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

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Feb 20, 2019
Trentin might or might not be faster than Van der Poel but he definetely stands a chance.

If Alaphilippe could win the sprint like he did in 2019, he can definetely beat Van der Poel too.

Reduced sprints are often circumstancial and if you're not sprinting against some skinny climbers, there's always someone who can beat you.
Reactions: Salvarani
It all depends what you got left in the legs after a long race. Who times his effort the best if it comes down to a reduced sprint.

That ”who is faster” discussion is pretty flawed. It is not a ”normal” sprint. Your abbility can only take you so far. You need gas too.
Impossible to predict who will win at this point. Both riders have similar profiles, Trentin is a little better in the high mountains and MVDP a little faster on Flemish Bergs, but the Poggio is somewhere in the middle and not steep. I think it will come down to form, and as always, MSR is a bit of a lottery.
AP has zero chance of beating VDP in sprint. VDP toyed with him at BP this year, and then rode him off his wheel in the final. At AG he completely freight-trained him. He makes AP look like a junior - same as he does to guys like Pidcock and Iserbyt in cross. Road fans need to understand that VDP is a completely different animal from what their favorites. Guys like Mathews, Kwiat, and even the current Sagan are simply not on his level in any way, shape, or form.
AP has zero chance of beating VDP in sprint. VDP toyed with him at BP this year, and then rode him off his wheel in the final. At AG he completely freight-trained him. He makes AP look like a junior - same as he does to guys like Pidcock and Iserbyt in cross. Road fans need to understand that VDP is a completely different animal from what their favorites. Guys like Mathews, Kwiat, and even the current Sagan are simply not on his level in any way, shape, or form.
Fanboyism isn't needed.
Pidcock and Iserbyt are first year (full) pros. When Mathieu and Wout became pro, they were facing an older generation (Nys was past 35, Albert had quit due to heart issues, Boom was gone, Stybar as well). Pidcock and Iserbyt didn't have so much luck.
Mathieu is definitely faster in a sprint -all things equal- than Alaphilippe. But Alaphilippe can make Mathieu look like a junior on his turf just as easily. Watch what will happen at Flêche Wallonne. Who do you think will toy with whom? Mathieu definitely had a great 2019, but let's wait just a bit before making overly bold claims. On his turf, Mathieu is hard to beat. But not all turf is his turf.
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Google translated:

The intentions of Mathieu van der Poel: world champion cross, a classic on the road and Olympic gold on the mountain bike

"I don't understand why I'm so dominant in the cross"

In 2019 he sometimes performed heavenly, but in 2020 Mathieu vander Poel (24) will go extraterrestrial. Pushing boundaries, writing history, that is what the world's most complete cyclist is all about. In his own way: "I try to do as little as possible in the household."

Isn't he unbeatable after all? ”You heard the doubt in the voice of commentator Michel Wuyts in Ronse two weeks ago. In a cyclocross ride that had been recreated by muddy rain in three kilometers of mud and straw runs, Mathieu van der Poel had first had to let Toon Aerts go and a little later the little Eli Yserbit drove past him. After 35 victories in a row, the best crosser of all time would lose again. "Mmm ... A night's sleep and tomorrow can be very different again." Co-commentator PaulHerygers had his doubts as to whether it was really decaying. A day later in Overijse, Van der Poelal rode only in the front before half course, never forced consolidation and won on automatic pi-lot. The two weeks before, he had put a lot of money on the Costa and that was much needed in view of what was to come. During the tests in the Spanish hinterland of Beni-cassim, with your newspaper as the attentive spectator, his manager-coach-admirer Christoph Rood-hooft made a confession. "He has won almost all races, but I have often said to him:" Mathieu, you win, but it was not good ". After the World Cup on the road I let him do it. If he wanted to train, he would train, if he wanted to do something else, he would do something else. On top of that, two weeks later, his grandfather (Raymond Poulidor, HV) was dying and eventually died, in which he understandably did not feel like cycling. Before the internship I told him that the playing time is over. "Mathieu van der Poel:" After the World Cup on the road, I needed some time to recover. I only rode the bike when I really wanted it. Later I started to train a bit more and then started in early November. I won everything right away, but actually it was often not good or better. My grandfather's struggle and then that death has cut in quite a bit. I did not train for two weeks and only raced on adrenaline. I won it too, but I knew: I can't keep this up for the winter. That's why I also did an internship for two weeks.

