The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Yeah, in just 3 weeks time we get to see him ride in Turkey. And then another month to Nokere Koerse. First big WT race will be Gent Wevelgem.. Curious

If I look at his program I think Nokere Koerse and Brabantse Pijl are probably the races that will suit him best. Because they end in uphill sprints..
I have no doubt he will do well in at least 1 of GW, Dwars, RvV or AGR. If he wins a big one though that would be a huge surprise. More likely he'll do like Van Aert last year
Van Aert expects him (Mathieu) to be a contender in the big classics.
Ofcourse. I expect that as well. I even expressed that.

However, there is a big difference between being a contender and between actually winning one. Even Sagan didn't win the big classic at his first attempt. And look how long it took Greg Van Avermaet to finally win one.
Stybar still hasn't gotten his big classic win and he's a 3 time world cx champion.

It could well be that MvdP is a category above Stybar, but, winning a big classic on his first attempt would be absolutely surprising and spectacular.
I know, we discussed this before. I was tempering expectations a few months ago. And i still do. I was just saying what Van Aert has said. For me, i wouldn't be surprised if he's an actual contender. But i'm not automatically assuming he will. (I expressed similar sentiments in the Evenepoel topic).
 
Up until a while ago the consensus seemed to be that Van Aert had the bigger "engine". If that's somehow not the case then of course MVDP will likely do better in his first pro season, considering he's a fast finisher, but I really don't know what to expect in the bigger, longer races like G-W.
 
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18-Valve. (pithy) said:
Up until a while ago the consensus seemed to be that Van Aert had the bigger "engine". If that's somehow not the case then of course MVDP will likely do better in his first pro season, considering he's a fast finisher, but I really don't know what to expect in the bigger, longer races like G-W.
I think Van Aert will be less impressive this year than last. Last year you could really see him improve week over week, during the cyclocross season. He was a turd in Waterloo (USA), basically everybody with half a leg was passing him. At the end of the season, he became World Champion in the most dominating fashion... and a few weeks later he was excellent in Strade. This year... he wasn't awful in september, but he didn't really improve either, except for 2 weeks in december. I honestly do think all the team issues he's been having did play a part in that. Not just the negativity, but having to face everything alone. So i'm not sure how this has hampered his preperation.

But they are both rather different types of riders. Obviously they've been compared a lot the past 6 years, because they've been each other's biggest rivals, the same age (only 4 months in between). But Mathieu has always been a technical wizard, a bit lighter and more explosive, which are trades that just fit cyclocross even better than road racing. Van Aert always seemed more like a diesel in comparison (though, compared to other CX riders, he's actually one of the more explosive ones, just not compared to Mathieu). I don't know if Van Aert has a bigger engine (we'll have to find out), but he does seem (or did seem) to have more raw power. I've actually been a bit amazed by the fact that instead of getting the upperhand on guys like Aerts the longer a tough race lasts (which is something you would expect for a guy preparing for the spring classics), he has lost that edge, and falls back in specifically these cases. It's a bit worrying, and another reason why i feel he really hasn't been himself all winter and i'm afraid he might take that with him into the spring. I wouldn't be surprised to see if his second year is actually not as good as last year. Or maybe he'll be even better during Paris-Roubaix, but worse during Omloop & Strade... He's said to have gained more weight as well as muscle... so that might also be a factor.
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
On the other hand MvdP seems to have gained a lot in the 'engine' department. He was already a huge engine. But I feel doing mountainbike really improved his endurance and recovery compared to last year.
Hard to tell for me based in past winter. In the past years (especially 2 and 3 years ago) you could easily see, that Van Aert could kill him on endurance, if he couldn't kill Van Aert in bursts. But especially this winter, it never came to that because Van Aert never survived the first burst.
 
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18-Valve. (pithy) said:
Up until a while ago the consensus seemed to be that Van Aert had the bigger "engine". If that's somehow not the case then of course MVDP will likely do better in his first pro season, considering he's a fast finisher, but I really don't know what to expect in the bigger, longer races like G-W.
I think the consensus was actually that they were more or less equal in that department. I'd say Wout was able to beat Mathieu last year on a few occasions on very tough courses because of raw (maximum) power and because he's a better runner (or was, looking at this year), which are two important assets on that terrain.

Van Aert was simply not the same rider this year, so it's too soon to say Mathieu does have the bigger engine. I don't expect him to do better than Wout's first attempt in a race like RVV. I think we can expect something similar "engine wise". Maybe a win in a semi-classic like Brabantse Pijl because of his explosiveness.
 
Yep, Mathieu didn't even jump the obstacles in the last lap. Nevertheless, it was the best race all winter of Wout. The only time he could close a gap on Mathieu after Mathieu went full gas and still be there in/after 4 laps. If Wout indeed is just peaking later, then there is no denying he has moved away from the field definitively, even while he keeps insisting he wants to do both equally.
 
