The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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Yeah I think they can get an invite to RVV but PR will be hard. I also think PR will suit him better. I'm not sure on him doing well in RVV, because of Koppenbergcross etc.. The difference being in road races he has more 'in between' to recup than in cross. Guess we'll find out
 
Amazing. This guy's been racing (CX, XCO, SCC, RR) basically non-stop for at least 2 seasons (with few 1-2 week breaks here and there). This can't go on for much longer imho. Hope he's in top shape for CX WCH to win it (again) before switching to RR/XCO "full-time" cause of Olympics.
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Yeah I think they can get an invite to RVV but PR will be hard. I also think PR will suit him better. I'm not sure on him doing well in RVV, because of Koppenbergcross etc.. The difference being in road races he has more 'in between' to recup than in cross. Guess we'll find out
I actually think he'd be better at RVV than PR. He's lighter than many PR types, and he copes better with short burst intervals than most other riders. Koppenbergcross has little to do with RVV. The parts that he dislikes, are those in the field, not the actual koppenberg. He's shown he can do short steep climbs on the road before IIRC.
 
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jflemaire said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Yeah I think they can get an invite to RVV but PR will be hard.
On the other hand, being the grandson of Poulidor, an icon of French cycling, may help him get an invite. This could be good PR for ASO.
I doubt him being the grandson of Poulidor would make a big difference.

But i have little doubt that he would be invited for PR if he wants to race there regardless. The only reason Veranda's Willems Crelan got invited last year, was because of Van Aert. With Sniper imploding and Van Aert racing for (likely) Jumbo in 2019, that's a wildcard that becomes available, if nothing else. So there is no reason why van der Poel would not get an invite imo.
 
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jaylew said:
GuyIncognito said:
Given his characteristics I'll be amazed if he ever wins Roubaix. Flanders should be doable one day. Amstel as well.

The team said they'd look for invites to Dwars and E3 in 2019. This was a month or so ago.
Really? Why would you say that? He's a great bike handler, he's got good acceleration, good power, and a very good sprint.
I'm a month late, but I only just saw this.

He's got great acceleration and power in short bursts, especially on climbs, like any cyclo-crosser.
The things you need at Flanders that are mostly useless at Roubaix.

Museeuw and Rolf Sorensen among others have spoken at length of the difference between the two races. In the twisty roads and short climbs of Flanders you need:

- Intimate knowledge of the roads. That will come with time.
- Ability to climb short hills quickly and recover from those efforts quickly. He has that in spades
- Bike handling skills. Again, he has that in spades

On the flat stretches of Roubaix you need:

- Endurance. That may come with time. Maybe.
- A flair for riding the center of the cobble stretches with little wasted energy. To a small extent this is learned but mostly it's an innate ability. We'll know eventually if he has it. It's not related to cyclo-cross.
- Raw sustained power. Like most cyclo-crossers he's an explosive rider with little sustained power. In fact, he skips any race with a TT longer than a prologue. The Tour of Belgium had a TT of just 15kms, not long by any stretch, and even then he decided to not start the stage. Said he didn't see the point in "digging deep to maybe get a top 50" when he had a MTB race 4 days later.

He might win Roubaix one day. But it's unlikely. Flanders and Amstel on the other hand....and even Liege, if he can eventually improve his sustained power enough for climbs that are a little longer and the new race finish is flat as expected.
 
In theory, MVDP should be more suited to the Ronde indeed. But more or less the same applies to Stybar (very explosive, not a great TT'ist), yet he has been struggling in Ronde every year while being better a week later.
 
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GuyIncognito said:
The Tour of Belgium had a TT of just 15kms, not long by any stretch, and even then he decided to not start the stage. Said he didn't see the point in "digging deep to maybe get a top 50" when he had a MTB race 4 days later.
When was that?

On the last 2 seasons (where he rode MTB World Cups), he only started Tour of Belgium in 2017. That year, he rode Nove Mesto World Cup (where he was 7th) three days before the start of the Belgium Tour and decided to focus on Albstadt World Cup (one week after) since it was an opportunity to start on the front row. Nevertheless, he started the Belgium Tour, won a stage on Thursday and quit the race on friday (2 days before the race, time needed to travel to Germany, rest and do the recon of the track).

In 2018, Belgium Tour started on a wednesday and on the following friday he had the short track race of the Nove Mesto World Cup, so I wasn't possible to do both races.


Just on a personal note, it's a shame he stops for two weeks after Koksijde. Am planning a trip to Belgium where I wanted to see him race and the only opportunity was at the Druivencross. :eek:
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
https://www.wielerflits.nl/nieuws/mathieu-van-der-poel-beslist-volgende-maand-definitief-over-wegprogramma/

Seems wildcards won't be a problem. They want him in the races (Vandenhaute, organiser flanders classics). Dwars, Omloop are certain and at least E3 or Gent Wevelgem. Monuments uncertain, but probable if organizers want him there.

Nice :)
Great and fully deserved.
 
Adrie said, this weekend during the Druivencross (where David was riding), that road racing still is just an afterthought, a sideproject for Mathieu. The current trainingschedules and breaks are all about cyclocross, and not in light of his debut in the classics on the road.

On the other hand, i read or heard (can't remember) Mathieu recently saying that he had been including longer endurance training into his schedule, with that goal (road). So possibly Adrie was just keeping expectations in check with his remark, or trying to throw some people off. But anyway, he said it, and now you know :D
 
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GuyIncognito said:
jaylew said:
GuyIncognito said:
Given his characteristics I'll be amazed if he ever wins Roubaix. Flanders should be doable one day. Amstel as well.

