The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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I think between Alaphilippe and van der Poel it would always depend on the day. Last year Alaphilippe was obviously not at his peak during April. He peaked for Strade and MSR and then later in summer. He still won FW because the race (with route of last year) just fits him too well. Still Fuglsang(!) almost beat him.
When things go right for Teuns and he's in good shape, he could win over all of them. But I would not really expect him to do it in FW, but in a race with more real mountains.
Van Aert should be very capable of winning Strade.

I don't know how talented each guy is, how do you measure "pure" talent in relation to what life and work made out of you anyway, but I am very sure van der Poel, even if he might be the most talented, is not on a completely different level in that regard, and the "killer instinct" is something a lot of riders, someone like Alaphilippe certainly, have. "Winner instinct" is just talk to me.
 
Logic: Don't agree at all with your "same as van Aert" comment. VA is great racer in his own right, but he's not VDP in any way, shape or form. Also don't agree at all with your comment about VDP having problems with "an actual puncheur there, like Alaphilippe, or...". Seems like you are very knowledgeable, but what races are you watching? IMO you are grossly underestimating VDP's possibilities based on his past results. I could provide numerous examples across all three disciplines, but bottom line is that riders like ALPH and Teuns (seriously?) are nowhere near VDP in terms of talent and sheer killer/winner instinct. Road folks need to come to grips with the fact that VDP is on another level than the guys you have been following .
Alaphilippe nowhere near in terms of talent? Get a grip!
 
Yeah that sounds like too much. VdP might be more talented but it's and I think he is slightly but it's not a different stratosphere.

If anything I think VdP occupies a niche that enables him winning a lot more than Alaphilippe. Alaphilippes is pretty thin, especially with Lombardia being as it is right now
 
The reason Alaphilippe has not won Lombardia (or been close) is that he can't maintain his shape until October, not because the race in itself is too tough for him, the guy who mopped the floor with the best Tour riders for two weeks.
 
The reason Alaphilippe has not won Lombardia (or been close) is that he can't maintain his shape until October, not because the race in itself is too tough for him, the guy who mopped the floor with the best Tour riders for two weeks.
Pre-2019 TdF Ala was never that great on over 5min long climbs against a top level field, so it's hard to compare his Tour performance to his usual one. Other than that I agree, a 3rd peak after spring classics and Tour is just not in the cards for most rider who aren't Valverde.
 
The reason Alaphilippe has not won Lombardia (or been close) is that he can't maintain his shape until October, not because the race in itself is too tough for him, the guy who mopped the floor with the best Tour riders for two weeks.
Mopping the floor while not being seen as a GC threat at all on climbs that are all easier than Civiglio and especially Muro di Sormano. La Planche is literally the only time in his career he competed with the best in the world on a mid sized climb.

The effort where Alaphilippe is best runs out at about the length of the Mur de Huy. Over 8 minutes he's consistently the underdog vs guys like Valverde, Roglic, etc, unless they all wait for the last 500m.

Unless Alaphilippe's explosivity enables him to be a favorite in Vlaanderen and a boat load of Worlds/Olympic routes, it's a much worse place to be than durable sprinter types who also can compete with puncheurs like Sagan and VdP.
 
Mopping the floor while not being seen as a GC threat at all on climbs that are all easier than Civiglio and especially Muro di Sormano. La Planche is literally the only time in his career he competed with the best in the world on a mid sized climb.

The effort where Alaphilippe is best runs out at about the length of the Mur de Huy. Over 8 minutes he's consistently the underdog vs guys like Valverde, Roglic, etc, unless they all wait for the last 500m.

Unless Alaphilippe's explosivity enables him to be a favorite in Vlaanderen and a boat load of Worlds/Olympic routes, it's a much worse place to be than durable sprinter types who also can compete with puncheurs like Sagan and VdP.
Eh, Tourmalet??
 
Mopping the floor while not being seen as a GC threat at all on climbs that are all easier than Civiglio and especially Muro di Sormano. La Planche is literally the only time in his career he competed with the best in the world on a mid sized climb.

The effort where Alaphilippe is best runs out at about the length of the Mur de Huy. Over 8 minutes he's consistently the underdog vs guys like Valverde, Roglic, etc, unless they all wait for the last 500m.

