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

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What bigger engine means, is that when it comes to raw power and prolonged efforts, that Wout has historically wiped the floor with Mathieu. That's where that comes from. Courses with heavy mud where you don't get any rest? Wout wins by a landslide 9 out of 10. Despite his weight, he also outclimbs Mathieu in mountain stages and it's not even remotely close. Same story, prolonged efforts. So i'm a bit baffled by the played ignorance in your post.
Obviously what you say here is true. I do think MVDP could have some better climbing results if that was ever made a priority, but nowhere in the league of Wout.

What I find interesting about this rivalry and the power comparison is the last two times they've competed in a TT (maybe 2 of the only times?) -- first-weekTour stages in '21 and '22 where both riders were looking for yellow -- the gaps have been small. Wout 3" over Mathieu in 2021, Wout 8" over a second-rate Mathieu in 2022. Somehow this seems the exception, but this is probably a separate category of power/effort.
 
Obviously what you say here is true. I do think MVDP could have some better climbing results if that was ever made a priority, but nowhere in the league of Wout.

What I find interesting about this rivalry and the power comparison is the last two times they've competed in a TT (maybe 2 of the only times?) -- first-weekTour stages in '21 and '22 where both riders were looking for yellow -- the gaps have been small. Wout 3" over Mathieu in 2021, Wout 8" over a second-rate Mathieu in 2022. Somehow this seems the exception, but this is probably a separate category of power/effort.
Those were very short efforts right? Large component will be anaerobic.

There are also other outlier outcomes like Namur 2018 which was not a “10-15 second effort and then rest”-race, or Gavere last year etc.
 
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MVDP has discussed his schedule. I think it's good it's much less packed then it used to be, although I can imagine some smaller races will be added between MSR - Ronde van Vlaanderen

05-02 UCI Cyclocross World Championships
04-03 Strade Bianche
06-03 - 12-03 Tirreno-Adriatico
18-03 Milano-Sanremo
02-04 Ronde van Vlaanderen
09-04 Paris-Roubaix
11-06 - 18-06 Tour de Suisse
01-07 - 23-07 Tour de France
 
Obviously some teams will be better in these areas than others, but the last ones who we should believe about it are the current riders for the team. For one, they will never say the opposite: that the training, etc., was better at their previous squad.

And there is a certain amount of confirmation bias: if things are going better for whatever reason (could be just natural growth/progression as a rider, or an injury clearing up, or better equipment, or some combination), everything will "be better" with the new team.
Exactly. Wout seems like a stand up guy, so not taking anything away from him. He would be a dominant rider on any team. But teams like JV are problematic. We're just all supposed to believe they are finding %'s (literally full % points in terms of the performance of their riders) in the small details of training, nutrition, etc? Not buying it.
 
Well, as all should know that material plays a large part also in cycling, and this area is probably where the rich teams really excel and make the difference in percentage points. And rich teams also have the means to do something out of the ordinary, like trying new dietary approaches, hiring video analysts (like Jumbo did last year with two Youtube guys). If you don't buy that as well, there's only one way to go, and that's another subforum.

But of course, if your belief lies there, rich teams would also have a benefit in that area.
 
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MVDP has discussed his schedule. I think it's good it's much less packed then it used to be, although I can imagine some smaller races will be added between MSR - Ronde van Vlaanderen

05-02 UCI Cyclocross World Championships04-03 Strade Bianche06-03 - 12-03 Tirreno-Adriatico18-03 Milano-Sanremo02-04 Ronde van Vlaanderen09-04 Paris-Roubaix11-06 - 18-06 Tour de Suisse01-07 - 23-07 Tour de France
I hope we'll see him in E3 and AGR, especially the latter.
 
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Well, as all should know that material plays a large part also in cycling, and this area is probably where the rich teams really excel and make the difference in percentage points. And rich teams also have the means to do something out of the ordinary, like trying new dietary approaches, hiring video analysts (like Jumbo did last year with two Youtube guys). If you don't buy that as well, there's only one way to go, and that's another subforum.

But of course, if your belief lies there, rich teams would also have a benefit in that area.
Yep, but I actually think it's not just a matter or 1% here or there, but more like up to 10%. You think Vingegaard podiums then wins the tour on a small team? No way. These big teams with up to 5-8x the budget of smaller teams have better equipment, training, coaching, and support, meaning their riders don't have to lift a finger on their own. Not only that, they have better domestiques. Give MvdP a team like QS has had over the years in the classics and he wins monuments left, right and center. Even if he freelances here and there....
 
