The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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jaylew said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Can't remember Albert ever taking road racing seriously. As for Nys, i tend to believe what he says. He finished 36th and 41st i believe in P-R. There are guys that finish in spots like that, and end up on the podium, just to drop out of the top 30 again the year later. In a clean peloton, he wouldn't have won (i don't think he would ever have been able to finish a race like that solo, and in a larger group, he'd be beaten in the sprint) but top 10? Sure, i could see it,depending on circumstances, all things equal. But it's no secret that guys like Albert, van der Poel, Van Aert have a bigger engine than Nys had.

PS: lol, as i'm typing, i'm watching an episode of Vive le Velo, where they're talking about exactly this topic.

As for your statement that if you can excell in one discipline, you can excell in road racing... obviously it's all possible. But i think that there are a lot more riders worldwide, that are racing on the track on a pro level, than there are guys doing CX at that level. So it remains a small niche, and more remarkable that there are two 24 year olds, coming from the same discipline, living less than an hour apart, that are taking road racing by storm.
Let's not act like Mathieu just comes from 'cross. He's been racing and getting results on the road for years and is the former junior road world champ.
I'm pretty sure if you 'd ask him, that's pretty much what he 'd say though. Earlier today he was interviewed and asked about past Ronde VV editions, the one thing he remembered was the one two years ago where Sagan, Van Avermaet and Naesen crashed due to a jacket hanging over the barriers. When asked why, he said that road cycling didn't interest him, it was all about CX. Mathieu honed his skills in the field. Road racing has always been an afterthought. At least so far.
 
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I'm pretty sure if you 'd ask him, that's pretty much what he 'd say though. Earlier today he was interviewed and asked about past Ronde VV editions, the one thing he remembered was the one two years ago where Sagan, Van Avermaet and Naesen crashed due to a jacket hanging over the barriers. When asked why, he said that road cycling didn't interest him, it was all about CX. Mathieu honed his skills in the field. Road racing has always been an afterthought. At least so far.
It's also always a question mark as to how he will fare in a 250+ km hard race, which none of the other cycling disciplines give you an indication of. Can he make the difference in a race on the highest level when everyone is knackered? How "fresh" are his legs after a long and hard classics race and can he rely on his sprint if needed? I think he's figuring all of this out as the season goes along. It's gonna be a very intriguing edition of RVV as far as that's concerned. He seems to be cautiously optimistic about his condition improving come Sunday while still being humble about his chances compared to Wout and Styby. Seems like a very down-to-earth guy, I like that. I'm rooting for either Mathieu or Wout for RVV, though I wouldn't be opposed to Styby or Sagan winning it. One thing's for sure; the former two are both amazing additions to the pro peloton.
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
jaylew said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Can't remember Albert ever taking road racing seriously. As for Nys, i tend to believe what he says. He finished 36th and 41st i believe in P-R. There are guys that finish in spots like that, and end up on the podium, just to drop out of the top 30 again the year later. In a clean peloton, he wouldn't have won (i don't think he would ever have been able to finish a race like that solo, and in a larger group, he'd be beaten in the sprint) but top 10? Sure, i could see it,depending on circumstances, all things equal. But it's no secret that guys like Albert, van der Poel, Van Aert have a bigger engine than Nys had.

PS: lol, as i'm typing, i'm watching an episode of Vive le Velo, where they're talking about exactly this topic.

As for your statement that if you can excell in one discipline, you can excell in road racing... obviously it's all possible. But i think that there are a lot more riders worldwide, that are racing on the track on a pro level, than there are guys doing CX at that level. So it remains a small niche, and more remarkable that there are two 24 year olds, coming from the same discipline, living less than an hour apart, that are taking road racing by storm.
Let's not act like Mathieu just comes from 'cross. He's been racing and getting results on the road for years and is the former junior road world champ.
I'm pretty sure if you 'd ask him, that's pretty much what he 'd say though. Earlier today he was interviewed and asked about past Ronde VV editions, the one thing he remembered was the one two years ago where Sagan, Van Avermaet and Naesen crashed due to a jacket hanging over the barriers. When asked why, he said that road cycling didn't interest him, it was all about CX. Mathieu honed his skills in the field. Road racing has always been an afterthought. At least so far.
Of course we know he's always preferred cross but it doesn't change the fact that he's got a ton of road experience and there's not much of a learning curve for him.
It's also always a question mark as to how he will fare in a 250+ km hard race, which none of the other cycling disciplines give you an indication of. Can he make the difference in a race on the highest level when everyone is knackered? How "fresh" are his legs after a long and hard classics race and can he rely on his sprint if needed? I think he's figuring all of this out as the season goes along. It's gonna be a very intriguing edition of RVV as far as that's concerned. He seems to be cautiously optimistic about his condition improving come Sunday while still being humble about his chances compared to Wout and Styby. Seems like a very down-to-earth guy, I like that. I'm rooting for either Mathieu or Wout for RVV, though I wouldn't be opposed to Styby or Sagan winning it. One thing's for sure; the former two are both amazing additions to the pro peloton.
I think there's a tendency to overemphasize the ability to race for over 250k. In any case, he performed well in a hard Euro champs in which he was active in the finale. If he doesn't perform well it isn't going to be because there was an extra 20k.
 
