• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Who is the better Classics cyclist between Tadej Pogačar and Mathieu van der Poel?

Who is the better cyclist?

  • Tadej

    Votes: 25 47.2%
  • Mathieu

    Votes: 16 30.2%
  • It's a draw

    Votes: 12 22.6%

  • Total voters
Unlike GT riding, I dare to say that in Classics MVDP, WVA and Pogi only win because they feed on each other's stream, tactics and the like. So winning is just a matter of reading when to strike the final blow.

No one can say that MVDP would win San-Remo without Pogacar going up Pogio like a madman.
The same applies for Flanders 2023.
No one doubts that WVA can win such classics. It's just that he's lacking not in physical prowess, but in reading and cunning skills.

So I would rather discuss race dynamics in Classics than going straight for the big question without understanding the particulars that surround it.
Both have 5 monuments (in case of MVP it includes WC) and both have 5 other prestigious classics. MVP specializes in small hills and cobbles while Tadej in small as well as big hills. It's really like a draw. One would think that Tadej has a wider repertoire of one-day races wins though (from Flandrien cobbles to mountainous Lombardy).
This year Mathieu was better.
Last year it was a draw.
Year before, Pogacar was better.
Overall, Mathieu have 5 big ones, Pogacar the same. Both have 4 WT classics. It's 19-12 for VdP in wins, but that's maybe due to the fact that he rides more one-day races. Van der Poel has one podium more in biggest races, 4-3.
So I would say it's a very, very little edge for Van Der Poel, but that could change fast.
Between them, you say...
As a pure classics rider, Van der Poel is the best in the world. If it's all about short explosive efforts he's just the strongest. If it becomes more of a climbers race then Pogacar enters the fray. The Tour of Flanders is somewhere in the middle, the current course is probably a little too hard for the pure classics riders. I think if you have a Roglic or an Evenepoel at the start there they'd also do quite well (provided that they don't crash out of course).
I'd say Pog.
The only race Pog doesn't stand a chance against MvdP is Roubaix (and that's still questionable as we've never seen Pog there).
On the other hand, Pog would be the outright favorite in just about every tough hilly classic.
Pog is not the favourite against van der poel on milan san remo, strade bianche, paris roubaix, tour flandres(even if he beat him this year) or amstel gold race.

Pog is obviously the favourite on il lombardia.

Van der poel is the best one day racer.
Last edited: