The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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That interview also comes back to the wc. They pretty much disregard at all that it was the distance. He did RVV and AGR without problem. It was just the extreme conditions, he said he's not different from others that dont like rain and cold. He said Alaphilippe was already a ghost with 70km to go.

Also, when doing tests earlier it was clear VDP had excellent endurance and actually his explosivity could be improved, which was very surprising to him (it's also in that interview above).

@RedheadDane : maybe something lost in translation. They build their own courses in the past in the forests or fields to train, but that's not always allowed because often the land is owned by either state or a land owner and you can't just modify stuff. ;)
 
I find it particularly interesting that he believes he can compete at Flêche Wallonne as if the finish is like anything he's won before. He weighs rougly 14kg more than Alaphilippe. Personally, i can't believe that he'll finish in the top 10, there (unless he attacks before the climb perhaps) but we'll know in a few months.
 
I find it particularly interesting that he believes he can compete at Flêche Wallonne as if the finish is like anything he's won before. He weighs rougly 14kg more than Alaphilippe. Personally, i can't believe that he'll finish in the top 10, there (unless he attacks before the climb perhaps) but we'll know in a few months.
He literally says he thinks he can win? Cause that seems indeed crazy to me. AGR has a mix of puncheurs and flandriens, Fleche doesn't have that at all. Unless you count Kwiatkowski and Gilbert, and Kwiat blows up on that hill every time he gets there, while Gilbert is still a huge amount lighter and still only could win in his miracle year.

A younger Sagan is probably the best reference, he got 12th in 2013. He won a few murito's in Tirreno, but these finishes can be highly specific depending on where the steepest parts are and if there's the slightest bit of recovery time.

One thing though is that we have almost no reference for VdPs climbing ability.

Lastly I'd love to know Sagan's weight over the years. Hard to believe for me VdP isn't a bit lighter.
 
He literally says he thinks he can win? Cause that seems indeed crazy to me. AGR has a mix of puncheurs and flandriens, Fleche doesn't have that at all. Unless you count Kwiatkowski and Gilbert, and Kwiat blows up on that hill every time he gets there, while Gilbert is still a huge amount lighter and still only could win in his miracle year.

A younger Sagan is probably the best reference, he got 12th in 2013. He won a few murito's in Tirreno, but these finishes can be highly specific depending on where the steepest parts are and if there's the slightest bit of recovery time.

One thing though is that we have almost no reference for VdPs climbing ability.

Lastly I'd love to know Sagan's weight over the years. Hard to believe for me VdP isn't a bit lighter.
He says:

"Gent-Wevelgem rij ik liever niet. Dat is toch meereen wedstrijd voor sprinters dan voor punchers als ik. De Waalse Pijl lijkt meer mijn ding, met dielaatste helling die het verschil maakt, maar ook die is niet zeker. Denk je dat de Muur van Hoei te steil is voor mij? Ik ben niet bang van steil. Ik denk wel dat ik die klim goed zou verteren. Ik hou van bergop rijden. Dat is ook een van mijn eerste herinneringen: negen was ik toen ik met het koersfietsje l‘Alpe d’Huez op reed.”

He doesn't literally say he can win but that it's "more of his thing/up his alley". Looks a bit naive as he seems to judge it by how he was good at climbing when he was 9 years old. Judging by how he climbs in some of the "climbing cyclocrosses" (even a guy like Aerts climbs better than him) i'm inclined to put all my savings on the fact that he will not win FW.
 
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Yeah I know you keep referring to CX climbing because that's the only recent reference we have. But I don't actually agree it's a good reference for road climbing. I don't think that because Toon Aerts beat him in 1 climby cross this season and Koppenberg in another, that automatically makes Mathieu not suitable for hills on the road.

Also, you would think he'd be not winning on MTB then, but there he was actually easily the best uphill last season (when in form). We had this discussion before but I think Fleche might just be within his limits. LBL is a bridge too far for now.
 
Yeah I know you keep referring to CX climbing because that's the only recent reference we have. But I don't actually agree it's a good reference for road climbing. I don't think that because Toon Aerts beat him in 1 climby cross this season and Koppenberg in another, that automatically makes Mathieu not suitable for hills on the road.

Also, you would think he'd be not winning on MTB then, but there he was actually easily the best uphill last season (when in form). We had this discussion before but I think Fleche might just be within his limits. LBL is a bridge too far for now.
To be honest, i think those CX climbs are a lot more like road climbs than MTB climbs are. And it's not something that has happened once or twice in the past year, it's been rather consistent for four or five years that the crosses with climbs, he sometimes loses the cross, or very often loses time on the actual climb (but has enough of a lead to stay ahead). At the very least he's clearly not dominant there and there are about four riders as good or better. But that's indeed only going by CX, as you said. I can't think of any other steep short climbs as a reference he's done.

