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

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A couple years ago he was aiming for the 3 WC titles in one year, I think that's his ultimate goal. He's got the cyclocross title again. A good prep in the Tour for the Worlds in Scotland and it's possible.
The stars will have to align a bit to win all three in one year. Hope he is going full bore for the Road WC's this year to check that one off. Pretty sure he'll be able to find a year to win the the MTB title somewhere down the line here. Lots of luck involved on the road and then the course has to be right - although it does seem they are moving to more "puncher" type courses now vs. pure sprint or climber. Bottom line is when MVDP targets a race and is able to prepare properly he is extremely hard to beat. Too bad about last year's WC's. Guessing he would have dealt with EVP. Same with RVV next year. My guess is Pogi won't contest, but if so MVDP will be chomping a the bit to deal with him. As for GT's, win the big early stages and get out. Let the skeletons have their glory going 12mph up mountains.
 
Road racing isn't boring, training for road racing in MINDLESSLY boring!
Are you kidding? Training for road racing is more fun than racing itself. When you're racing you spend hours doing as little as possible so you'll be good for 30 seconds or 5 minutes. You can't listen to music, stop for a piss or look at the scenery. It's just hours of tediously keeping your front tire an inch behind the other guy's rear.
 
Are you kidding? Training for road racing is more fun than racing itself. When you're racing you spend hours doing as little as possible so you'll be good for 30 seconds or 5 minutes. You can't listen to music, stop for a piss or look at the scenery. It's just hours of tediously keeping your front tire an inch behind the other guy's rear.

As far as MVDP goes, picturing him enjoying the day in day out training rides doesn’t compute in my head. Maybe there is that side of him, but even in peak prep I imagine him getting caught sneaking away to the single track.
 
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On an Alpecin-Deceunik side note, weren’t Laurens Sweeck supposed to ride road races for Alpecin?

He's with the Development Team.

The crossers of that squad (Vandebosch, Verystrynge, Wyseure, Cortjens, Hendrickx, Sweeck, Vandeputte) have still not raced in the road, probably resting after cross season before starting more towards the summer. Only Kielich has raced, who now has a stronger foot on the Pro team and will join them officially next season.

I missed that Witse Meeussen had joined the team, another one that leaves Pauwels Sauzen after Vandebosch.
 
Looking at the TDF course right now, if we look at previous years VDP, there are really not that much chances.

However, if he aims to be in top shape it could be an interesting testcase whether he can win races like LBL or San Sebastian in the future:
  • Stage 1: three climbs in the finale, 3.8km at 4,8%, 4.3km at 6,9%, 2km at 9,9%, final km 1km at 5,4%. Right on the limit of his capabilities. But if Pogacar goes full beans on the 2km at 9.9 it'll become really hard. He'll really need to climb better than ever before.
  • Stage 2: Basically a mini San Sebastian with the Jaizkibel in the finale, if he survives that there's a good chance, because there is another tiny bump before the finish he could use his explosiveness on. But a big IF he survives the Jaizkibel. I could imagine hard pacing there could drop him.
  • Stage 3: Has potential as watered down hilly sprint stage. But if the group is too big probably nothing.
  • Stage 4 sprint, stage 5 medium mountain and too hard. Stage 6 is a mountain stage. Stage7 sprint.
  • Stage 8 lumpy finale and probably his best shot so fa, but also has potential for a mass sprint. Stage 9 is mountain top so no
  • Stage 10: Breakaway stage, likely the climbs are too long but then again they are not very steep. Would be a really interesting one if he went in the break here to see if he can win such a stage
  • Stage 11: This should be a stage that suits him, some longer climbs but not very steep and a typical breakaway course. If not then it's a sprint of a small group.
  • Stage 12: another medium mountain stage where I'd say normally this is too hard. But he'd probably still be in the break regardless
  • Stage 13,14, 15 all mountain stages, stage 16 TT with 1.3km at 8% and 2.7 at 8.9%. The last climb kills any chance he had (little chance anyway). Still would be nice to see where he'd end up but I think he'll save power here.
  • Stage 17 mountain stage 18 flat
  • Stage 19: Best chance he has in week 3 imo. Med mountain but not extremely hard and slight uphill finish
  • Stage 20 mountain stage 21 flat
Realistically I count 3, maybe 4 chances. However, if he somehow manages to improve his medium mountain ability to a bit higher level than ever before he suddenly has 3/4 more chances for a stage win. I feel like this Tour has a lot of "Van Aert" stages. For VDP they are all right on the limit of being too hard or too mountainous. He'd need a bit more short punchy stages or finishes.
I'd say he would need to drop maybe 2 or 3kg before the Tour to stand a better chance in all these medium mountain stages in the 1st and 2nd week, then he could really have a bigger chance to win some stages. But idk if he is willing to do that with the Worlds 2 weeks. The risk to start the Tour lighter to be good there is that at the end of the TDF he has no energy left and the worlds are a dud.
 