That World Championship on the road in Harrogate ...

"Yes, that World Championship ... That's why I think 2019 is a good year, but it could have been even better."

That World Championship wasn't won by Mad Pedersen, but lost by you.

"I tend to disagree. You think I made mistakes with food. Yes, I have arrived with my bags full of food and my water bottles also full and on the way I have seen Philip (Roodhooft, brother of Christoph, ed.) And Chri-stoph with those Snickers, and I have not taken them either ... Know you, I didn't get anything anymore. I wasn't hungry, or maybe, but the food didn't go through. I had no digestion anymore and nothing was added at the top. It suddenly ran out. Before that I had done a solid two-minute header, proving that I didn't see it coming. I still wanted to finish my first World Championship and I lost ten minutes in those last kilometers, complete in survival mode. Rarely have I been so long after a race."

“I do know how to eat beforehand and during the race I have taken my 90 grams of carbohydrate per hour. The circumstances were extreme and I can't stand rain and cold weather. I'm no exception. Halfway I rode next to Julian Alaphilippe: boy, there was no longer any life in it, he looked right through me. That long races would not suit me is nonsense. In the Tour of Flanders I rode until the end. "

You could have won there.

" If I hadn't fallen, I might have been there when Alberto Bettiol attacked. If, if, if: you don't buy anything for that. I felt like a primadie day and that after that fall I caught up with everyone and in no time sat in front again, was also a good sign. It was on adrenaline, but you still have to kick the power. "

I never thought I would see you on the road again this year after that afternoon in Nokere.

" Oh yes, that was a major crash, my toughest ever on the road . Fortunately it was on cobblestones, there are more bruises, but less scraping. Four days later I won in Dénain and a week later Dwars door Vlaanderen.Then it was no longer painful, but that first two hours in Dénain it was a thing of the past. open sprint. My best sprint was not that of the Brabantse Pijl, but that of Dwars door Vlaanderen. When that Anthony Turgis turned on and I responded, I kicked my best five seconds ever. "Your best five kilometers were the last five of the Amstel Gold Race. (Looks at the printout of his power meter)" Yes, that was a nice one. Look: 197 maximum heartbeat. It is possible that I occasionally get this on the moun-tain bike, but I never ride a me-tertje there so I don't know. On the road this is unique and in the cross I never get close. That does mean that I was still really in good shape. ”On the last images it seemed natural that I only closed that last piece, but that is not true. And they were not the engines either. The part after the Bemelerberg was not in the picture and it was precisely then that we turned around in our group prime. Just ask all five. (Quieter) Unfortunately, you can no longer ask Bjorg, he was there too. (Bjorg Lambrecht died in the Tour of Poland after a fall, HV)."

“When I started driving that last part like crazy, it was still for a podium. All of a sudden I saw the two driving and it was almost a kilo meter to the finish. I do have that: when I see the finish, I can go through a wall. That was a mix of exhaustion and joy. And relief, because tactically that masterpiece was how I drove there. I also read afterwards how Armstrong found that most improbable finish ever. (hesitates) It is difficult to respond to this without getting into trouble. "

I already compared you with Eddy Merckx and he also had that sense of drama.

(serious)" Yes Merckx, there is no way to escape pen for sure? I will never ride his palmares and he will never win in my disciplines, so where does the comparison hold? That we combine three different things, okay. Merckx was a super-good time trial driver and also rode six days. I still like time riding. You will never see me in six days. “I want to write history just like Eddy Merckx, but in my way. Nobody has ever tried to win the biggest competitions in three totally different disciplines. Maybe that won't happen any more. So in that sense, I think it's pretty cool what I'm doing. "

Why are you so good now?

