The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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They did say the same about Sagan and the Tour. And even Boonen and LBL (Wuyts). So it's not new.

Btw another article just surfaced in which VDP says he will try on saturday. Today is for Modolo
https://www.indeleiderstrui.nl/algemeen-nieuws/274095/van-der-poel-ondervindt-nieuwe-status-grote-ploegen-lieten-me-niet-gaan

I never believed in Mathieu as GT contender or climber. It's impossible with his specialism and kilo's. But I remain of the idea that LBL is borderline possible in the future. Yesterday did help in that idea. It wasn't just a 7km finish climb, it followed after several other climbs. With his weight and prep to hang on that long at least shows some aptitude for hilly classics other than just cobbled classics.
 
Big difference between the Tour and LBL of course. Museeuw for example finished top 6th in LBL and won the WC-jersey on a LBL-like course. I think a lot of very talented cobble-specialist like Vdp, Sagan and even Cancellara or Boonen could, if they would have focused on it, play a big role in LBL.
 
They did say the same about Sagan and the Tour. And even Boonen and LBL (Wuyts). So it's not new.

Btw another article just surfaced in which VDP says he will try on saturday. Today is for Modolo
https://www.indeleiderstrui.nl/algemeen-nieuws/274095/van-der-poel-ondervindt-nieuwe-status-grote-ploegen-lieten-me-niet-gaan

I never believed in Mathieu as GT contender or climber. It's impossible with his specialism and kilo's. But I remain of the idea that LBL is borderline possible in the future. Yesterday did help in that idea. It wasn't just a 7km finish climb, it followed after several other climbs. With his weight and prep to hang on that long at least shows some aptitude for hilly classics other than just cobbled classics.
Sure, but Van Avermaet finished with the climbers. Just for reference. But i also think LBL might be possible. More so than FW imho.

Big difference between the Tour and LBL of course. Museeuw for example finished top 6th in LBL and won the WC-jersey on a LBL-like course. I think a lot of very talented cobble-specialist like Vdp, Sagan and even Cancellara or Boonen could, if they would have focused on it, play a big role in LBL.
Well we all know how Museeuw pulled that off. But of course, it was less hilarious than Jalabert b-grade sprinter, resurfacing a mountain goat after recovering from an injury. This is all clinic stuff so i don't know if it should serve as an example.
 
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They did say the same about Sagan and the Tour. And even Boonen and LBL (Wuyts). So it's not new.

Btw another article just surfaced in which VDP says he will try on saturday. Today is for Modolo
https://www.indeleiderstrui.nl/algemeen-nieuws/274095/van-der-poel-ondervindt-nieuwe-status-grote-ploegen-lieten-me-niet-gaan

I never believed in Mathieu as GT contender or climber. It's impossible with his specialism and kilo's. But I remain of the idea that LBL is borderline possible in the future. Yesterday did help in that idea. It wasn't just a 7km finish climb, it followed after several other climbs. With his weight and prep to hang on that long at least shows some aptitude for hilly classics other than just cobbled classics.
If Simon Gerrans can win Liege VDP certainly can, unless a group of puncheurs work together to make it impossibly hard
 
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Here's to hoping VDP continues to do what he wants to do. As if being the best crosser and mountain bike racer in the world, along with being the odds on favorite to win pretty much any and every one day classic/monument on the road isn't enough. GT GC stage racing is the most boring stuff out there to watch, and one can only imagine how boring GC training and even racing must be for the racer - 95% of the time spent just trying to stay out of the wind and not get crashed. Putting VDP in a GT as a GC racer would be like putting a wild animal in the zoo.
 
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I think a LBL should definitely be possible for MVDP. He has an enormous VO2max and he can recover from efforts like no other. He’s proven himself capable on long climbs efforts in MTB and has shown flashes in U23 races. If he targets it (loses some weight, trains on climbing, etc.), to me he’s one of the favorites.

GT GC is something else. Not only because it’s just very difficult as to the way he’s built but I just feel like he just doesn’t want to. He likes to race, to make the race and win. It would not only be mentally and physically exhausting for him, he would also be motivationally bored while doing it.
 
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Yeah I hope after this year the big audience also finally buries the "VDP GT rider" idea. It's so tiresome. You have one of the, potentially, best classics riders for the next decade. And then you wonder about his GT abilities, which he clearly does not have.
It's not a question of not having the abilities. I'm sure if the numbers are there, that it could be done. But at what cost? And exactly how good would he be? Maybe he would always have his one bad day. Maybe he would be good at it but not great because it doesn't play to his strengths like classics, cx or xc. And if he doesn't want to, he doesn't want to.
 