No trip to Nove Mesto for the first XC World Cup.

 
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Looking at the TDF course right now, if we look at previous years VDP, there are really not that much chances.

However, if he aims to be in top shape it could be an interesting testcase whether he can win races like LBL or San Sebastian in the future:
  • Stage 1: three climbs in the finale, 3.8km at 4,8%, 4.3km at 6,9%, 2km at 9,9%, final km 1km at 5,4%. Right on the limit of his capabilities. But if Pogacar goes full beans on the 2km at 9.9 it'll become really hard. He'll really need to climb better than ever before.
  • Stage 2: Basically a mini San Sebastian with the Jaizkibel in the finale, if he survives that there's a good chance, because there is another tiny bump before the finish he could use his explosiveness on. But a big IF he survives the Jaizkibel. I could imagine hard pacing there could drop him.
  • Stage 3: Has potential as watered down hilly sprint stage. But if the group is too big probably nothing.
  • Stage 4 sprint, stage 5 medium mountain and too hard. Stage 6 is a mountain stage. Stage7 sprint.
  • Stage 8 lumpy finale and probably his best shot so fa, but also has potential for a mass sprint. Stage 9 is mountain top so no
  • Stage 10: Breakaway stage, likely the climbs are too long but then again they are not very steep. Would be a really interesting one if he went in the break here to see if he can win such a stage
  • Stage 11: This should be a stage that suits him, some longer climbs but not very steep and a typical breakaway course. If not then it's a sprint of a small group.
  • Stage 12: another medium mountain stage where I'd say normally this is too hard. But he'd probably still be in the break regardless
  • Stage 13,14, 15 all mountain stages, stage 16 TT with 1.3km at 8% and 2.7 at 8.9%. The last climb kills any chance he had (little chance anyway). Still would be nice to see where he'd end up but I think he'll save power here.
  • Stage 17 mountain stage 18 flat
  • Stage 19: Best chance he has in week 3 imo. Med mountain but not extremely hard and slight uphill finish
  • Stage 20 mountain stage 21 flat
Realistically I count 3, maybe 4 chances. However, if he somehow manages to improve his medium mountain ability to a bit higher level than ever before he suddenly has 3/4 more chances for a stage win. I feel like this Tour has a lot of "Van Aert" stages. For VDP they are all right on the limit of being too hard or too mountainous. He'd need a bit more short punchy stages or finishes.
I'd say he would need to drop maybe 2 or 3kg before the Tour to stand a better chance in all these medium mountain stages in the 1st and 2nd week, then he could really have a bigger chance to win some stages. But idk if he is willing to do that with the Worlds 2 weeks. The risk to start the Tour lighter to be good there is that at the end of the TDF he has no energy left and the worlds are a dud.
If he's in his best form I think we'll see a lot of him. These 3/4 chances you mention he can let his team work and be ready for the stage win. He's gonna be in a lot of breakaways if he's having fun, but in good form I think he'll be up there with the best of the break, even in some medium mountain stages. Would love to see him win one of those, because I've never seen him there with his super legs. Like in these Giro breaks he got dropped early where you expect him to be the strongest.
Hopefully he's got the same normal prep like this classics campaign, without illness or injury. Take some (unexpected) stage wins, have fun and be fresh for the Worlds.
 
If he's in his best form I think we'll see a lot of him. These 3/4 chances you mention he can let his team work and be ready for the stage win. He's gonna be in a lot of breakaways if he's having fun, but in good form I think he'll be up there with the best of the break, even in some medium mountain stages. Would love to see him win one of those, because I've never seen him there with his super legs. Like in these Giro breaks he got dropped early where you expect him to be the strongest.
Hopefully he's got the same normal prep like this classics campaign, without illness or injury. Take some (unexpected) stage wins, have fun and be fresh for the Worlds.

I doubt whether his climbing is good enough to win a medium mountain stage in the TDF. From the top of my head I can't remember him being impressive on longer climbs. I'm also unsure if he has the recovery ability to perform at his best for 3 weeks straight.
 
I doubt whether his climbing is good enough to win a medium mountain stage in the TDF. From the top of my head I can't remember him being impressive on longer climbs. I'm also unsure if he has the recovery ability to perform at his best for 3 weeks straight.
Because he's never tried before. In a break he could be with the best in those medium mountains with this years classics form. And the same goes for his 3 week recovery, he hasn't done that before. But for me what I've seen in the Giro without his best legs, he was still pretty active. If Sagan can do it for 3 weeks, I presume Mathieu also can. But we've got to wait and see. He doesn't need to go all out everyday. Pick some stages for the win, other days in the break and stay "fresh" for the Worlds.
 
