Teams & Riders The "MVP" Mathieu Van der Poel Road Discussion Thread

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well they are very alike. Off road background. Crazy explosiveness, attractive but kinda stupid racing.

But, one comparison I think Sagan was never instantly good in 250km+ classics. He always seemed to struggle there. I don't have that with VDP or WVA for instance
He did ride them at a way younger age, though. Sometimes it's easy to forget that van der Poel and van Aert are "already" 26, because they went to the road relatively late.
 
To be fair, he was younger when he tried those for the first time. At 22, he would have won MSR if it wasn't for his stupid captain Nibali and at 23 he was second in both MSR and Flanders. And 6th on a very hard World's course.
I still can't believe Sagan has never won MSR, must be one of the strangest misses in cycling history.

As many races Sagan has won, I think VdP maybe has even more killer instinct despite supposedly stupid racing. I don't think he'll let as many "deserved" wins get away from him as Sagan has.
 
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Obviously. I also never forget his early wins in even tough hill finishes and even TdSuisse Mt stage. He is still a generational talent.

Also, VDP and Van Aert "already" being 26 has a lot to do with their CX career focus before obviously. I'm pretty sure if they started road WT level at 20 their results still would have been similar.
 
Obviously. I also never forget his early wins in even tough hill finishes and even TdSuisse Mt stage. He is still a generational talent.

Also, VDP and Van Aert "already" being 26 has a lot to do with their CX career focus before obviously. I'm pretty sure if they started road WT level at 20 their results still would have been similar.
Obviously it has to do with their CX-careers. They would have had good results, but no way they would have been as dominant in their early 20s as they are now.
 
No and I keep saying 2020 Mathieu was never in 2019 AGR shape.
Even the Mathieu that won RVV 2020 was not 100% his best.

Which is quite telling of his level, being in less shape and still able to top 15 MSR, Strade, top 10 lombardia, 6th in LBL (after BB solo) etc. But... I never felt it was his flashy 2019 self.
His 2019 form, both on the road & MTB was notable for his blistering accelerations going uphill; I don't think we really saw that last year, despite some excellent performances; even during the CX season I can't recall seeing it. When he's in his absolute top form, his accelerations have that 'Snap' and he just takes off.
 
No and I keep saying 2020 Mathieu was never in 2019 AGR shape.
Even the Mathieu that won RVV 2020 was not 100% his best.
And I would say 2021 Mathieu is better than 2019 one. For instance, his most memorable win in 2019 - Amstel, he was not the strongest guy by any means. It was spectacular win indeed, but he would hardly won if Ala and Fuglsang hadn't start messing around. On the contrary, in this Strade, he looked imperious all the way. He just couldn't lose this race with this form.
 
MVDP are not riding AGR this year? It doesn't appear on his calendar on Procyclingstats.
So far the team only gave his schedule until Paris Roubaix.

Don't know if they will add some Ardennes races for him of he will do a short break before switching to mountain bike (there are 2 or 3 XCO races in May and early June) and with the exception of a couple of weeks after CX worlds he won't be without a break from racing since December).
 
So far the team only gave his schedule until Paris Roubaix.

Don't know if they will add some Ardennes races for him of he will do a short break before switching to mountain bike (there are 2 or 3 XCO races in May and early June) and with the exception of a couple of weeks after CX worlds he won't be without a break from racing since December).
In the past, riders whose main focus was the cobbles (e.g., Boonen, Cancellara, sometimes Sagan) and raced E3, Gent-Wev, de Ronde, and Roubaix, took a racing break after the latter and skipped Amstel. But this may be a new era with ultra-versatile riders who race in various disciplines, so perhaps that won’t be deterred from racing a longer Classics calendar?
 
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In the past, riders whose main focus was the cobbles (e.g., Boonen, Cancellara, sometimes Sagan) and raced E3, Gent-Wev, de Ronde, and Roubaix, took a racing break after the latter and skipped Amstel. But this may be a new era with ultra-versatile riders who race in various disciplines, so perhaps that won’t be deterred from racing a longer Classics calendar?
Definitely a new era. A guy like Greg usually goes all the way to LBL, too.
 
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i think the only thing keeping him from Ardennes is his MTB campaign. He'd need some time off the bike after the spring campaign as well, and then do a training camp before MTB.
If he does ardennes as well that will leave too little time to take a little break.
 
So far the team only gave his schedule until Paris Roubaix.

Don't know if they will add some Ardennes races for him of he will do a short break before switching to mountain bike (there are 2 or 3 XCO races in May and early June) and with the exception of a couple of weeks after CX worlds he won't be without a break from racing since December).
Okay, I would especially be suprised if the didn't enter on home ground in Netherlands. And after seeing his acceleration in the steep hills in Strade Bianche, I wouldn't rule him out for FW neither.
 
Okay, I would especially be suprised if the didn't enter on home ground in Netherlands. And after seeing his acceleration in the steep hills in Strade Bianche, I wouldn't rule him out for FW neither.
Fleche is too long and steep for him I think. That's for the real puncheurs or even climbers. At Santa Caterina we saw some cobbled classics hard men going really fast up that climb, like Cancellara, Sagan, Stybar, Van Avermaet, and now Van Der Poel, But we didn't see them at Fleche. That's more for the lighter guys like Valverde, Purito, Alaphilippe... The only way I can see him winning FW is going from distance and ripping race apart. If he makes that race really hard, then he could out kick everyone even on the Mur.
 