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With that stage done, I think it's indeed too soon for FW and LBL. He can't do it. Not with the current weight. It would need special focus. Not sure if that's a good idea
Well, i know last month he was at 5% fat. I can only assume that hasn't gone up tremendously since then. If you see guys like Wellens and Van Avermaet climb a whole lot better, it does give cause to rethink the idea. I'm still a bit baffled that he himself thought FW should suit him well. (I was seriously like WTF when i read that quote, i thought he had a better idea of his limits). Like i said before, if he wants to compete in those races, it's very likely he'll need to lose weight and with no fat left to burn, there's only one thing left to lose. I don't think that's a good idea either. Or are we reading too much into it? Could he (only a few weeks after CX) turn it around by FW? I can't imagine it, but we'll know in a few months.
 
Honestly, i find it a bit offensive to other riders, as well as to Mathieu himself, that some people (let's be honest, most sane people aren't) are still wondering or thinking he would/should be able to be a GT/GC rider, based on the info that we have. As if it's that easy. As if he wouldn't have to change his style, physique, training method, schedule, attitude etc completely, as if he wouldn't have to give up a large part of what makes him special "now" (being (among) the best in different disciplines). And based on what info? For guys like Evenepoel and Pogacar it's been a recurring question "but can he do it on a longer climb"... "can he do it against a stronger field"... "3 weeks in a row" etc... But for Mathieu, who gets dropped 5k from the finish on a 7k climb, it should be no problem. Or, at least, he should drop everything he loves (CX, XC, classics, his freedom...) just to try and see.

The media is to blame as well. Yesterday the guys of Eurosport were actually talking about if it would be possible that that stage would be the stage were he was going to try to win. Because he was allowed one stage to do his thing (by his team manager). Before Amstel (which ironically, he won), the interview with Nelissen i think it was, on NOS was all about "how it would be possible for him NOT to win". Basically, there was no way he could not win. In this, the Dutch media are just as bad as Belgian media.

It's amazing how people would still try and change a near perfect athlete. It's almost like trying to turn a 400 meter worldchampion who also does well in 1000 meter races, into a marathon runner.
Yesterday his current limits were unknown. They are today, and like Sagan, it would take away everything else in order to give it a decent shot.
 
Well, i know last month he was at 5% fat. I can only assume that hasn't gone up tremendously since then. If you see guys like Wellens and Van Avermaet climb a whole lot better, it does give cause to rethink the idea. I'm still a bit baffled that he himself thought FW should suit him well. (I was seriously like WTF when i read that quote, i thought he had a better idea of his limits). Like i said before, if he wants to compete in those races, it's very likely he'll need to lose weight and with no fat left to burn, there's only one thing left to lose. I don't think that's a good idea either. Or are we reading too much into it? Could he (only a few weeks after CX) turn it around by FW? I can't imagine it, but we'll know in a few months.
Could be we are just underestimating the switch from CX to road bike with a vacation in between.

Last year when he switched, he did it in low profile races like Antalya, and later in the season Norway.
Algarve has a much better field. And a much better prepared at that.

Could be he just needs to get going first.
 
Could he (only a few weeks after CX) turn it around by FW? I can't imagine it, but we'll know in a few months.
MVP has explosive power that may be unparalleled. That can camouflage his weight and size over short hills, but not longer ones.

MTFs and even LBL may be out of the picture, but Amstel...(we know) and, yes, FW may just be within range. After all short bursts of incredible power on steep ascents is exactly what he does best. Huy may be just a bit too long to be competing with little guys like Ala, etc. but worth a try.
 
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Best crosser of all-time, best mtb'er of all-time (not measured by number of WC's but by performing at the absolute highest level - similar to Ayrton Senna in F1) and a bunch of SB's, SR's, Flanders, PR's, AG's, etc. would be a pretty damn good career. I imagine he'd also want to get the yellow jersey for a day for gramps as well. Could probably win a slew of greens if he wanted to slog through all the boring stuff required in a GT. Then move on to some type of motorsports.
 
MVP has explosive power that may be unparalleled. That can camouflage his weight and size over short hills, but not longer ones.