Unless Alaphilippe's explosivity enables him to be a favorite in Vlaanderen and a boat load of Worlds/Olympic routes, it's a much worse place to be than durable sprinter types who also can compete with puncheurs like Sagan and VdP.
But this is the MVDP topic, and that is who he is being compared to. Toby was simply making a point in that regard. How well does Mathieu climb again? The fanboy drivel from the previous page is getting too much attention.
 
I remember Alaphilippe being on the podium of Lombardia once, before '19. Don't really see van der Poel there.
But mostly I see Alaphilippe as a real all-rounder who of course has his specialties, but can train in different directions and then compete with even the specialists. Does not mean he can do anything anytime.

About van der Poel, I really don't know so far what he'd capable of if he trained for different things. If he would train more towards 3 weeks or climbing, he would very probably improve there but lose other advantages and it's questionable whether that's worth it for him.
 
Interesting statements by Adri. He seems to think 8 minute climbs should not be a problem. I wonder why Mathieu didn't compete at Algarve, if only as a test case, while Van Avermaet only lost a handful of seconds on the true climbers.

 
But this is the MVDP topic, and that is who he is being compared to. Toby was simply making a point in that regard. How well does Mathieu climb again? The fanboy drivel from the previous page is getting too much attention.
He climbs worse. Which is irrelevant to my point that 3/5 monuments and most WCs are gonna be more suited to VdP than to Alaphilippe. This is about winning big races, if Alaphilippe climbing better or results in GT or Lombardia top 10s it doesn't matter really much
 
Interesting statements by Adri. He seems to think 8 minute climbs should not be a problem. I wonder why Mathieu didn't compete at Algarve, if only as a test case, while Van Avermaet only lost a handful of seconds on the true climbers.

Big [X] for doubt on Muro di Sormano not being a problem lol
 
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I think between Alaphilippe and van der Poel it would always depend on the day. Last year Alaphilippe was obviously not at his peak during April. He peaked for Strade and MSR and then later in summer. He still won FW because the race (with route of last year) just fits him too well. Still Fuglsang(!) almost beat him.
When things go right for Teuns and he's in good shape, he could win over all of them. But I would not really expect him to do it in FW, but in a race with more real mountains.
Van Aert should be very capable of winning Strade.

I don't know how talented each guy is, how do you measure "pure" talent in relation to what life and work made out of you anyway, but I am very sure van der Poel, even if he might be the most talented, is not on a completely different level in that regard, and the "killer instinct" is something a lot of riders, someone like Alaphilippe certainly, have. "Winner instinct" is just talk to me.
Just talk? No, just hard data. Nobody wins as much as VDP does. He is statistically almost unbeatable in cross, was clearly the best MTB'er in the world last year, and his win rate on the road was bizarre, even with major tactical mistakes. We'll see here pretty quick, but I doubt there are many "experts" out there that would bet their nest egg on AP vs. MVDP at SB or MSR. Not even sure how he could be him at MSR. Certainly can't sprint with him on that long finishing straight.
 
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But this is the MVDP topic, and that is who he is being compared to. Toby was simply making a point in that regard. How well does Mathieu climb again? The fanboy drivel from the previous page is getting too much attention.
But this is the MVDP topic, and that is who he is being compared to. Toby was simply making a point in that regard. How well does Mathieu climb again? The fanboy drivel from the previous page is getting too much attention.
All in good fun Logic. As to the "fanboy drivel", we'll find out here pretty soon. Not someone who thinks VDP can win, or should try to win at GT, but he's the odds on favorite in any 1 day race he enters. That goes for cross, mtb, and yes, road too.
 