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Yep, but I actually think it's not just a matter or 1% here or there, but more like up to 10%. You think Vingegaard podiums then wins the tour on a small team? No way. These big teams with up to 5-8x the budget of smaller teams have better equipment, training, coaching, and support, meaning their riders don't have to lift a finger on their own. Not only that, they have better domestiques. Give MvdP a team like QS has had over the years in the classics and he wins monuments left, right and center. Even if he freelances here and there....
If all that were true, why has Van Aert not won monuments left, right and center?

I do agree about Grand Tours but I don't think the same applies to monuments. See Ineos for example, it took them more than six years to win their first monument, and it's not like they have been racking them up since then.
 
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If all that were true, why has Van Aert not won monuments left, right and center?

I do agree about Grand Tours but I don't think the same applies to monuments. See Ineos for example, it took them more than six years to win their first monument, and it's not like they have been racking them up since then.
First of all Wout won Milano San Remo, a monument. But more importantly, Wout isn’t as good as Mathieu.
 
Yep, but I actually think it's not just a matter or 1% here or there, but more like up to 10%. You think Vingegaard podiums then wins the tour on a small team? No way. These big teams with up to 5-8x the budget of smaller teams have better equipment, training, coaching, and support, meaning their riders don't have to lift a finger on their own. Not only that, they have better domestiques. Give MvdP a team like QS has had over the years in the classics and he wins monuments left, right and center. Even if he freelances here and there....
The reason that Jumbo are the no. 1 team right now is not money, five or six years ago they were bottom of the pile and they haven't bought their success. And still Ineos and UAE have way bigger budgets than them. Most of the stuff they do other teams can afford as well, just look at what Intermarché-Wanty have achieved in the two years since hiring Aike Visbeek, who turned them into a kind of Jumbo-light. Famously Pat Lefevere always complains about his budget, he hasn't had the richest team either but you wouldn't know it from the results.

It's about making the right choices and having a clear plan. Right now Alpecin looks like a bit of a chaos to me, they have like a million riders under contract (male/female) and I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve. They do have capable trainers and decent material, I don't think that's the problem.
 
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I think Alpecin saw a formula that worked with MVDP, a generational talent capable of working together big seasons in multiple disciplines at the same time, and tried to put it to work it multiple riders.

From the beginning I think that could be a difficult task, because I think it could be a very demanding task for the average rider and even if it can work during one or two seasons, multiple years of that could have an adverse effect.

Body needs time to heal after a strenuous season and rest is also a very important part of training, in order to be able to have the physical ability to improve in the future. I honestly think they have a few to many riders switching back and forth between different specialities.

And maybe it's bad luck, but they have had a few too many riders with big potential within they structure that, for one reason or another, can never go back to their previous level after an injury or illness. From memory I remember Antoine Benoist, Petter Fagerhaug, Jens Dekker and now we have Ryan Cortjens (a few crashes aswell, tbh), Ronja Eibl (very strong prospect for XCO in 2018 and 2019 who, after a bout of overtraining during the pandemic break in 2020 never again reached the former level, imo) and Jonas Rickaert (let's see if he can make a fully recovery). Ceylin del Carmen worried me for a bit too because I honestly thought she wouldn't be able to return to her former self, but she seems to be on the up again. I think that there are maybe one or two more cases but I can't remember specifics from memory.

And regarding Ceylin, I think her 2021 XCO season may have had a factor on her sharper decline with her illness, because I believe she arrived very tired to the beginning of the 2021/2022 cross season after a previous busy winter and a summer racing MTB.
 
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Ronja Eibl (very strong prospect for XCO in 2018 and 2019 who, after a bout of over-training during the pandemic break in 2020 never again reached the former level, imo) and Jonas Rickaert (let's see if he can make a fully recovery).

