The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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Still, MVDP had a negative approach to Van Aert ánd thus to himself. Even that despair counter from Wout in last kilometre he chased down, only to let go of the pedals afterwards and not sprinting for fifth ... it all made no sense.
 
Jan 8, 2020
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Always interesting to see how people interpret the same race differently. I saw a guy ride to win the race who ran out of matches. Not an easy final to get right on flat roads in a big, classy group like that.

About time we had some VdP - Wout conflict though, it's been too long.
 
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The others would have never done the heavy lifting and you know that as well as me. It's logical they look at VDP when Van Aert goes.
This is so naïve, sorry. It's almost like he was "obligated" to do it, right? After a while they will indeed just assume he'll keep doing it since he did it before. And again, what's the point to keep countering, without placing an attack himself, without cooperating with van Aert when possible, when the only thing he's doing is the dirty work for the others to profit from and killing himself in the process? So what you are saying is exactly like van Aert described, Mathieu didn't race to win, (only countered, didn't cooperate or attack himself) but to let van Aert loose. I' willing to assume it wasn't personal or even conscious but more of a reflex/instinct, but it is exactly what happened. He should have had the sense to refuse, meaning someone else would ultimately have to do it, so he could profit from it for once, or let van Aert go. But he indeed couldn't let that happen, even if it meant losing himself. Pedersen ultimately made the jump to Bettiol & co, there is no reason to assume only Mathieu would have done it. But of course, if he keeps offering, the others won't refuse.

Pederson even admitted that in his post-race interview.
He said it was convenient for them that they (Mathieu) rode like that, not that they waited for Matheu to close the gap to van Aert every time. Or i must have seen a different interview.

He.
Was.
Gassed.

(even said so in the interview, he was basically empty after closing the last attack)
It's really not that difficult to grasp.
Then.
Why.
Even.
Bother.

What is so difficult to understand that when you are gassed, you don't chase down another guy just to benefit a third guy and not yourself?
 
Jan 18, 2020
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I don't necessarily doubt that MVDP was, at least subconsciously, racing solely against WVA. Wout should take the compliment and move on - he's the one guy MVDP thinks can match him straight up right now. You saw what he did to guys like Senechal and Pedersen at BB. One thing that seems clear is that MVDP is at a bit of a fitness disadvantage vs. guys that raced the TDF. Perhaps missing that deep base that they have. MVDP is really the only non-TDP guy getting any type of results now.
 
Maybe it was just me, but I thought during the race that VDP was trying to see how was Wout after the mini-break and tried to send two messages for De Ronde: "If you attack on the bergs I can go with you and if you try to power away on the flats I can close the gap".

I don't think either that VDP was overly concerned with the GW result. If a win opportunity appeared, the better, but the big goal is the Ronde. GW wasn't even on the program before the Amstel cancellation and he put it there because he needed race miles for the classics (sure, this was before Roubaix was cancelled).

But, my impression too during the race, mainly in the last 5k's, was that VDP made sure that Van Aert didn't win and get a confidence boost before Flanders. But he surely was gassed in the end. If he wasn't, no way he would sat up and let Wout win the mini sprint.
 
This whole thing is ridiculous. Being the strongest rider of the moment Wout naturally got shadowed by one of the other favorites.

He’s simply experiencing what it’s like to be marked as the favorite. Like Boonen said, he just has to deal with it.
Very true!

Oh to be that young again! They both kinda screwed it up. Wout really came across a bit whiney and as Tommeke has said, he will need to adapt and change how he deals, or it will happen a lot more; then you are as overall strong as WvA has been, you'll get marked like a wet blanket. And MvdP will also need to change his strategy, it's pretty bad to push just enough to get on the wheel and not pull through at all, that's just going to have a negative effect and put a damper on any chase. I think both their brains turned off, because with the amount of racing they've both done (and won), they both know this ;)

DQ might have had the worst day though ... 2 in the front group and not able to fully capitalize. Such is the gamble with that kind of final.
 