Just talk? No, just hard data. Nobody wins as much as VDP does. He is statistically almost unbeatable in cross, was clearly the best MTB'er in the world last year, and his win rate on the road was bizarre, even with major tactical mistakes. We'll see here pretty quick, but I doubt there are many "experts" out there that would bet their nest egg on AP vs. MVDP at SB or MSR. Not even sure how he could be him at MSR. Certainly can't sprint with him on that long finishing straight.
All in good fun Logic. As to the "fanboy drivel", we'll find out here pretty soon. Not someone who thinks VDP can win, or should try to win at GT, but he's the odds on favorite in any 1 day race he enters. That goes for cross, mtb, and yes, road too.
Nobody (at least not me) was saying that he doesn't win a lot, won't win a lot, and won't be a favorite in a large number of races, compared to a guy like Alaphilippe. So if both make the final of MSR, my bet would also be on Mathieu rather than on Julian (unless there are other fast finishers still around that could beat both, obviously). And a similar scenario could happen in many races/clasics. No debate there. But on a finish like Sienna in Strade Bianche, there is no doubt in my mind that Alaphilippe would mop him up 9 out of 10. Let alone on a finish like Mur de Huy. Him beating Alaphilippe in Brabantse Pijl is really not the reference you are hoping it to be. Him winning DDV also wasn't because of his superiority, but because Jungels either is a dumbass, or got orders to ride against Benoot. Winning Denain was impressive... against a c-tier peloton. He's a great athlete, but as a fan, it would be good to acknowledge his limits. Not every 1 day race is the same. He'll be a top 3 or maybe standout favorite in PR, MSR or RVV, but not in FW, LBL or Lombardia. Far from it. Circumstances would need to be very much in his favor in order to stand a chance in such races. Nothing is absolute.
 
This is a list of riders Alaphilippe has beaten in the MSR sprint last year:

Naesen
Kwiatkowski
Sagan
Van Aert
Valverde
Trentin

I count at least 3 riders who've beaten Van der Poel in a sprint before, plus Sagan who's consistently been one of the best sprinters of the last decade.
So yeah, Van der Poel would be the favourite if they were both sprinting for the win on via Roma, but I wouldn't take it for granted.

Van der Poel is one of the most talented riders entering the cycling world this century (or possibly ever) but disregarding other riders' talent is not the way to prove it.
 
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Safebet and Logic, you guys make fair points and I admit I am a bit of a MVDP fanboy. I was a huge fan of Ayrton Senna in F1, and VDP reminds me a bit of him in terms of the freakish talent, committment to winning, and aptitude for learning from his mistakes and getting better - basically two geniuses with huge self-belief that enables them to pull off stuff that no one else can. The stuff that MVDP has pulled off in just the 12 months before covid is pretty crazy - Flanders, AG, the uphill sprint wins at Britain, the epic cross wins at Namur, Koksijde (last to first in 1 lap), overtaking the greatest MTB'er of all-time, etc. All that said, his most important result was probably hanging in there and finishing road Worlds.
 
then again any comparison with vdp isn't correct. Yeah sure on road there are riders as talented as VDP. But they don't also win MTB world cups and dominate CX at the same time. So as an overall cycling talent, at the mens, there is nobody even close that talented that he can perform in 3 discplines in the same year.

At the women there are though... (PVP, Vos, etc)
 
Reactions: Axel Hangleck
What if Sagan had focussed on being competetive in CX, MTB and road at the same time instead of starting to go for green at the Tour?
I don't understand why we cannot appreciate the success and talent of different riders without this constant "he's not in the same league, nobody's close,". This is not just the case for van der Poel, we are having the same discussions about Froome and Evenepoel, so obviously we live in THE Golden Age of Cycling. It can be fun if we take it as a cage-fight (between Valverde and Kelly), but if it's a serious discussion, I admit I am slightly bugged by it.
 
Reactions: Bonimenier
MVDP and his squad (Vervaeke and De Tier) KOM'd today the Col de Petit St Bernard. 28km/h average for 24km of ascension and 5 minutes faster than the previous KOM (from Warren Barguil). Bring on the classics!
 
MVDP and his squad (Vervaeke and De Tier) KOM'd today the Col de Petit St Bernard. 28km/h average for 24km of ascension and 5 minutes faster than the previous KOM (from Warren Barguil). Bring on the classics!
This is quite interesting, but ultimately not that meaningful. Vervaeke is a good climber on his day, De Tier can get over a mountain easily, but they are not top teer climbers.
 
MVDP and his squad (Vervaeke and De Tier) KOM'd today the Col de Petit St Bernard. 28km/h average for 24km of ascension and 5 minutes faster than the previous KOM (from Warren Barguil). Bring on the classics!
That climb benefits hugely from drafting as it is not steep at all. I wouldn't read too much into it, of course it does show that they are in shape and ready for the season to start. profile for reference:

 
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