And regarding Ceylin, I think her 2021 XCO season may have had a factor on her sharper decline with her illness, because I believe she arrived very tired to the beginning of the 2021/2022 cross season after a previous busy winter and a summer racing MTB.
Yeah, go and look at Eibl's 2019 U23 World Cup winning season - and the riders she beat; Lecomte, Richards, Stigger, Batten - all now successful Elite riders; one hopes she can regain that form. I also think Ceylin was in decline in 2021. Following a successful 2019/20 CX season, in XCO she won an U23 World Cup, and got a bronze in the U23 Worlds. Her results in 2021 were far lower than you'd expect, but we now know why.
I also wonder if Alpecin have learned from this, and that's why Pieterse has mainly concentrated on the World Cups, and has ignored most of the other races. From memory, Ceylin rode a lot of CX races in 2019/20 in all 3 series.
 
Do you know why Merlier left Alpecin?
For a Belgian there's probably no greater honor than riding for Lefevere, and of course Quickstep have proven to be very successful with pretty much every sprinter they sign. They hired the sprinting department of Highroad and have profited from that experience ever since. If given the choice between Alpecin and Quickstep as a sprinter I'd know who to choose as well.
 
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If all that were true, why has Van Aert not won monuments left, right and center?

I do agree about Grand Tours but I don't think the same applies to monuments. See Ineos for example, it took them more than six years to win their first monument, and it's not like they have been racking them up since then.
I actually can't explain why Wout hasn't won more big races. It probably has to do with racing passively at times, which clearly isn't Matthieu's issues. But I'm pretty certain that MvdP would benefit from better support in one-day races.

I'm not sure Ineos had/has the absolute best riders in classics leadership roles, at least not on MvdP's level. That could change with pidcock, sheffield, turner in the next few years..
 
But I'm pretty certain that MvdP would benefit from better support in one-day races.
That's been true especially for MSR but I think this year the team has the opportunity to do something great there.

If they have Philipsen climbing as well as in the last TdF, with SKA and MVDP they have two spears to try to go clear in the Poggio or on the last 3k's, and if someone wants to bring them back, they'll need to tow Philipsen to the line.
 
I actually can't explain why Wout hasn't won more big races. It probably has to do with racing passively at times, which clearly isn't Matthieu's issues. But I'm pretty certain that MvdP would benefit from better support in one-day races.

I'm not sure Ineos had/has the absolute best riders in classics leadership roles, at least not on MvdP's level. That could change with pidcock, sheffield, turner in the next few years..
Many times the margin between first and second has been razor thin. It’s both a little harsh and also a wrong assumption that “Wout hasn’t won more races”. He is one of the most successful riders of the last couple of years. A bit like saying MVDP isn’t winning CX anymore (had he won in Zolder and Louenhout nobody would even think that).
 
Yep, but I actually think it's not just a matter or 1% here or there, but more like up to 10%. You think Vingegaard podiums then wins the tour on a small team? No way. These big teams with up to 5-8x the budget of smaller teams have better equipment, training, coaching, and support, meaning their riders don't have to lift a finger on their own. Not only that, they have better domestiques. Give MvdP a team like QS has had over the years in the classics and he wins monuments left, right and center. Even if he freelances here and there....
Van der Poel won more monuments than Van Aert.

Van der Peol won 2 from 11 participation

Van Aert won 1 from 13 participation

Clear that Van der Poel is a better classics rider than Belgian Pozzato despite being on a worse team. So team budget doesn't factor in so much for these races (like Toby said, look at ineos history).

I agree that budget play a massive role in winning the grand tours however, which often makes following those races frustrating when nobody can compete with 2 superteams of thermonuclear donkeys


I actually can't explain why Wout hasn't won more big races.
Tactical incompetence, defensive and passive racing, crumbling under pressure.

When Van Aert races like Van der poel, takes initiative, takes risks and puts the hammer down, he wins. Look at Strade Bianche 2020, Omloop 2022. But too often he races like Pozzato
 
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Clear that Van der Poel is a better classics rider than Belgian Pozzato despite being on a worse team. So team budget doesn't factor in so much for these races (like Toby said, look at ineos history).

I agree that budget play a massive role in winning the grand tours however, which often makes following those races frustrating when nobody can compete with 2 superteams of thermonuclear donkeys
You'd have a point if Ineos were actually still dominating GTs, which they aren't. Now you're just contradicting yourself.

For both classics and GTs money certainly helps. But it's not the determining factor. Ineos serves as an example of that. Maybe ten years ago it was, but now in an age of super talents like Pogacar and Vingegaard, but also Van der Poel, there's only so much that money can buy you.
 

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