Disturbed last winter by an injury, Mathieu van der Poel wants to catch up this season in cyclo-cross. The Dutchman has planned no less than 14 races.
Mathieu van der Poel no longer wants to relive his sad 2021-22 cyclo-cross season. Injured in the knee following a fall in training, the Dutch rider had only been able to compete in two races, on December 26 and 27, but then stopped his season in plowing due to a back injury. An injury which had also delayed his start to the road season, since he only started competing on March 19 at Milan – San Remo (3rd place). This year, the grandson of Raymond Poulidor intends to do a full season in cyclo-cross, a discipline of which he has been crowned world champion four times (2015, 2019, 2020, 2021). He unveiled his program on Monday, and he has no less than 14 races, between this Sunday, November 27 and February 5. The soon-to-be 28-year-old rider will compete in World Cup and Superprestige stages (competition taking place mainly in Belgian Flanders and the Netherlands), and he hopes to finish in style with the world championships in Hoogerheide, in his country. . In the meantime, he will participate in two training camps (on the road) in Spain with his team Alpecin-Deceuninck, from December 5 to 14 and from January 9 to 19.
A battle with Pidcock and Van Aert?
This winter, Mathieu van der Poel should face two other cyclo-cross riders who also shine on the road: the Alpe d’Huez winner Tom Pidcock, who started his season last weekend, and the green jersey of the Tour de France Wout Van Aert, which will only start on December 4. This promises great battles between the three multi-tasking runners. Mathieu van der Poel has not raced since October 12 and the Tour of Veneto. A race he had not finished, just like the previous one, that of the Wollongong world championships, where his pre-race had been disrupted by an altercation in his hotel with two young girls. In 2022, the Dutchman only raised his arms five times, and in particular on the Tour of Flanders and the 1st stage of the Giro, but his season will remain generally disappointing. And if he started to raise his head from the first cyclo-cross races?