After his 6th in LBL I'm pretty sure he can top 5 FW. Winning is another thing. But not impossible.

For Gilbert it looked impossible for the longest time and then 2011 happened
I was about to mention Gilbert. No one thought he could win it until he did. The guy even won Lombardia.

Then again 2011 Gilbert was not human. Think he won Lombardia in 2009 though.
 
...I think VdP maybe has even more killer instinct despite supposedly stupid racing. I don't think he'll let as many "deserved" wins get away from him as Sagan has.
I'm with you there. He's not stupid, he simple doesn't care in some cases, and in others he thinks his best bet is to match his strength against everyone else, he wants to make the race harder and thin it out. He does what he wants and doesn't worry about anyone else. He's that strong.

Amstel was another perfect example. It surely was seen as stupid while he was towing an entire group back to the front of the race, but how did that turn out? He's just imperiously strong, and when he wants a race he's going to do what he needs to do.
 
I'm with you there. He's not stupid, he simple doesn't care in some cases, and in others he thinks his best bet is to match his strength against everyone else, he wants to make the race harder and thin it out. He does what he wants and doesn't worry about anyone else. He's that strong.

Amstel was another perfect example. It surely was seen as stupid while he was towing an entire group back to the front of the race, but how did that turn out? He's just imperiously strong, and when he wants a race he's going to do what he needs to do.
If I were to call some action from MVDP at that Amstel stupid it wouldn't be the final chase but the first attack at the Gulperberg right before the climb where Alaphilippe and Fuglsang went away while he was cooked from the previous effort.
 
After his dumb attack in Amstel, out of 100 possible scenario's there was basically one scenario left where he could win, and he was lucky enough to end up in the scenario where the two best riders decided it was a good time to stare in each other's eyes, while Mathieu was picked up by a chasing group, where everybody worked together, and they were able to bridge going into the final kilometer. He didn't win because he was the best rider in the race, or because he was tactically astute (quite the opposite), he won because he got lucky and has an amazing acceleration in his legs.

Looking back at Strade, knowing what we've seen, it was basically the opposite. Out of 100 scenario's, there may have been one scenario where he could lose. He's definitely either improved as a rider, or is currently riding a much better form than in 2019.

I also quite disagree with the idea that he was subpar all through 2020. That's simply not the case. He was good in Lombardia and in Liège. Him having been any better in Liège, would have meant he would have been in the front group and won the sprint easily. In Lombardia, he surprised me, but on the other hand, he was clearly a bit out of his depth. Yet so much better than he was in Algarve for instance. I think Liège2020 MvdP >>> Amstel2019 MvdP.

...watching TT's isn't exactly riveting either.
That's highly subjective. I enjoy watching TT's. It's also the most brutally honest competition there is in cycling, bad luck (or changing weather) notwithstanding. I'd compare it with enjoying different types of movies, series, books... That's why a good GT has something in every department, and just like a TV serie that has a thread running through all episodes, each episode offers something new and different with possible plot twists. I'm sure you'd enjoy Mathieu blasting away on hilly courses, as i would enjoy Evenepoel doing 50k solos wrecking the chasers... but it would get stale soon enough without variety or competition.
 
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After his dumb attack in Amstel, out of 100 possible scenario's there was basically one scenario left where he could win, and he was lucky enough to end up in the scenario where the two best riders decided it was a good time to stare in each other's eyes, while Mathieu was picked up by a chasing group, where everybody worked together, and they were able to bridge going into the final kilometer. He didn't win because he was the best rider in the race, or because he was tactically astute (quite the opposite), he won because he got lucky and has an amazing acceleration in his legs.

Looking back at Strade, knowing what we've seen, it was basically the opposite. Out of 100 scenario's, there may have been one scenario where he could lose. He's definitely either improved as a rider, or is currently riding a much better form than in 2019.

I also quite disagree with the idea that he was subpar all through 2020. That's simply not the case. He was good in Lombardia and in Liège. Him having been any better in Liège, would have meant he would have been in the front group and won the sprint easily. In Lombardia, he surprised me, but on the other hand, he was clearly a bit out of his depth. Yet so much better than he was in Algarve for instance. I think Liège2020 MvdP >>> Amstel2019 MvdP.
I've seen Amstel 6-7 times now but you and I obviously watched different races. And I disagree with about 75% of this entire post
 
He made his luck in Amstel. No one else would have done what he did and it was simply awesome.
He mind controlled Alaphilippe and Fuglsang? There is this misconception that he was leading the chasing group, because TV was always showing him on the front. Both him and other riders (among which Lambrecht) from that group said the entire group worked together all the time. No one else would have done that final 1K, that's true.

I've seen Amstel 6-7 times now but you and I obviously watched different races. And I disagree with about 75% of this entire post
Ok. Then what's the 25% you agree with? That'd be easier to discuss i guess.
 
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