Wout may have guarantees from his team that he can still do some CX. Even though they aren't particularly interested in CX, which is slightly short sighted.
Something which isn't a problem for Mathieu; his team seem happy for him to mix & match disciplines...and know when he needs to take a break.
 
The thing is, because he is up front all the time you get the impression MvdP races a lot. But if you look at last year he really doesn't. Even in his CX season he regularly takes a 1 week or 2 week break.
And in the road season last year he didn't race much (15 days or something) + MTB world cups. They are actually pretty careful with it. The thing is, everywhere he races he seems to finish high, so you get the impression he's racing all the time
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
Yep, Mathieu didn't even jump the obstacles in the last lap. Nevertheless, it was the best race all winter of Wout. The only time he could close a gap on Mathieu after Mathieu went full gas and still be there in/after 4 laps. If Wout indeed is just peaking later, then there is no denying he has moved away from the field definitively, even while he keeps insisting he wants to do both equally.
Also you can only close the gaps (that your opponent gains purely via skill without energy waste) so many times... the effort/fatigue will ultimately add up.
MVP imho can easily gain 5-10s each lap purely thanks to his technical skills without using much of the energy. Then his opponents must push really hard after every such section just to come back at his wheel from 5m behind.
 
I wonder how it will translate in classics. Will he try to follow the selection and count on the sprint? Or try to use his acceleration on hills to create a gap and hold it. So far the races he won on the road were either uphill sprints or select group sprints. Not really solo's as far as I can remember
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
I wonder how it will translate in classics. Will he try to follow the selection and count on the sprint? Or try to use his acceleration on hills to create a gap and hold it. So far the races he won on the road were either uphill sprints or select group sprints. Not really solo's as far as I can remember
time will tell.
can't imagine the solo stuff much though. it's much much harder to solo on the road than in the cx/mtb course. reduced sprint and uphill sprint are more likely although reduced flat sprint might be dependent on the level of his opponents which will be top tier i guess. i don't see his chances of wining such situations too high but i guess top5 can be considered a good result on such occasions. uphill sprints look more possible for him imho.
 
Re: Re:

glassmoon said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Yep, Mathieu didn't even jump the obstacles in the last lap. Nevertheless, it was the best race all winter of Wout. The only time he could close a gap on Mathieu after Mathieu went full gas and still be there in/after 4 laps. If Wout indeed is just peaking later, then there is no denying he has moved away from the field definitively, even while he keeps insisting he wants to do both equally.
Also you can only close the gaps (that your opponent gains purely via skill without energy waste) so many times... the effort/fatigue will ultimately add up.
MVP imho can easily gain 5-10s each lap purely thanks to his technical skills without using much of the energy. Then his opponents must push really hard after every such section just to come back at his wheel from 5m behind.
That's exactly why i said in a previous post, that Mathieu's strenghts, his technical skills and explosiveness are still a better fit for CX than road racing. He literally takes every corner at a higher speed, and he can accelerate faster as well. He not only takes half a second at every turn or obstacle, he also wastes less energy doing so. That's why i've been saying that his dominance in the field over other guys and specifically Van Aert, is no garantee that he will automatically do better on the road than Van Aert last year (even though i'm not saying it's not possible obviously).

On the road, his technical skills could help him avoid a crash, but it will not really gain him any noticable time bonus. On the road you don't need 80 small accelerations, you need 5 big ones at the right time. So we'll see. Nevertheless, i'm excited to see how he'll do. He'll surely be happy to have the rainbow jersey, good for confidence, and also no pressure.
 
I don't expect him to win either. Or maybe he's just not going to push himself there, since he recently said he's in Antalya to get miles in the legs, and he'd probably benefit more from a tempo effort rather than going full throttle at this point.
 
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Lequack said:
How is he still not on a World Tour team? Unless he still wants to focus on cyclocross and not on road races.
He won't join a WT team because they won't allow him to combine CX with Road and MTB. Corendon is the only team that lets him ride CX, the classics and MTB World Cup. He's in the right place.
 
Re: Re:

Dekker_Tifosi said:
Lequack said:
How is he still not on a World Tour team? Unless he still wants to focus on cyclocross and not on road races.
He won't join a WT team because they won't allow him to combine CX with Road and MTB. Corendon is the only team that lets him ride CX, the classics and MTB World Cup. He's in the right place.
Does that mean Wout van Aert will stop riding cyclocross now that he's on Team Jumbo?
 
Re: Re:

Lequack said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
Lequack said:
How is he still not on a World Tour team? Unless he still wants to focus on cyclocross and not on road races.
He won't join a WT team because they won't allow him to combine CX with Road and MTB. Corendon is the only team that lets him ride CX, the classics and MTB World Cup. He's in the right place.
Does that mean Wout van Aert will stop riding cyclocross now that he's on Team Jumbo?
No. Next year he'll ride a similar program to this winter.
 

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