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.jaylew said: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.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.