I simply can't imagine him powering up a 19% slope during a 1.5k climb alongside the likes of Alaphilippe and Fuglsang. There are a lot of things i think he can do, but this isn't one of them.
 
The other implication I think is that he doesn't really fancy his sprint in a reduced field against the Sagans and Kristoffs of this world.

The one argument in VdPs favor compared to the CX climbing is that you arrive at the bottom of the Mur relatively fresh so with his gian anaerobic capacity he might make it work decently.

That said, I don't think he's a contender, though I'd like to see him try.
 
There's a lengthy section in the Wieler Revue podcast about him as well (in Dutch): https://wielerrevue.nl/nieuws/wieler-revue-podcast-2020-nummer-een
Same discussion going on there regarding Flêche Wallonne. One guy also making the comparison with MTB, but the others basically not agreeing. Also about how he will cope with being a marked favorite (which he wasn't really last year) and if his team will prove to be good enough to support him in the final.

The podcast also has parts about Evenepoel, Dumoulin, Roglic, Jumbo Visma / Sunweb, but the most interesting parts are about MvdP.
 
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I don't think Van der Poel can beat the likes of Alaphilippe, Fuglsang or Valverde in the Mur de Huy, at the very best he can get a top5. The only way he can win Fleche is if he arrives at the Mur with a small group in which none of the above are present. But that's very difficult.
I actually think someone like Roglic has a better chance of winning Fleche than MVDP
 
I don't think Van der Poel can beat the likes of Alaphilippe, Fuglsang or Valverde in the Mur de Huy, at the very best he can get a top5. The only way he can win Fleche is if he arrives at the Mur with a small group in which none of the above are present. But that's very difficult.
I actually think someone like Roglic has a better chance of winning Fleche than MVDP
Would blindly pick Roglic as top 3 favorite.
 
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I don't know.
VdP seems to be challenging all 'logics' concerning road racing.

If it's a pretty easy going fleche walloon and he gets in a good position on start on the mur de Huy, I wouldn't at all be suprised if he manages a top 3 or even a win. He has so much power, and more importantly, because of his cyclo and mountain bike racing he manages to go in de red for a pretty long time without losing significant power, which could come in handy on the mur.
 
For the Dutch speaking, a Sporza Podcast with Adrie: https://sporza.be/nl/2020/01/29/sporza-koers-podcast-met-adrie-van-der-poel/

google translate


Why Van der Poel didn't end up at Lefevere: "Patrick didn't really get a chance"

In a new episode of the Sporza Koers podcast, Christophe Vandegoor brought Adrie van der Poel for his microphone. Mathieu van der Poel's ex-cyclist, cyclocross organizer and dad talk extensively about the Cyclocross World Championships, the renewed Cyclocross World Cup, but also about his son and his chances of ever winning the Tour.

"Patrick asked me why Mathieu had signed for 4 years"

In the spring there were many rumors that Mathieu van der Poel would make the switch to the Deceuninck-Quick Step by Patrick Lefevere. Didn't Lefevere press hard enough? "Maybe not", Adrie van der Poel admits. "My relationship with Patrick has always been very good. He has extended my career by 7 years. I am eternally grateful to him for that."

"The contacts have always remained and I sent him - when Mathieu was 10 or 11 years old - a message:" I have a talent here. "When Mathieu won a big race years later, I got a message back. "The eye of a connoisseur" it said. But we ended up at the Roodhooftjes at a young age", says Papa Van der Poel.

"They provided material, first for David and later for Mathieu. That always went well and correctly and then Mathieu was able to sign a nice contract for 4 years. Patrick asked me why he had signed for so long, but what else should I do? "

"Mathieu can do whatever he wants, that also plays a role. It's not about money for him. Whether mountain biking played a role? Indeed. He has his own contribution to new staff or new riders. They won't always follow his suggestions, but they ask for his opinion. "

"He has always been well paid and the Roodhoofts have always been the first to not respect contracts in a positive sense. If he achieved a nice victory, then that was always adjusted. Now."

Van der Poel extended his contract in August last year and is now fixed until 2023. "And what is the point of approaching someone who has signed for 4 years? In that area you also have to respect Patrick. We are trying to sign a contract always to be respected and he knows that too. "

"Patrick didn't really get a chance either, because he didn't know that Mathieu would extend. We won't play two games against each other either. That doesn't work, not even for your name in the long term, and you don't do that if you is good somewhere. "

And Mathieu has another goal. "Ultimately, Mathieu said:" It would be nice if we could grow into a WorldTour team with that little cross-team. "I think that is the team's ultimate ambition. That needs time. But there are now also good riders have arrived. "
 
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Since last post talks about the Roodhooft's providing material for the Van der Poel's since a young age, it somewhat is related to this.

