fits Philipsen and his skillset a lot better, and that you would be trying to pigeonhole Van der Poel with going for green. I think he's at his best when he can be a maverick, and be unpredictable.
 
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Philipsen is 22 or 23, he's already won GT stages. He will only get better. He also has the uncanny ability to finish very high in sprints, even when he doesn't win. You will not easily find him completely out of position finishing outside the top 10, unlike some other sprinters (and MvdP) when they are supposed to sprint.

It has nothing to do with being pompous. It's just that the concept fits Philipsen and his skillset a lot better, and that you would be trying to pigeonhole Van der Poel with going for green. I think he's at his best when he can be a maverick, and be unpredictable.
Agree with you Logic. Why would AP leave both Philipsen and Merlier home for the TDF? Let MVDP chase stages and work the leadout train. You're dead on that he likes to win bike races, not chase points - especially during stages he has no chance of winning (i.e. mountain stages). WVA is much better suited to winning green, especially temperment-wise. Winning yellow or green takes patience, and MVDP has little of that.
 
I literally saw 0 people claiming Pidcock is better at MTB than van der Poel.
The form argument is complete bs.
Since when is SB considered MTB?
Bonimenier: SB is not considered MTB, but it does have some extremely steep, relatively short climbs in parts of the race when everyone is completely on the limit - kind've like MTB races if you've ever raced a MTB?
 
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Philipsen is 22 or 23, he's already won GT stages. He will only get better. He also has the uncanny ability to finish very high in sprints, even when he doesn't win. You will not easily find him completely out of position finishing outside the top 10, unlike some other sprinters (and MvdP) when they are supposed to sprint.

It has nothing to do with being pompous. It's just that the concept fits Philipsen and his skillset a lot better, and that you would be trying to pigeonhole Van der Poel with going for green. I think he's at his best when he can be a maverick, and be unpredictable.
Of course it's pompous. That doesn't necessarily mean it wouldn't make sense.

But I would much rather see a versatile guy like Van der Poel go for it. But I too think they will most likely try with Philipsen and then realise that he doesn't stand a chance.
 

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