The team said they'd look for invites to Dwars and E3 in 2019. This was a month or so ago.
Really? Why would you say that? He's a great bike handler, he's got good acceleration, good power, and a very good sprint.
I'm a month late, but I only just saw this.

He's got great acceleration and power in short bursts, especially on climbs, like any cyclo-crosser.
The things you need at Flanders that are mostly useless at Roubaix.

Museeuw and Rolf Sorensen among others have spoken at length of the difference between the two races. In the twisty roads and short climbs of Flanders you need:

- Intimate knowledge of the roads. That will come with time.
- Ability to climb short hills quickly and recover from those efforts quickly. He has that in spades
- Bike handling skills. Again, he has that in spades

On the flat stretches of Roubaix you need:

- Endurance. That may come with time. Maybe.
- A flair for riding the center of the cobble stretches with little wasted energy. To a small extent this is learned but mostly it's an innate ability. We'll know eventually if he has it. It's not related to cyclo-cross.
- Raw sustained power. Like most cyclo-crossers he's an explosive rider with little sustained power. In fact, he skips any race with a TT longer than a prologue. The Tour of Belgium had a TT of just 15kms, not long by any stretch, and even then he decided to not start the stage. Said he didn't see the point in "digging deep to maybe get a top 50" when he had a MTB race 4 days later.

He might win Roubaix one day. But it's unlikely. Flanders and Amstel on the other hand....and even Liege, if he can eventually improve his sustained power enough for climbs that are a little longer and the new race finish is flat as expected.
I don't know that I agree with all that, but in any case hopefully we'll find out eventually. I still wonder if and when those races will ever become his #1 priority, which is what they'd likely need to be for a podium
 
I think it's a good decision, a good selection of races for him to ride. Like i said earlier, i see him getting better results in Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold Race, than in Paris Roubaix. On the other hand, i read a piece on AD.nl where he assumes, based on Wout riding the finals of those races, that he will be there too. This seems to be a bit presumptuous. It also downplays the achievement in its own right. It's definitely possible but automatically assuming to be up there might be dangerous.

Maar als ik zie wat Wout van Aert vorig jaar heeft gedaan. Hij zat er bij in de finales. Ik ga ervan uit dat dat ook mijn plek zal zijn.
 
Van der Poel has shown himself in road races much earlier than Wout did. Like the junior world champs. I think Mathieu's road talent is without question. Wout's was a question untill he started doing well in them. So no, it's not presumptuous. I think the ex world junior champion and current dutch champion and nr 2 of european championship can safely say he expects to be there :)

actually, i'd be very surprised if he's not in the finale of 1 of the bigger (250km) classics. Unless he has exactly 2 bad days on those days.. like the rare bad day in cyclocross
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Van der Poel has shown himself in road races much earlier than Wout did. Like the junior world champs. I think Mathieu's road talent is without question. Wout's was a question untill he started doing well in them. So no, it's not presumptuous. I think the ex world junior champion and current dutch champion and nr 2 of european championship can safely say he expects to be there :)

actually, i'd be very surprised if he's not in the finale of 1 of the bigger (250km) classics. Unless he has exactly 2 bad days on those days.. like the rare bad day in cyclocross
That's mostly besides the point. How many 250km races has he ridden? There are plenty of guys that do well up to 210km races, but are nowhere to be seen in the final of 250km races. So until he has actually done well in one of those races, it remains presumptuous. The fact that you believe he will do well, doesn't change that i'm afraid.

To be very clear, i'm not saying he won't do well or that it's not possible to ride a final in those 250k classics. I personally think it's more likely than not he will do well, but i wouldn't just assume anything, until he's actually done it.
 
It would be pretty strange to not assume he would be fighting for the win in all those races, given that he is much better than Van Aert.

This is the same behaviour (but opposite) as those who were claiming that de la Cruz would win the Vuelta just because he rode for Sky and they didn't dare dream of a Sky failure.
 
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tobydawq said:
It would be pretty strange to not assume he would be fighting for the win in all those races, given that he is much better than Van Aert.

This is the same behaviour (but opposite) as those who were claiming that de la Cruz would win the Vuelta just because he rode for Sky and they didn't dare dream of a Sky failure.
Cyclocross races last 60 minutes. How is that a reference for 250k classics races? He takes 5-10 seconds per lap on Van Aert based on technique alone, which will not be a factor on the road, and Van Aert has been focussing on the road the past 2 cyclocross seasons, making this and last CX season hardly the references you think they are. Two/three years ago, they were much closer, and Van Aert has regressed as a CX rider considerably as a result of his focus on the road. Since last year, Van Aert actually has difficulty leaving even 2nd tier CX riders behind, and guys like Aerts have kicked his ass more than the other way around, because he has changed his training approach and managed his schedule in light of the spring. So yes, Mathieu is a much better CX rider than Van Aert currently is. But personally, i'll refrain from making assumptions based on their CX level on how that translates to 250km road races.

I hope Mathieu does well, i've always liked him and it's plain to see he's all class (not only on the bike). But i'm a bit more cautious and don't think that his dominance in CX and his performances in MTB, or even shorter road races, mean he will automatically become the next Boonen or Sagan.
 

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