The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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Typical MVDP indeed.

I hope he isn't just wasting time. Top 3 in the world cup ain't bad, but he hasn't been close to winning in any race so far, and first place is obviously the minimum a rider like him should settle for. It was big news last year when he immediately delivered without serious prep (8th in Nove Mesto starting from 50th or so, and 2nd in Albstadt), now nobody cares when he finishes 3rd.
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
I know.

Anyway, he should have won in this field today. But he had one of his famous off days. Whenever he's off, he's usually off by 10.000 miles.
Seems like a mental issue.
Like i said on the previous page. I'm quite sure it is. And i'm also quite sure that is why he doesn't want to become a GT GC rider.
 
He is not cut out to be a GC GT rider anyway :eek: as he had already claimed for years. Way too heavyweight for the mountain stuff. Perhaps mental issue would come into play when it comes to contend for classic wins but I think he's made good progress in this respect. I've seen him come back from desperate situations more than once in cyclocross and in mountainbike (his 2017 performance in Nove Mesto comes to mind). In Bieles, it's only after the 4th puncture that he gave up.
 
Yes both. Okay, it was a bit like Gieten 2015. But then, all the epic battles with Wout in Autumn 2016, especially Zonhoven comes to mind, that race could have turned in Wout's favour. That was the short period when observers could get the illusion that Wout was on par with Mathieu, though Wout by then already knew that if Mathieu kept on like that he had a problem. Surely that edition of Zonhoven was equally a mental battle as it was a physical one, wasn't it?
 
Echoes said:
Yes both. Okay, it was a bit like Gieten 2015. But then, all the epic battles with Wout in Autumn 2016, especially Zonhoven comes to mind, that race could have turned in Wout's favour. That was the short period when observers could get the illusion that Wout was on par with Mathieu, though Wout by then already knew that if Mathieu kept on like that he had a problem. Surely that edition of Zonhoven was equally a mental battle as it was a physical one, wasn't it?
There have been at least 2 world championships, where he gave up, mentally. A WC, a classic monument, a GT... is not exactly the same as one out of 30 CX crosses per season. The bigger the stakes, the bigger the pressure, the bigger the disappointment in failure. In cyclocross, if something goes wrong in one race, there is always a second race the same week, a new Super Prestige a few weeks later, a new World Cup race next month... You can't really compare that. Like i said on the previous page, a GT contender has 1, 2 or 3 big goals a year. If you miss those, you wait another year. I think this is something that would not go well with him, and the biggest reason why he won't go for GT, and not the fact that he's too fat.

You claim he is too heavy to race GT's. Right now, maybe, but obviously he could work on that. You think 2009 Froome was on the same weight he is now? Thomas? How much does he weigh now? 69? 73? Now way he is built too heavy that with proper training, it would be impossible to get his weight to GT level.

As for "the illusion Wout was on par". Seriously. Wout wàs on par. The last 3 seasons they have both managed their seasons differently. Mathieu had been injured twice early in the season, if i remember correctly. Meaning his season started later and he was fresher later in the season, when Wout was busy consolidating his lead in the classifications where he was leading, while Mathieu was hunting for victories. Last winter, it was clear as day that Wout was aiming for the later part of the season and the spring classics right after. Obviously many "authorities in the field" (pun intended) had missed that glaring fact. Wuyts, Nys, they never saw it coming that Wout was in top form when the WC came around. Only one guy knew and noticed: Adrie van der Poel. He mentioned it before the WC, that Wout was not riding all out, and when chose his moments, the difference with Mathieu was nihil. And then the WC happened.
 
The more I think about it the more I think it could be just the extra long season catching up to him. The guy just hasn't got a break yet and it's almost fall already. Remember he's still very young for such endeavors imho. Potential is still massive with him.
 
Sep 20, 2011
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Van der Poel said in an interview with a Dutch magazine he was contacted by other teams, like Team Sky, but doesn’t feel the need to change teams. After 2020 Olympics he wants to focus on the road more, but he doesn’t know yet for which team (interview was done before signing his new contract). He still wants to do cyclo then, but only like 10 races a season.

His father thought it would be a good idea to already aim for a spot on the Dutch team for the Olympics Road Race, but he feels he is young enough to aim for that after 2020.

Also, Mathieu tells about how Laurens ten Dam asked Sagan if he knew who Mathieu van der Poel is, to which he answered: “Swimming pool?”
 
Logic-is-your-friend said:
There have been at least 2 world championships, where he gave up, mentally.
Yes on this I agree but you claimed that this is because "as a kid, he never learned how to lose". I claim that now as an elite, Mathieu has long learned how to fight for the win especially against Wout but against others too.