Because he's never tried before. In a break he could be with the best in those medium mountains with this years classics form. And the same goes for his 3 week recovery, he hasn't done that before. But for me what I've seen in the Giro without his best legs, he was still pretty active. If Sagan can do it for 3 weeks, I presume Mathieu also can. But we've got to wait and see. He doesn't need to go all out everyday. Pick some stages for the win, other days in the break and stay "fresh" for the Worlds.

You are making assumptions but he hasn't really proved it yet. Riding classics and performing well at a GT are 2 very different things. Of course he can win a couple of stages, even hilly ones like Sagan did but mountain stages? Remains to be seen.
 
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You are making assumptions but he hasn't really proved it yet. Riding classics and performing well at a GT are 2 very different things. Of course he can win a couple of stages, even hilly ones like Sagan did but mountain stages? Remains to be seen.
I said medium mountain. But yeah if you're the strongest in the break that day and the peloton gives you 20min in advance for example. But yes these are assumptions, because he never tried. And maybe he never will in these hard stages. And in the Tour there's always some climbers in breaks who lost some time already or they go for stage wins instead. I'm just hoping to see him try sometime.
 
Looking at the TDF course right now, if we look at previous years VDP, there are really not that much chances.

However, if he aims to be in top shape it could be an interesting testcase whether he can win races like LBL or San Sebastian in the future:
  • Stage 1: three climbs in the finale, 3.8km at 4,8%, 4.3km at 6,9%, 2km at 9,9%, final km 1km at 5,4%. Right on the limit of his capabilities. But if Pogacar goes full beans on the 2km at 9.9 it'll become really hard. He'll really need to climb better than ever before.
  • Stage 2: Basically a mini San Sebastian with the Jaizkibel in the finale, if he survives that there's a good chance, because there is another tiny bump before the finish he could use his explosiveness on. But a big IF he survives the Jaizkibel. I could imagine hard pacing there could drop him.
  • Stage 3: Has potential as watered down hilly sprint stage. But if the group is too big probably nothing.
  • Stage 4 sprint, stage 5 medium mountain and too hard. Stage 6 is a mountain stage. Stage7 sprint.
  • Stage 8 lumpy finale and probably his best shot so fa, but also has potential for a mass sprint. Stage 9 is mountain top so no
  • Stage 10: Breakaway stage, likely the climbs are too long but then again they are not very steep. Would be a really interesting one if he went in the break here to see if he can win such a stage
  • Stage 11: This should be a stage that suits him, some longer climbs but not very steep and a typical breakaway course. If not then it's a sprint of a small group.
  • Stage 12: another medium mountain stage where I'd say normally this is too hard. But he'd probably still be in the break regardless
  • Stage 13,14, 15 all mountain stages, stage 16 TT with 1.3km at 8% and 2.7 at 8.9%. The last climb kills any chance he had (little chance anyway). Still would be nice to see where he'd end up but I think he'll save power here.
  • Stage 17 mountain stage 18 flat
  • Stage 19: Best chance he has in week 3 imo. Med mountain but not extremely hard and slight uphill finish
  • Stage 20 mountain stage 21 flat
Realistically I count 3, maybe 4 chances. However, if he somehow manages to improve his medium mountain ability to a bit higher level than ever before he suddenly has 3/4 more chances for a stage win. I feel like this Tour has a lot of "Van Aert" stages. For VDP they are all right on the limit of being too hard or too mountainous. He'd need a bit more short punchy stages or finishes.
I'd say he would need to drop maybe 2 or 3kg before the Tour to stand a better chance in all these medium mountain stages in the 1st and 2nd week, then he could really have a bigger chance to win some stages. But idk if he is willing to do that with the Worlds 2 weeks. The risk to start the Tour lighter to be good there is that at the end of the TDF he has no energy left and the worlds are a dud.
Stage 1 I think the boni's will be on the steep climb so Pogacar will simply crush that already. I wouldn't be surprised if Vingegaard can follow, but MvdP needs to be in like the first 10-15 and get a scenario where Vingegaard doesn't work with Pog. But a steep 5 minute climb is already much harder than anything he's done really well before.

Surviving Jaizkibel is much more plausible.
 
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Because he's never tried before. In a break he could be with the best in those medium mountains with this years classics form. And the same goes for his 3 week recovery, he hasn't done that before. But for me what I've seen in the Giro without his best legs, he was still pretty active. If Sagan can do it for 3 weeks, I presume Mathieu also can. But we've got to wait and see. He doesn't need to go all out everyday. Pick some stages for the win, other days in the break and stay "fresh" for the Worlds.
I could see UAE and Jumbo making the race hard on some of those medium mountain stages so it might be unrealistic to think the early breaks will make it. If he is always jumping in breaks that get caught that will wear him down and take away some of his explosiveness, no? But I don’t think I know his stage race history well enough to know for sure.