The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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Many people didn’t think Gilbert could win FW either, until he did. I’d be careful with absolute statements like “it’s never happening” when it comes to Mathieu.

Mind you I’m not claiming the opposite either, I’ll just wait and see what else he pulls out of his bag of tricks.
For VdP the problem is basically we have no indication on a terrain like that. I'm also more inclined to compare him to Sagan than Gilbert. Sagan finished FW once and got 12th.

The main problem with such races for dudes like Sagan and VdP is that it's so steep all the way to the line. That's where those stages Sagan won in TA are really different, where he dangles on at his absolute minute, gets a tiny rest, then can win the sprint on a 5% gradient.

It's also not to say VdP is a slouch on those climbs if he doesn't win. These are the best of the world on steep 3 minute climbs, and it's basically the benefit of punch/anaerobic power falls off extremely quickly,
 
It's good that they are going to try, to have a point of reference at the very least. Personally, i don't believe he'll be in the top 10 at FW, but at least then he'll know what it's like, and if he thinks he can improve there. But again, this seems simply too steep and too long, and there is a reason why skinny little riders do well here. He's a powerful athlete but he has to haul 13 extra kilo's up a 20% climb, compared to guys like Alaphilippe. Go to the store, buy a crate of milk (12 liters), and put that in your backpack. And with only a 5.2% fat percentage, that means losing weight = losing muscle.

Even Gilbert was 6 or 7 kilo's lighter, and only won it once, and not without plenty of clinic insinuations. Personally, i think Mathieu can win any of MSR, RVV, PR, AGR. I'd actually think there is a better chance at him winning LBL depending on how the race unfolds, than FW (unless they change the final).
 
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There have been plenty of instances that van Aert was better in longer uphill sections in cyclocross. Even Aerts is often better uphill. I feel you are jumping to conclusions. That final kilometer is really steep after a hard race. This is not an uphill sprint of 200 meters at 6%.
Not saying it's impossible, but if he were in van Aert's place and faced Alaphilippe, Fuglsang, Bardet or Benoot in the final, he isn't winning either. It all depends on circumstances.
Benoot showed its not necessary to wait for the last k to win in 2018. MvP, I think, would try everything not to come to the finale with a group including those riders - which would cause even more carnage than usual.
 
Doing a bit of futurology, I think that looking at the squad the classics team might be something like:

MVDP
Sacha Modolo
Gianni Vermeersch
Scott Thwaites
Lasse Norman Hansen
2 spots from Dries De Bondt/Tim Merlier/Otto Vergaerde/Senne Leysen/Oscar Riesebeek/Kristian Sbaragli

Overall a bit stronger than last year with Modolo and Thwaites giving them some 2nd and 3rd tier options to mix it up in the finale of the races.

I believe that Thwaites will be a great signing, capable of going back to the level he showed in the 2015/16/17 seasons.
 
Benoot showed its not necessary to wait for the last k to win in 2018. MvP, I think, would try everything not to come to the finale with a group including those riders - which would cause even more carnage than usual.
That's true. If he manages to go solo, and start the final k with a bit of a gap, he should be able to hold off better climbers. It's always dangerous to talk in absolutes, so many things could happen. The scenario isn't always the same.
 
Mathieu will race Volta a Catalunya next year, two days after starting in Milano - Sanremo.

So he will miss both E3 and Gent-Wevelgem.

Seems like Alpecin really wants a Vuelta 2020 wildcard
 
Doing a bit of futurology, I think that looking at the squad the classics team might be something like:

MVDP
Sacha Modolo
Gianni Vermeersch
Scott Thwaites
Lasse Norman Hansen
2 spots from Dries De Bondt/Tim Merlier/Otto Vergaerde/Senne Leysen/Oscar Riesebeek/Kristian Sbaragli

Overall a bit stronger than last year with Modolo and Thwaites giving them some 2nd and 3rd tier options to mix it up in the finale of the races.

I believe that Thwaites will be a great signing, capable of going back to the level he showed in the 2015/16/17 seasons.
Petr Vakoc.
 
Doing a bit of futurology, I think that looking at the squad the classics team might be something like:

MVDP
Sacha Modolo
Gianni Vermeersch
Scott Thwaites
Lasse Norman Hansen
2 spots from Dries De Bondt/Tim Merlier/Otto Vergaerde/Senne Leysen/Oscar Riesebeek/Kristian Sbaragli

Overall a bit stronger than last year with Modolo and Thwaites giving them some 2nd and 3rd tier options to mix it up in the finale of the races.

I believe that Thwaites will be a great signing, capable of going back to the level he showed in the 2015/16/17 seasons.
I'd add Alex Richardson in to that list as well.
 
A 21 kilometre ITT will be included in next year's edition of Volta a Catalunya :oops:
See! By next year, did you mean 2020? Your post is from december 31st. Or did you mean 2021? :tongueclosed:
If 2020 it will be interesting to see how Mathieu handles it.
Looks like he'll get a fair share of chances to see how he handles ITT's since he's also riding Algarve and TA. There's a 20k ITT in Algarve and a 10k ITT in Tirreno Adriatico as well.

Two 20k ITT's and one 10k ITT this spring. Wonder if he'll train specifically for them.
 
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Alpecin Fenix got their wildcards for Strade and MSR. VdP is my early favourite for MSR. Unless the absolute best sprinters are still on board after the Poggio, I don't see who would beat him in a sprint.
 
I'm not that sure about Milano Sanremo.

Van der Poel talks about attacking out of boredom and there's no more boring race for contenders than Milano Sanremo. He won't resist by the time they hit the Capo Berta.
 

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