Logic-is-your-friend said:
You claim he is too heavy to race GT's.
It's his own claim, reported by Wuyts during the live coverage of a race, I don't remember which one. By then Poulidor had voiced several times that his grandson had the potential to win the Tour of France and Wuyts asked De Cauwer about it and despite his great respect for Poulidor and claiming he's a nobody compared to him, De Cauwer claimed that the grandfather was out of touch wih the way cycling has evolved. What has Mathieu shown in the mountains "as a kid"? A stage at the Tour of Alsace is probably what he did best but it still was the mid-mountain and he was not in contention for GC win. Mathieu has always been a prodigy even on the road but not really in the mountain from what I remember. If Froome and Thomas are examples, then any 70+kg riders can become GT riders...

Logic-is-your-friend said:
As for "the illusion Wout was on par". Seriously. Wout wàs on par. The last 3 seasons they have both managed their seasons differently. Mathieu had been injured twice early in the season, if i remember correctly. Meaning his season started later and he was fresher later in the season, when Wout was busy consolidating his lead in the classifications where he was leading, while Mathieu was hunting for victories. Last winter, it was clear as day that Wout was aiming for the later part of the season and the spring classics right after. Obviously many "authorities in the field" (pun intended) had missed that glaring fact. Wuyts, Nys, they never saw it coming that Wout was in top form when the WC came around. Only one guy knew and noticed: Adrie van der Poel. He mentioned it before the WC, that Wout was not riding all out, and when chose his moments, the difference with Mathieu was nihil. And then the WC happened.
Well I haven't watched last season as closely as the previous one but I'm pretty sure that Wout himself wouldn't agree with you. My post was based on the reaction after Gieten 2016, seen as one of their finest battles together and perhaps the start of a great rivalry. Then everybody thought both were on par with each other but Wout said "If Mathieu Van der Poel gets even better, I have a problem" (in Het Laatste Nieuws 10/4/2016). How many times did he come second to Mathieu after that during that season? Wout could only beat Mathieu when the latter had an off-day (Koppenberg), bad luck (Loenhout) or when the route was taylor-made for Wout (Francorchamp). Then came Bieles when Wout made the right tyre choice (I'm not even arguing the victory was undeserved as it can be argued that having the right equipment is part of the sport). This year as you said he approached the season very differently, saving energy for the right moment. That shows that Mathieu is superior, doesn't it?



Riccò said:
Like someone said before, much better this year on the road compared to his MTB.
It's hard to compare road to MTB and I can't claim to be an MTB specialist but he did win a WC event this year, didn't he? That should be an improvement compared to last year. He also got better on the road but in MTB he's mixing it up with the best in the field while you cannot say he does on the road at this moment. Though what he does on the road is amazing. :)
 
Echoes said:
Him giving up mentally, i don't know where it originates from. I can only venture a guess that it might (also) have something to do with never having learned how to lose as a kid. I'm not a psychologist, i'm not a psychic. It's a guess, nothing more. If someone comes with a logical or scientifically sound explanation why not or what might be the reason, i'm not going to debate that.

But the fact is, that it happens, him giving up mentally. Like i said, it might be part of the reason why he doesn't fancy his chances as a GC rider. The other part might be, the inexplicable "off days". They often go hand in hand (the off days, and the mentally "giving up" days), but not always.

As for Wout. I felt the first season they started riding with the pro's, Wout was actually superior. The next season (i think this was their first full season) they were on par (with Mathieu starting a bit later due to injury?), and the two seasons after that, Mathieu was superior. But, like i said, the past winter, you could not compare them at all because Wout had a completely different program.

This is my opinion, i don't care to get into another *** measuring contest with another (?) Dutch forum member. One per day is plenty. Feel free to disagree with my views. I can only say that normally, i see every CX race there is every year. Although, i will agree that my memory sucks balls.
 
Mathieu has won two of the Friday evening World Cup XC Short track races; but no XCO races. However, he is still 2nd in the standings, behind only Nino, despite missing Sunday’s race. That’s pretty good consistency (three 3rds plus a 4th place), and remember he’s still pretty young. He’s still 3-4 years away from a XC racer’s peak years.
Gaze & Cooper who are of similar age have been less consistent despite having ‘better’ one off results; which is to be expected.
If he planned on having a long XC career, I’ve no doubt he’s capable of being a multiple Champion.

How many other riders could mix disciplines regularly, and be so competitive? It is astonishing really.
 
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Axel Hangleck said:
Mathieu has won two of the Friday evening World Cup XC Short track races; but no XCO races. However, he is still 2nd in the standings, behind only Nino, despite missing Sunday’s race. That’s pretty good consistency (three 3rds plus a 4th place), and remember he’s still pretty young. He’s still 3-4 years away from a XC racer’s peak years.
Gaze & Cooper who are of similar age have been less consistent despite having ‘better’ one off results; which is to be expected.
If he planned on having a long XC career, I’ve no doubt he’s capable of being a multiple Champion.

How many other riders could mix disciplines regularly, and be so competitive? It is astonishing really.
Yeah. Not to mention how ridiculously long his season is being...
 

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