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I think there's a tendency to overemphasize the ability to race for over 250k. In any case, he performed well in a hard Euro champs in which he was active in the finale. If he doesn't perform well it isn't going to be because there was an extra 20k.
I honestly don’t think the Euro champs is to he compared with RVV in terms of “hardness”. GW for example, was the fastest and thus one of the hardest editions to date. Moreover, it’s not “just” about riding a 250k race, like I said, it’s about making the difference in a 250k, or have the ability to recuperate enough to be able to rely on your sprint. In CX, for example, it’s not uncommon that a slower rider beats a quicker rider solely due to tue fact that they are “fresher” at the end and the quicker rider has nothing left in the tank. Van Aert, for example, has beaten a lot of faster guys in a sprint after a hard CX race due to this fact. Toon Aerts beat Tom Meeusen in a sprint in one of the last races of the CX season, the latter is one of the fastest sprinters in cyclocross. Aerts has a bigger engine though, so he had more left at the end.

There’s also the fact that Mathieu has always struggled ora had an “off day” in the koppenbergcross where there are cobbled climbs. He won it once, I think in 2017 when he was in super form. He struggled in GW to stay with Van Aert and Stybar on the cobbled climb of the Kemmelberg. I just wonder how he will fare in RVV. Mind you I’m not saying he cannot do it, I’m just saying that when you look at past results, it’s still a question mark. Especially in a long and hard classics race where it seems like they race it faster and faster every edition.
 
In the Euro's, the podium was Trentin, van der Poel, Van Aert. They were the strongest in the race. These guys are also to be expected in RVV, but unlike in the Euro's, there will also be Sagan, Terpstra, Gilbert, Benoot, Vanmarcke, Moscon... And the Euro's was not really an objective for many riders. It's not just the number of km, it's mainly the oposition and the parcours. (EDIT: lol, i forgot Sagan was actually there, but he didn't even finish the race)

I think Mathieu did well in GW, he wasn't the strongest, but he was up there. He rode a smart race, tried to reduce the bunch a couple of times, and waited for the sprint. If he makes the cut in RVV, and is still in the small bunch at the finish, he's got as good a chance as any. But i don't see him drop the others on Oude Kwaremont or Koppenberg. But if he doesn't get dropped by Paterberg, his chances increase exponentially. I expect him to be the fastest of the possible survivors when it comes to a bunch sprint. I don't think Kristoff or Degenkolb will still be there. In that case, we'll see by his sprint, how much he still has left in the tank.
 
Re: Re:

Mavic said:
Ricco' said:
Fourth in his first WT classic.

Not as strong as Van Aert and Stybar on the climbs, but all around pretty good showing. Could have been on the podium if he wasn't closed two times in the final sprint.

Also, great race by Vermeersch.
Was indeed not as strong on the climbs compared to Van Aert and Styby, but had an impressive sprint at the end. Would have certainly podiumed if not more had he not gotten boxed in twice. What a debut. Chapeau.
The funny thing is, in this case not as strong as Van Aert and Stybar still meant as strong as Van Avermaet and Terpstra on the climbs.

It's still good. Van Aert is simply outstanding this season so is Stybar
 
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repre said:
Stella0596 said:
Didn't expect him to win, but fourth is still exceeds expectations
He did nothing in this race, mine expectations were higher for him. Maybe he was smart at the end and sprinted well, but in the slightly harder race he wouldn't be there at the end with the best like van Aert.
Did you watch another race? Or did you forget your glasses?

Did nothing? What world are you on? Seriously.

He was in virtually every big move. :lol:
 
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The funny thing is, in this case not as strong as Van Aert and Stybar still meant as strong as Van Avermaet and Terpstra on the climbs.

It's still good. Van Aert is simply outstanding this season so is Stybar
Indeed. He was good, just not Wout and Styby good. Which isn't too crazy seeing as it was his first true test in a Flemish Classic 250+km hard race (fastest edition) against the best riders in the peloton. Like de Vlaeminck said, Van Aert and Styby have already ridden most if not all of these races. That Mathieu's mistake was to not keep racing right after the CX season and skipping Omloop, Kuurne etc. In other words, he's done too little in terms of road racing kilometres up to this point. Which could explain why he was more "tired" at the end of the race in GW. He goes on to say "but watch out for when he gets through that barrier of being tired after 250 km or racing". It gets easier, or rather, your body can take more punishment when it's conditioned to do so, which only comes with more racing.

I think this is why Mathieu was cautiously optimistic about being "better" by the time RVV comes along. "A lot can change in a week" he said, "look at how Sagan improved after a week's time, people might not have seen how good he was in GW, but I can tell you he must have been very good in order to do what he did". However, and this is what I like most about him, he was honest about the amount of "stars" he feels he deserves, which is level below Wout, Styby and co. Mathieu is a great champion though so I'm sure seeing Wout and Styby ride away from him on the Kemmelberg will only fuel him to do better. It probably won't be enough to keep up with them this year, but watch out for next season.