Maybe it was just me, but I thought during the race that VDP was trying to see how was Wout after the mini-break and tried to send two messages for De Ronde: "If you attack on the bergs I can go with you and if you try to power away on the flats I can close the gap".

I don't think either that VDP was overly concerned with the GW result. If a win opportunity appeared, the better, but the big goal is the Ronde. GW wasn't even on the program before the Amstel cancellation and he put it there because he needed race miles for the classics (sure, this was before Roubaix was cancelled).

But, my impression too during the race, mainly in the last 5k's, was that VDP made sure that Van Aert didn't win and get a confidence boost before Flanders. But he surely was gassed in the end. If he wasn't, no way he would sat up and let Wout win the mini sprint.
I don't think it was too strategic and I think MvdP wants any wins he can get right now. To do that, you need to be quite ahead of others. I think they are both competitive animals and the brains turned off. MvdP marked what he knows, but he didn't race that smart. And neither did WvA - you cannot always just hammer. We'll see next weekend how they both fair, but they might make the race epic, or they might both blow it again.
 
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Well, if he can improve his climbing even half as much as VA has in literally just a few months, who knows. Then again, it's been a while (the 90's or early 2000's) since I've seen a top level rider "progress" the way Wout has at age 26.
Sorry for the late response, I got behind on some threads (work keeps getting in the way of my fun). WVA's "progress" at 26 is due to him being in only his second season of focusing on the road. Don't forget that he has three rainbow kits from CX. You hit it on the head though, he is a top level rider!

I wonder how MVdP will "progress" when his focus gets smaller?
 
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The big question: Will we have white bib shorts tomorrow?


And to answer the debate that we had some time ago, Mathieu has said that next year he will go for the TDF/Olympic double (while I'm thinking about it, maybe he DNFs some days before the finish so he can have more time to go to Tokyo?)

 
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Yes - white shorts.

As for the TdF/Olympics; not many XCO medal contenders use the Tour as prep. With his absence from the short block of MTB racing, his ranking has taken a hit, and he's not going to have a great starting position, unless he races the World Cups next year.
 
Yes - white shorts.

As for the TdF/Olympics; not many XCO medal contenders use the Tour as prep. With his absence from the short block of MTB racing, his ranking has taken a hit, and he's not going to have a great starting position, unless he races the World Cups next year.
Yes, that's a good question. Next year worldcups are at May 9th and 16th, June 6th, and July 4th (during the TDF).

So either he races them and he can't do any break from racing (Cross worlds in February, buildup for classics in April, XCO in May and then prep for TDF and Tokyo) or he goes to Olympics without racing XCO.

Nevertheless, with only 38 starters in the olympic race, the start position shouldn't be a problem as big as in the world cups. And I'm not sure if the rows are defined by the qualification ranking, which will be the ranking in March of this year (where VDP is still well placed) with added points of two XCO world cups of 2021.
 
What a champion to finish it off like this. He needed it to save his season and he took it against his rival since way back who dominated him this year.
Indeed. To be fair to Mathieu though, I think he -and his team- were ill-prepared for the impact covid19 had on the cycling calendar.
Then again, it was guess-work for most teams.

Regardless, it seems that Mathieu has gotten into the form we’re all used to him being in way too late in the season. I suppose his aim was the double; RVV and Roubaix. In this form he will be kicking himself that the latter has been cancelled.

Hopefully next year he will be ready in time to duke it out with Wout on more occasions.
 
Mvdp barely raced WVA this year until today and last week

And what was said before, covid thew is season around in a diferent way and they handled that poorly
He was off at Strade and San Remo. But he managed to get back into very good shape. I still feel I have seen better shape of MvdP last year (like in Vlaanderen) than anytime this year, except for Binck bank.
If he planned it just a little bit better, he could have won Liege as well! Still happy to see he has a monument, he really derserved it and he got it in a year where chances were few and getting into shape complicated.
 
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