The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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Jan 18, 2020
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Love mountain biking and realize that VDP hasn't accomplished anything compared to the likes of Nino, or even a guy like Overend (who is still kicking ass at 64, BTW). I just mean that he's clearly raised the bar to a new level. It was pretty clear last season that no one (including Nino) can really deal with him once he gets up to form for the 90 minutes of brutality that only UCI World Cup MTB'ing can bring. VDP clearly loves challenges, and it's pretty cool that he was willing to take his lumps from the likes of Nino before finally being able to overtake him.
 

^ MVDP in dutch. Says he would not have survived Malhao with great legs either. Now he was already tired from stages that came before, his base is not good enough yet. He's going to relax and do omlooop before another planned trainingcamp.
 
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.
OK, so I don't follow MTB, and then come across VTT in an apparently English language forum, and am left with the conclusion that it refers to Virtual Time Trial: some kind of Zwift activity. Makes sense, thinks I, he is in the current Zwift TV ad campaign. But why then is his road TTing so average? And have I not seen the name Schurter somewhere before, but surely not in relation to indoor chronos?

Eventually Google leads me to velo tout terrain, and all becomes clear.
 
He's still not back to riding his bike.

I'm guessing he will add a few more races to his schedule that are not confirmed as of yet, like Amstel. Maybe E3/Gent-Wevelgem become an option instead of Catalunya?
 
Jan 18, 2020
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Too bad. He would have destroyed everyone at SB. But then again, it could have come at a much worse time - before the cross WC's for example. Can't be easy to stay at such a high level of fitness literally almost year round. Hopefully he's good for Flanders and PR - and the Olympics don't get cancelled...
 
Jan 18, 2020
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Why would he automatically "destroy everyone" at Strade Bianche? It's a race he might be able to win, depending on who he goes into the final few km with, but i think you're getting a bit carried away. Personally, i think RVV would be easier for him to win, than SB.
Just my opinion of course, although he almost surely would have been the "expert" oddsmakers favorite as well - so I'm not really going out on a limb. Seeing the way his form progressed during the cross season - culminating at the WC's - he is (was) on some serious form. If got to the final few KM's in the lead group who do you think could beat him? Do you really think guys like AP or FS would have any shot against him in that final at SB? Honestly, I think VDP (on form) will be the real money betting favorite (not to say he will actually win given how randon road racing can be) in every 1 day he enters including SB, SR, RVV, AG - other than the heaviest Ardennes classics. I know this is the VDP "road" forum, and sometimes I wonder if members have only seen him race on the road? This guy is on a different level than your AP's, FS's and even VA's of the world - the podium at SB last year.
 
Just my opinion of course, although he almost surely would have been the "expert" oddsmakers favorite as well - so I'm not really going out on a limb. Seeing the way his form progressed during the cross season - culminating at the WC's - he is (was) on some serious form. If got to the final few KM's in the lead group who do you think could beat him? Do you really think guys like AP or FS would have any shot against him in that final at SB? Honestly, I think VDP (on form) will be the real money betting favorite (not to say he will actually win given how randon road racing can be) in every 1 day he enters including SB, SR, RVV, AG - other than the heaviest Ardennes classics. I know this is the VDP "road" forum, and sometimes I wonder if members have only seen him race on the road? This guy is on a different level than your AP's, FS's and even VA's of the world - the podium at SB last year.
Yes, i've been following him since he was roughly 16. Probably saw about 90% of all his pro CX races. I have a good understanding of what he is capable of (and what not).

I don't know who AP is, or FS. If AP is Alaphilippe, then yes, i think he would leave Mathieu in the rearview mirror on that finish. I think Ronde v Vlaanderen is by far the classic/monument that should suit him best. Where his power, interval efforts, technique etc would shine most. If he is in top form, i don't think anybody could beat him there, unless (by surprise) with a long range attack that stays out of the grasp of the chase.
 
Jan 18, 2020
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Yes, i've been following him since he was roughly 16. Probably saw about 90% of all his pro CX races. I have a good understanding of what he is capable of (and what not).

I don't know who AP is, or FS. If AP is Alaphilippe, then yes, i think he would leave Mathieu in the rearview mirror on that finish. I think Ronde v Vlaanderen is by far the classic/monument that should suit him best. Where his power, interval efforts, technique etc would shine most. If he is in top form, i don't think anybody could beat him there, unless (by surprise) with a long range attack that stays out of the grasp of the chase.
Fair enough. Maybe I'm undestimating the length/grade combo of the final at SB, and maybe I'm going too much off the way he handled AP at BP last year. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll get to find out for real this year given he's sick. SR doesn't look good either. He should be ready to go for RVV and PR though. Don't know that it's possible for anyone to win at the highest level if there not 100%.
 
This really is a shame for the fans (and him of course). SB would have been really interesting with him. Especially if it was wet. Although I agree, if he arrived at the last climb with Ala, I'd put my money on Ala, but you know he wouldn't go down without making Ala go 100% to the line.
This year also Alaphilippe isn't riding irrc. So it might have been a good year for Mathieu to see if it really suits him or not. If he decides to ride still, i also wouldn't assume him to be 100% at the moment.
 
Jan 18, 2020
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Based on the latest at Wielerflits we should know whether he'll give SB a go or not. If he does line up, I wouldn't count him out. He can pull off some pretty crazy stuff (recovery from Nokerse crash, Namur this year, AG, etc.). Just checked out VA's Strava file from last year, and I'm not sure where VDP would really have trouble on this course - including the run in to the finish. It's a relatively short race too. If he went into this race healthy he would certainly be the favorite - regardless of who else lines up.
 
Jan 18, 2020
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Hard to say with VDP. He's on such a different program than any other WT pro has ever been on. He was on at an extremely high level at the cross WC's with a bigger base than usual for him - he can get back to at least that form pretty quickly. And based off last year, he could probably win Flanders (and Roubaix) at a little less than his very best. He wins Flanders easy last year without the crash.
 
Feb 20, 2019
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Hard to say with VDP. He's on such a different program than any other WT pro has ever been on. He was on at an extremely high level at the cross WC's with a bigger base than usual for him - he can get back to at least that form pretty quickly. And based off last year, he could probably win Flanders (and Roubaix) at a little less than his very best. He wins Flanders easy last year without the crash.
While I agree that he was one of the strongest if not the strongest on that day I’d be careful about throwing words like “wins Flanders easy” around. It’s never easy to win a monument, and staying upright is part of the game.

Moreover, who’s to say he would have followed Bettiol’s attack initially and not just have decided to bide his time like the rest of the favorites? I mean, yes, he’s not one to just sit still if he has the legs but still. We simply cannot know what his train of thought would have been in that given situation. He might have also left it too late.

Did he have the legs to win? Obviously yes. But there are more factors that come into play like the aforementioned ones. In cycling, as is often the case, the strongest doesn’t always win.
 
Adrie thinks in time he could become worldchampion ITT.
He'll be avoiding stage races, and won't be riding Catalunya. Adrie advises him to start riding the same prep races as last year. If he can follow his own path, he should be on his level by the time Ronde van Vlaanderen rolls around.

 

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