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

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Merckx, he is who he is. It amazes me how he can say very sensible things, just to sound completely clueless 20 seconds later. He said (in 2011) Gilbert could win the TDF if he put his mind to it, and would be a bigger GC threat than JVDB. He also said Mathieu could win the TDF last year, just to claim the complete opposite last week. He said Evenepoel did things at that age that he was never able to do, and could be better than Merckx...until Evenepoel signed for DQT instead of for his son Axel's team. Since then all of a sudden Evenepoel hasn't proven anything and he's been bitching about Evenepoel in every interview. When he's in a cycling panel, he can be very sensible, but then there are always moments where he shows he's grown completely out of touch.
 
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I don't think so. They are different riders. Plus this was Van Aerts third Tour.

Van Aert in 1st tour won 1 stage. Van der Poel won 1 stage and had yellow for a week.
Van Aert in 2nd Tour won 2 sprint stages. Van der Poel most likely will not win any sprint stages with Philipsen/Merlier in the team. Nor is he good at pure mass sprints (too hectic)
Van Aert in his 3rd Tour won a time trial and a mountain stage. Van der Poel likely won't do both ever. Although maybe after this year there is like a 2% chance he wins a time trial.

You simply cannot compare the two on the road. It stays the same as put before. Van der Poel is more explosive. Van Aert is more allround.
 
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Now he will be grumpy for the rest of the year. he has to win a mountain stage, a TT and a sprint in the next TDF
MVDP doesn't seem like the sort of guy that is that interested in what anyone else is doing - including WVA. He's made it pretty clear that Olympic Gold on the MTB is his number 1 goal and that he's not interested in becoming a climber or a TT specialist. Pidcock is more of a problem for him than WVA - he's the one that's standing in his way. Also, MVDP, not WVA, was the story of the race until the day he left. WVA had his chances against him head to head and couldn't deliver. He had the green light on stage 2 but couldn't follow MVDP, and in the TT it was a push - and we know that WVA desperately wanted to take yellow from him. Them tying in the TT would be kind've like WVA showing up at a MTB race and staying with MVDP - which anyone who's ever raced a MTB can tell you would not happen.
 
MVDP doesn't seem like the sort of guy that is that interested in what anyone else is doing - including WVA. He's made it pretty clear that Olympic Gold on the MTB is his number 1 goal and that he's not interested in becoming a climber or a TT specialist. Pidcock is more of a problem for him than WVA - he's the one that's standing in his way. Also, MVDP, not WVA, was the story of the race until the day he left. WVA had his chances against him head to head and couldn't deliver. He had the green light on stage 2 but couldn't follow MVDP, and in the TT it was a push - and we know that WVA desperately wanted to take yellow from him. Them tying in the TT would be kind've like WVA showing up at a MTB race and staying with MVDP - which anyone who's ever raced a MTB can tell you would not happen.
Wout had his appendix removed and wasnt ready at the start of the tour. We've seen how he has come around
 
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Not taking anything away from Wout. He's outstanding and had a great tour. I am still awestruck at his climbing ability (no Clinic comments here). But the idea that MVDP is somehow following in the footsteps of him is laughable. They're both great talents, but they are not on parallel tracks. Now, if you really want to go that route, it's (the data) is pretty clear on who has the upper hand when they line up head to head in a bike races.
 
It's been said many times, but they're not really similar riders; in fact, it's like saying CX & XCO are the same; they seem similar, but they're quite different.
Wout is a road rider, on a World Tour team, who rides CX in the winter. He can climb, sprint and TT, which is out of the ordinary, really. Nobody else can do that.

However, MvdP is a multi discipline cyclist, who will race MTB, CX and Road, and is world class at all 3 - whether he can do what Wout can do is pointless - he's shown no interest in doing that. He has different priorities. For the last 4 years, his main aim is next week; the Olympic MTB race.

He's also meant to be aiming for Paris 2024, so will be on the MTB until then - which seems to have annoyed some people, wishing he'd move to the Road full time. One hopes he can win a MTB World title, to add to his CX titles.
 
I like that this Tour has shown there's enough room in cycling for both to shine. It doesn't have to be a zero sum game where one winning means the other losing (as it was in CX for years)

The upcoming Olympics will continue that trend: both are favourites for gold in their own discipline. I think this will enhance their mutual respect and liking for each other.

As will the fact that the other's success benefits them too. Because the more victories for Wout and Mathieu in different disciplines, the more shine is added to each other's victories over each other.

That said, can't wait to see them clash in Roubaix and World's.
 
Training in his sweater in his garage was a poor simulation of the conditions in Japan. I don't think he's outwitting his rivals on this point. But he sure as hell will be outwatting them. MvdP's has a huge absolute power advantage over the rest of the field and given the CX-esque nature of the course - short climbs, plenty of turns, serious flat parts - he should blow everyone away. Pidcock excepted, perhaps.
 
They took a very strange approach to his big goal of the past 5 years. So I'm a bit afraid it will end in a dumpster fire. But we'll see tomorrow how it'll play out.
It can go hit or miss.
I must admit, considering it's been his main aim since 2017, they're not giving him the best preparation. Almost trying to be too clever; I get the theory, but why has nobody else has done it?
And I've said it before, only doing 2 World Cups (his first for 18 months) leaves him short in MTB race prep. Yes, the Tour is a big deal, but it might be that his road campaign (and COvid) wrecks his MTB goal. Which is something I hoped wouldn't happen
We'll know in less than 12 hours.
 
Training in his sweater in his garage was a poor simulation of the conditions in Japan. I don't think he's outwitting his rivals on this point. But he sure as hell will be outwatting them. MvdP's has a huge absolute power advantage over the rest of the field and given the CX-esque nature of the course - short climbs, plenty of turns, serious flat parts - he should blow everyone away. Pidcock excepted, perhaps.
I agree with your first part - almost trying to be too clever.
The amount of rock gardens and tricky descents will test all riders technique/skills - and is were it's completely different from a CX course.
 

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