" Genetics? I think so. My dad also had a good endurance and my mother is a Poulidor. And of course the environment of the bike in which I grew up. I like to ride with all kinds of bicycles, that helped. "

The tests last year showed oddly enough that your endurance might have been good for the long races, but that you could still gain in explosiveness.

" That was indeed a strange observation, but it is proved correct. I had the impression that I was mainly an explosive rider, but it was the most stretchable day. That endurance was always there and I actually knew that. After training three times I already noticed a difference with other riders that took much longer. “The arrival of Kristof De Kegel as a performance manager helped us to then also make the switch to the mountain bike season. I mainly prepared those first races on the road bike, but with specific mountain bike training sessions with short, intensive blocks. "

Even with the Sunday child Van der Poel, it will not come naturally.

" I will often overdo an hour too much. I know well from conversations with others that I am one of the hardest workers in the pack. That we would not have a plan is also nonsense. You cannot want to score in three disciplines without a plan. “I train and drive as often as possible with a power meter and on schedule. Unless I don't feel well and then I consult with the trainer. The body has the final say. If things are not going well for me, I have to train slowly, while I used to think: now it has to be extra hard. No, therefore. ”

You made most progress on the mountain bike, but you have also become a better crosser as a result.
"A technical CX course is nothing compared to a technical mountain bike trail. Those having become so extreme in recent years, not normal. Then you just have a steep climb that lasts a few minutes, you almost explode, and you immediately have to go into a super technical descent. Cross doesn't have that. There you can easily ride a lap on a smooth heartbeat. I ride the mountain bike much more often and I have been able to move it this year. “You know, I don't understand that I have such a predominance on the rest of the field. It is partly mental. Okay, Wout van Aert is not there for the time being, but then again: I was really not good in the beginning, but I still won easily. I don't understand that they are no longer doing their best to get closer. For a long time I also looked at Nino Schurter (Swiss Top Mountainbiker, 8-time world champion and reigning Olympic champion, ed.), But I wanted to feel match after match that I was getting closer and this year in Novo Mesto I felt that I was not would crack more if he accelerated. It was the other way around: when I accelerated, he had to release. I would have really trained for that. By the way, I think Schurternog is always the measure of things in mountain bike, so that will be a tough fight next summer in Tokyo.

In 2020 you will be Captain Kirk: to boldly go where nobody has gone before. Becoming a world champion cross, winning a monument and Olympic gold on a mountain bike, that's a lot.

“It is not a small amount, but I think it is possible, otherwise I would not have started. We are already training next year's infunction. This internship was great last year, but not yet. That must change in January. After the cyclocross world championships I start driving on the road. “Of the monuments I normally drive Flanders and Roubaix. Amstel Gold Race? I do not know yet. Okay, I am Dutch and I have won there, but if it is too much, I could well let it go. "I would rather not drive Gent-Wevelgem. That is more a race for sprinters than for punchers like me. The Walloon Arrow seems more my thing, with the last slope that makes the difference, but that too is not certain. Do you think the Wall of Huy is too steep for me? I'm not afraid of steep. I think I would digest that climb well. I like to ride uphill. That is also one of my first memories: I was nine when I was riding l´Alpe d’Huez on the racing bike. ”

In addition to combining things that no-one has yet combined, you also have a lot of trouble with everything.

"Why? The fact that I didn't ride the Mountain Bike World Cup while I won the most World Cups was due to jet lag. That World Cup was in Canada and I could not afford that. I choose my matches according to what my body can handle. I also build in peace and if a nice race is being held, that's just the case. Next year I will only ride fifteen cycles, the fifteen that I like best, not because they are part of a classification. ”(Between the interview and appearance, Mathieu van der Poel became Sportsman of the Year in the Netherlands. He did not go to the ceremony, 140 kilometers away. "Mathieu prefers to stay at home in a busy period," the team leaders explained, and they were surprised by that in the Netherlands, HV))

You now have a very strong team around you for that road program.

"That was also necessary. We already had a good team, but with what we now all get on our plate, quality had to be added. "

Which road race do you prefer to win?

