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

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I am one of the biggest vdP fans out there,, at least probably in the USA (Senna maybe on par)...and I have to admit I am a bit jealous of how WvA has surpassed MvdP at this moment. I don't know if he has a better training program, better team, better makeup, or what, but it's interesting to see this split in their careers right now. We can say, oh but wait until this or that, but at the moment, 7/2022, this is how their careers have developed.

Having said that, based on what I've seen so far, they DO go through these periods of one clearly being stronger than the other, but for certain it's tilted in WvA's side right now.
Same was said in 2020 with Van Aert winning Strade, San Remo and two stages in the TDF. Then Van der Poel won Flanders late 2020 and Strade 2021. First week of the TDF was all about MvdP, but he quit and again WvA took over.

A lot has to do with physical issues by both. And the fact that they are different riders. WvA seems to be better at GT's, both by racing style as due to his strengths (TT, sprinting, climbing). While MvdP seems to be better at classics for the moment. Also don't forget he's been focussing on MTB as well
 
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I think Covid seasons have a strong are a strong factor too and caused more problems for MvDP.

Although probably not sustainable in the long term and very taxing for the body, 2019 was the perfect year shapewise so far for him: peak for the classics, rest, peak for MTB in the summer and then strong WCh form (although not converted to a result do to a probable mistake with food/bad weather).

Most likely, in normal conditions, his 2020 season was going to look the same - no TdF to bother with, Tokyo 2020 MTB race with a strong chance for a medel (and Pidcock was not yet in the equation) and in case of a good result in that race (which was very likely considered his 2019 run in the wide bars) it could put the MTB behind his back and focus on the road.

But Covid came and he then faced a classics season way later than usual, which made him shorten the interval between road and cross (and a lack of base in the restart of racing in August 2020). Then in 2021 came the mix and switch of disciplines: classics, back to MTB for a couple World Cups, back to road to prepare the Tour, Tour de France crazy week, back to MTB for Tokyo and he is playing catch up since then.

I think that without Covid he could have had a more structured progression and followed up to that 2019 season which, despite winning his two and unique monuments since that year, I feel is his most consistent year and peak VDP so far.
 
I'd agree with that, and I've said similar; 2019 was his best season as an 'all round' cyclist. So many performance across all 3 disciplines....

He lit up the Giro, and is probably paying for it (along with the minimum base), but I'm not sure what he'll get out of riding at the back of the peloton for the rest of the Tour.
 
He has to believe he is very close - or else he wouldn't stay in. MVDP isn't about JRA. Form is a funny thing, and he could very well "switch on". That turnaround in the Covid fall of 2020 came quick - that very difficult stage at TA where he was in the break all day, and then hunted down and killed that little climber from Bora - then pulverizing everyone at BB, then Flanders. My $ is on him winning 2 stages over the next two weeks. Including one where he finishes Wout.
 
Plus, WC's aren't until 9/28. No reason not to at least see what happens - unless the back issues have come back (at some level) or he is sick. The very, very, best usually have a strong sense of humility and humbleness about them - and MVDP is showing that now. Heard a good story about him after the stage where he was dropped on the flats - apparently some fan or reporter caught him staying around at the finish to sign for kids instead of just disappearing into the bus.
 
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fox

Sep 29, 2021
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I am one of the biggest vdP fans out there,, at least probably in the USA (Senna maybe on par)...and I have to admit I am a bit jealous of how WvA has surpassed MvdP at this moment. I don't know if he has a better training program, better team, better makeup, or what, but it's interesting to see this split in their careers right now. We can say, oh but wait until this or that, but at the moment, 7/2022, this is how their careers have developed.

Having said that, based on what I've seen so far, they DO go through these periods of one clearly being stronger than the other, but for certain it's tilted in WvA's side right now.
The difference between the 2 is that WVA has found a team that follows up from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to sleep. He thrives in that kind of environment and it made him an absolute monster. MVDP is more of a "free" rider and he needs that. He maybe has more pure natural talent and he relies on it. That can bring you far but he could have gotten so much further with the WVA mentality. I really don't think that you will ever see WVA in such "bad" form in a TDF. On the other hand, MVDP may al surprise us later this week.
 
He has to believe he is very close - or else he wouldn't stay in. MVDP isn't about JRA. Form is a funny thing, and he could very well "switch on". That turnaround in the Covid fall of 2020 came quick - that very difficult stage at TA where he was in the break all day, and then hunted down and killed that little climber from Bora - then pulverizing everyone at BB, then Flanders. My $ is on him winning 2 stages over the next two weeks. Including one where he finishes Wout.
I'm curious why you always keep mentioning WVA when talking about MVDP. I've lost track on the amount of posts you've written about how MVDP is better and that whenever WVA wins against him it's never because WVA was stronger but rather that MVDP just wasn't at his best level. They're both different riders with different qualities, for example MVDP is never going to be a better TT'er or climber than WVA and similarly MVDP has certain aspects where he is slightly stronger.