MTFs and even LBL may be out of the picture, but Amstel...(we know) and, yes, FW may just be within range. After all short bursts of incredible power on steep ascents is exactly what he does best. Huy may be just a bit too long to be competing with little guys like Ala, etc. but worth a try.
I don't think Fleche is within range at all. Explosivity doesn't save you on the Mur at all. It's way too hard for that.
 
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Best crosser of all-time, best mtb'er of all-time (not measured by number of WC's but by performing at the absolute highest level - similar to Ayrton Senna in F1) and a bunch of SB's, SR's, Flanders, PR's, AG's, etc. would be a pretty damn good career. I imagine he'd also want to get the yellow jersey for a day for gramps as well. Could probably win a slew of greens if he wanted to slog through all the boring stuff required in a GT. Then move on to some type of motorsports.
I don't want to go off-topic, but Senna wasn't the best of all time. He wasn't even the best on his era, since Prost beat him with the same equipment. It just became a nice thing to say because he died on the track and took risks and had an aggressive driving style. Larger than life, too. He had a few insane fast laps in him, but Prost's consistency and "race pace" was better.
 
https://www.wielerflits.nl/nieuws/mathieu-van-der-poel-zelfs-met-superbenen-had-ik-die-klim-niet-overleefd/

He says even with super legs he would have never survived this. Said after the first passage he knew it wasn't for him. This was a 'climbers climb' nothing for punchers.
Also says he felt better during stage 2/3 then he did on the day, and he says that is logical with the preparation he has. But he also says the shape for Omloop is good enough. He keeps referring to the 2nd stage where he hung on until there were 18 guys left, which gave him a good feeling.
 
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I don't want to go off-topic, but Senna wasn't the best of all time. He wasn't even the best on his era, since Prost beat him with the same equipment. It just became a nice thing to say because he died on the track and took risks and had an aggressive driving style. Larger than life, too. He had a few insane fast laps in him, but Prost's consistency and "race pace" was better.
Prost was a tremendous driver. He definitely had a more calculated, patient approach than Senna and was incredibly smooth. You might say he had the temperment of a GT GC guy if you want to bring this back to cycling - no one was better at managing races and scoring points than the Professor. But he couldn't match Senna's desire to win every time he got in the car (much like VDP in cycling) or Senna's abilty to push himself and his cars beyond the limits. In the same McLarens Senna won more races (14 to 11), and of course Prost was nowhere near him in qualifying when the cars were set up at their absolute maximum. Senna shined at the most difficult tracks (Monaco, etc.) and in the hardest conditions (the wet) he literally made Prost (and everyone else) look like amateurs. Senna also won a lot in some very average cars whereas Prost padded his stats in the "unbeatable" Williams in '93 - the same year Senna somehow won 5 races in the underpowered Ford/McLaren.
 
I don't think Fleche is within range at all. Explosivity doesn't save you on the Mur at all. It's way too hard for that.
short violent effort then, explosivity was probably the wrong word.

the Mur is a comparatively short violent effort at the end of a fairly short race.

he is the master of the short violent effort.

however, i agree that the Mur may be just beyond his reach mainly because the combination of length and pitch at his weight.
 
Best crosser of all-time, best mtb'er of all-time (not measured by number of WC's but by performing at the absolute highest level - similar to Ayrton Senna in F1) and a bunch of SB's, SR's, Flanders, PR's, AG's, etc. would be a pretty damn good career. I imagine he'd also want to get the yellow jersey for a day for gramps as well. Could probably win a slew of greens if he wanted to slog through all the boring stuff required in a GT. Then move on to some type of motorsports.
Definitely not the best dirt racer of all time (yet), and the only way to measure that is in top level results (over time).

I wonder if he will chase a few green and yellow (not GC) shirts?
 
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Definitely not the best dirt racer of all time (yet), and the only way to measure that is in top level results (over time).

I wonder if he will chase a few green and yellow (not GC) shirts?
MVDP could be the best VTT'er but like cyclo-cross, we've seen some incredibly dominant season long (and over several seasons) performances over the years from Hank Djernis, Frischy, Miguel Martinez, J. Absalon and Nico Schurter. A few wins by MVDP are a drop in the bucket compared to what Schurter and Absalon have done.
 
Yes, he's a long way from being the best MTB-er; but if he decided to fully concentrate on it, then he could potentially become a MTB great. For that, he needs multiple titles - World, Olympic, World Cup. He's more than capable, but I fear the road may get in the way. I always get the feeling he thinks the MTB is a far bigger challenge than CX.
 

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