I still think he tends to struggle on certain climbs like I mentioned before, it's not often that Mathieu has a "good day" in the Koppenberg cross. He "struggled" on the Kemmelberg to keep up with Wout and Styby. So I just wonder how he will fare in RVV with Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg, and the Paterberg to be climbed hard like Logic said...
 
Not that I would be surprised if Mathieu performs equally well or better than Van Aert last year (though if the latter is the case, I would be a little bit), since he's a freak of nature, but I have a feeling that the chances are slightly bigger that he falters somewhere and ends up in a group behind the main guys. The Euros are not even remotely comparable to the quick succession of tough hills in de Ronde and as already mentioned here, his achilles heel in cx is the Koppenbergcross.
 
Is the Koppenbergcross held on a weekday? Somehow, I have always managed to miss it.

I think he will be fighting for the win even though he was not stellar on the Kemmelberg. But he had just put in a furious attack not long before (that didn't stop Van Aert from being excellent on the Kemmelberg, though).
 
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tobydawq said:
Is the Koppenbergcross held on a weekday? Somehow, I have always managed to miss it.

I think he will be fighting for the win even though he was not stellar on the Kemmelberg. But he had just put in a furious attack not long before (that didn't stop Van Aert from being excellent on the Kemmelberg, though).
It's always on the 1th of November (holiday), so most of the time, yes.
 
Re: Re:

Dekker_Tifosi said:
repre said:
Stella0596 said:
Didn't expect him to win, but fourth is still exceeds expectations
He did nothing in this race, mine expectations were higher for him. Maybe he was smart at the end and sprinted well, but in the slightly harder race he wouldn't be there at the end with the best like van Aert.
Did you watch another race? Or did you forget your glasses?

Did nothing? What world are you on? Seriously.

He was in virtually every big move. :lol:
He didn't orchestrate any moves, just wheelsucking and dropping on bergs. He won't be even in top-10 in Flanders with this performance. He did a good sprint, when other guys were exhausted from previous attacks or uninterested in sprint. You can see everything in rosy glasses, that's your choice, but i saw different kind of race from him than you.
 
Re: Re:

repre said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
repre said:
Stella0596 said:
Didn't expect him to win, but fourth is still exceeds expectations
He did nothing in this race, mine expectations were higher for him. Maybe he was smart at the end and sprinted well, but in the slightly harder race he wouldn't be there at the end with the best like van Aert.
Did you watch another race? Or did you forget your glasses?

Did nothing? What world are you on? Seriously.

He was in virtually every big move. :lol:
He didn't orchestrate any moves, just wheelsucking and dropping on bergs. He won't be even in top-10 in Flanders with this performance. He did a good sprint, when other guys were exhausted from previous attacks or uninterested in sprint. You can see everything in rose glasses, that's your choice, but i saw different kind of race from him than you.
Naesen said after the race that what most impressed him during the race was seeing VdP bridging the gap between the echelons in the beginning of the race, VdP on his own apparently closed a gap of 30-40 meters.
 
Re: Re:

repre said:
Dekker_Tifosi said:
repre said:
Stella0596 said:
Didn't expect him to win, but fourth is still exceeds expectations
He did nothing in this race, mine expectations were higher for him. Maybe he was smart at the end and sprinted well, but in the slightly harder race he wouldn't be there at the end with the best like van Aert.
Did you watch another race? Or did you forget your glasses?

Did nothing? What world are you on? Seriously.

He was in virtually every big move. :lol:
He didn't orchestrate any moves, just wheelsucking and dropping on bergs. He won't be even in top-10 in Flanders with this performance. He did a good sprint, when other guys were exhausted from previous attacks or uninterested in sprint. You can see everything in rosy glasses, that's your choice, but i saw different kind of race from him than you.
It seems that you watched in dark glasses then... He attacked on Baneberg with Van Aert in his wheel, and if you think that beating Viviani, Gaviria, Van Avermaet, Trentin, Gilbert, Van Poppel in the sprint is nothing, then I can't help you.
Oh, and name me please who was uninterested in sprinting?
 
I kinda predicted he would win either Dwars or Br Pijl, just because they are not 250km races and a bit easier to control.

I'm not surprised. What does surprise me is that he choses to go with 50/60km to go each time. He doesn't really need to... strong.
For sunday I still see him a step below. But he'll be there in the final that's for sure
 
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Valv.Piti said:
Apparantly Lefevre was asked whether he liked Mathieu or van Aert the best and the said Mathieu since he was more of a winner. I think thats a very sound, yet simple analysis. Amazing kick he had in the sprint.
Lefevere is sneaky and smart and has a history of saying things with an agenda. Not saying he wouldn't have said Mathieu regardless (I know I would), but it's fairly obvious Lefevere will be the first to come bidding for Mathieu if he ever decides to come over full time or decides that Corendon has reached its limit, especially now that Van Aert will be off the market for a long time. Also, Pat has a very good relationship with Mathieu's father, Adrie
 
Still stand by my statement that Wout (atm) is more 'powerful' in the sense of being up there after consecutive hard climbs, but Mathieu isn't far behind and the added bonus of his sprint and explosivity means he simply wins far easier.
 

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