As far as MVDP I believe he probably would be better off in a highly structured team like JV rather than at Alpécin where I get the impression they're just doing whatever MVDP wants and not what is best for him. There has to be someone who can tell him stuff like "no, you just rode a classics season and you just came back from injury, it's probably not a good idea to do 2 GT's straightaway". It's like they have this idea he is some superhuman who can do anything. Even the best need some rest and a well structured training regimen.
 
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I'm curious why you always keep mentioning WVA when talking about MVDP. I've lost track on the amount of posts you've written about how MVDP is better and that whenever WVA wins against him it's never because WVA was stronger but rather that MVDP just wasn't at his best level. They're both different riders with different qualities, for example MVDP is never going to be a better TT'er or climber than WVA and similarly MVDP has certain aspects where he is slightly stronger.

As far as MVDP I believe he probably would be better off in a highly structured team like JV rather than at Alpécin where I get the impression they're just doing whatever MVDP wants and not what is best for him. There has to be someone who can tell him stuff like "no, you just rode a classics season and you just came back from injury, it's probably not a good idea to do 2 GT's straightaway". It's like they have this idea he is some superhuman who can do anything. Even the best need some rest and a well structured training regimen.
Not sure what you mean by "better off". Seems like he's got a decent career going, all the while remaining loyal to the people he came up with and having a helluva lot of fun and freedom do what he likes. Also, he has basically taken Alpecin on his back and built them into a strong team across three disciplines - didn't just join a "super team" like JV or QS or whoever - like every other "superstar". So while he may never play the domestique role in GT's, he's created a lot more jobs than the Wouts and ALPH's of the world. There is a reason why people pull so hard for MVDP.
 
He has to believe he is very close - or else he wouldn't stay in. MVDP isn't about JRA. Form is a funny thing, and he could very well "switch on". That turnaround in the Covid fall of 2020 came quick - that very difficult stage at TA where he was in the break all day, and then hunted down and killed that little climber from Bora - then pulverizing everyone at BB, then Flanders. My $ is on him winning 2 stages over the next two weeks. Including one where he finishes Wout.
Turns out van Aert finished Van der Poel with their duo TT.

EDIT: now totally finished. He abandoned.
 
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I hope he realizes that he is missing opportunities here. Due to this strange choice to do both Giro and Tour after a short training period this winter he is not the Mathieu we all love to see. With a more professional team he is able to achieve more. Look at what Wout achieved after joining a more better team. Mathieu is still part of a team that is unable to maximize his performance. He should definitely move to a more professional team. There are more teams that will let him ride CX and MTB.

Love to see him back to his old self again. Still the most entertaining rider of them all. But no longer the most versatile or the most impressive.
 
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I hope he realizes that he is missing opportunities here. Due to this strange choice to do both Giro and Tour after a short training period this winter he is not the Mathieu we all love to see. With a more professional team he is able to achieve more. Look at what Wout achieved after joining a more better team. Mathieu is still part of a team that is unable to maximize his performance. He should definitely move to a more professional team. There are more teams that will let him ride CX and MTB.

Love to see him back to his old self again. Still the most entertaining rider of them all. But no longer the most versatile or the most impressive.
One ‘bad’ year and you write him off. So fickle.
 
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One ‘bad’ year and you write him off. So fickle.
I don't write him off, but I do find he is not getting the maximum out of his huge talent. I think a different team can help him to perform better.

He has won RVV this year, for most riders that would be an excellent year. But Mathieu is so good that he should be able to win more big races. But who knows, he might surprise me at the worlds!
 
Turns out van Aert finished Van der Poel with their duo TT.

EDIT: now totally finished. He abandoned.
We'll see where things go from here. Good for Wout. He's definitely benefited at a more professional team like JV - just like all the other guys that have gone over there. As for the MVDP vs. Wout discussion, that is still very much up in the air for 2022. Even with the back problems and less professional preparation, MVDP has an RVV in his pocket - the most important race for both of them. A win at the WC's and MVDP clearly comes out on top in 2022 in terms of results.
 
It's normal after monster performance at Giro. That is why Giro-Tour double is avoided so much. As for stage 11 i would say he helped his friend van Aert to go in a breakaway. And after to call it a day.

P.S. Looks like they are friends after all.
 
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It's normal after monster performance at Giro. That is why Giro-Tour double is avoided so much. As for stage 11 i would say he helped his friend van Aert to go in a breakaway. And after to call it a day.

P.S. Looks like friends after all.
He was "good" in the Giro. But imho far from his top form. Certainly not a monster performance by his standards.
 
It's normal after monster performance at Giro. That is why Giro-Tour double is avoided so much. As for stage 11 i would say he helped his friend van Aert to go in a breakaway. And after to call it a day.

P.S. Looks like they are friends after all.
He wasn't super during the Giro. He struggled to win against 2nd tier racers. The best racers are in the Tour de France.
 

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