I remember a tweet wrote last year or so by Bill Schieken (most known as CXHairs) about Van der Poel asking a well known bike brand for better material and support for XCO a few years ago (I think it was during his time with Stevens in the 2017 World Cups) and that they didn't found it attractive enough to support him at the time and wrecked their chances of having Van der Poel as a poster boy for them.

Does anyone knows which brand was it, specifically? At the time I thought that maybe it was Specialized or Trek, brands that are big enough and have huge structures for XCO, but curious as I am I would like to know for sure whose was it.
 

Google Translated
Alpecin-Fenix: Mathieu van der Poel has a choice to make

When he has just won his third title of world cyclo-cross champion and that he claims to prefer mountain biking, Mathieu van der Poel confirms that his versatility is a concern for his career on the road.

Mathieu van der Poel is a talent still in development. But, when he won his third title of cyclo-cross world champion this Sunday in Dübendorf with disconcerting ease, the Dutchman knows that he is facing a crucial choice regarding his professional future. If he is brilliant in this discipline like his father Adrie van der Poel, he will focus on mountain biking for the next Olympic Games while developing his skills on the road, the field of choice of his grandfather Raymond Poulidor. The 25-year-old runner does not hide it, he does not want to sacrifice a certain versatility but, depending on his objectives, he will have to sacrifice one or more disciplines. “It is possible to combine mountain biking and road racing because of the way I practice the latter. But, if you want to participate in the Grand Tours, this is no longer possible, said the Dutchman in remarks collected by Cyclingnews. I think it is possible to combine participation in the classics and mountain biking but it is excluded with a full season on the road. "

Van de Poel has not yet set his goals

With the cyclo-cross world championships behind him, the rider of the Alpecin-Fenix formation will now be able to turn to his start of the road season. The Dutchman will have an adapted program with, in particular the Strade Bianche, the Tour of Catalonia and A Travers les Flandres. "I haven't really set a goal," says Mathieu van der Poel. Obviously, if I could, I would target all these races but I will only participate in six or seven races a day. I want to be in shape for everyone else. But if there are indeed two races where the triple world champion in cyclo-cross intends to shine, it is the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix for which his team recently received an invitation. "Yes", he spontaneously answers the question of knowing if these two monuments are objectives for him.

The Grands Tours, not necessarily to target the general

But, if he will then devote himself to mountain biking for the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Grand Tours will soon be an objective but, to hear it, it will be more for fun than to make it the heart of his career like many other runners. "Doing a Grand Tour, at least one in my career is on my list but mountain biking is the sport I love so much that giving it up would be difficult," says Mathieu van der Poel. Obviously, I will have to make a decision soon. If, one day, the Dutch runner has the possibility of lining up at the start of one of the three main stage races on the international calendar, he should probably not be bet on him for a final victory. “My grandfather was more of a Grand Tours racer than I was. I'm sure I don't climb fast enough to follow those who are fighting for the general classification, admits the Dutchman with sincerity. If I embark on a Grand Tour, it would be more to try to win stages more than to aim for the general. »Measured ambitions that will have to be confronted with the reality of racing.
 
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Wvv

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First male. Ferrand Prevot did it first.
She was reigning world champion in all three yes. Don't know if she really appeared in the top ten of those rankings at the same though. She didn't race in CX that much, for instance.

Also, if you like it or not, there's still a big difference between men and women's pelotons. It's way more exclusive in men's cycling to appear high up in two different rankings, let alone three.
 
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Also, if you like it or not, there's still a big difference between men and women's pelotons. It's way more exclusive in men's cycling to appear high up in two different rankings, let alone three.
I don't think "exclusive" is the right word. Because of the (criminal) financial situation that sees women riders so underpaid and because of the relative paucity of top-tier races, women are forced to be generalists as opposed to specialists. Even in just one discipline, the road, where, yes, there are riders described as sprinters, climbers, and GC talents, the specialization isn't as ingrained in the sport. Or more to the point, in general, the women have to work harder for their success than the men, because they don't have the option to hyper-specialize, either in discipline or in specializations within a discipline. Other factors include the facts that so many of the women are forced to be part-timers in both racing and training because they can't make a living on their bikes (which is one reason the women's peloton is so much better educated than the men's--there are doctors, lawyers, and college professors among the women, something you rarely see among the men).

Anyway, it's apples and oranges. Until more parity and fairness is introduced into the sport--even if it's enforced top-down by the UCI, which may not be the best way to do it--the gender divide practically makes for different sports altogether.
 
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