(thinks for a long time) ”Then do me Paris-Rou-baix. For once I hope it will rain, that is to my advantage on those slippery cobblestones. And it is hoped that we will not have a puncture, but on those cobblestones you always need a dose of luck. ”

To what extent are you involved in the development of this team?

“My advice is asked and then I say what I have to say. I do not feel that I am just an employee, but can really help determine where this team should go. I also feel responsible for the team. Of course I could also drive for Ineos or something, but I would have to fit into an existing structure there. If I start and think I can win, I will be the sole leader in this team. ”

Is that sole reason why you are part of that team?

“Yes, but especially the reason why I didn't keep playing soccer at the time. I tested at Willem II and at Antwerp, but it was annoying that I was dependent on others to win. I want to do it myself and if I am the best, I want to be able to win. That's why I like mountain biking or cross-country riding most, those are the fairest cycling disciplines, more honest than the road where the best don't win as often. "

"It is also less boring than cycling away, because bridging the first few hours remains a concern. I now have some riders in the peloton with whom I can chat to kill the time. Most of them come from my team, but with Stijn Vandenbergh from AG2R I am talking about cars again, until he is called to lead. "

Between you and the management, Philip and Christoph Roodhooft, a chemistry has arisen where nobody intervenes.

“I think we have a very special bond. That started with how they gave material to my brother and then also his little brother, to me. Later I joined their youth team and we grew together. I have known the Roodhoofts for over ten years and we need few words to understand each other. I do understand that, from time to time, they would prefer me to do some things differently, and that's what they say, but they let me be who I am. I think they realize that they have something special with me and, conversely, I realize that through them I can become who I am. ”

When you started living together with your girlfriend in April, I thought: oh, as long as that ends well.

“We still live together, is that your question? It was a change, but I can't say that I train or live differently. I still like to do an internship, even though my girlfriend is at home. I like to be busy with my profession 24 hours a day, seven out of seven and not having to think about anything else. At home there is more distraction. Go shopping to Antwerp? No, that is not for me. Eating out is something we often do. "
"I don't know if I am such a good partner to live with. I try to do as little as possible in the household (laughs), but now I have to wash my own clothes and dad isn't around anymore "No, not with the high-pressure cleaner. I do it as it should. In ten minutes it will be fixed. If something needs to be adjusted on my bike, I sometimes drive to Morkhoven at Christoph or to my parents."

Miss you not?

"I think so. I was the atmosphere-creator in the house. My mother was angry when grandfather died, but she just has to go on and it's not that we didn't see it coming. We had known for weeks that things would turn out badly. "

Are you still building illegal courses in forests that are not yours?

(laughs) “No. Only if the owner of the land gives permission. I no longer do BMXs and I have also sold my heavy dirt bikes. Pitbikes (small engines with small wheels, HV), I sometimes ride on that. We recently laid out a course with some friends, and that involved some crane work. When will I have the time? If I don't have to cycle. Rest? Yes, I know, I can't sit still. "

Although, you are known to sometimes sit in a corner with those headphones on your head for hours on end. Van der Poel, the gamer.

“For gaming I can stay in a chair, that's right. Isn't that the same as resting? I thought so. At home I play on average more than two hours a day, but I've also had days when I didn't have to train that I played ten hours at a time. ”

Gaming is the new drink or smoke. Addictive and unhealthy.

“Yes, well I have enough exercise if I don't play. That unhealthy does not apply to me, but I understand what you mean. It is addictive and yet I am not addicted. Here on stage I didn't bring anything because the WiFi is not good enough here. Then I don't play for fourteen days. I also don't have the impression that I am less social. I'm also in for a game of poker. ”

Is life not one big game for you?

“More one big challenge, as long as it stays fun. Take a mountain bike internship in the mountains now. Efforts are not too much for me. I only think during those long climbing sessions how I can then also race down the black downhill course, as hard as possible. On my regular mountain bike. Dangerous? No. I have quite some control and it also makes me a better mountain biker. ”

Cycling is gaming on two wheels.

(laughs) Now that you say so, maybe. I have to get pleasure from what I do, otherwise I can't keep it up. "