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Van der Poel opts for ‘fairground races’ and late flight, but believes in a good World Cup | NOW & More Latest News Here


While most participants in the World Cycling Championships have long been in Australia, Mathieu van der Poel was in Hooglede in Flanders on Thursday at the presentation of his cyclocross team. The Dutch leader opts for a different preparation, but believes in a good result in next Sunday’s road race.

Remco Evenepoel shone in the Vuelta a España. Wout van Aert showed his World Cup form in two WorldTour races in Canada, just like Michael Matthews and Tadej Pogacar. At the same time, Van der Poel started successively in the Druivenkoers Overijse, the Stadsprijs Geraardsbergen, Izegem Koers and the GP de Wallonie.

The leader of Alpecin-Deceuninck therefore does not seem to have the ideal run-up to the world championships in Wollongong, Australia. But Van der Poel radiated confidence at Deceuninck’s head office on Thursday in his preparation and his form. “Things have been going really well in recent weeks.”

The number eight of last year’s World Cup showed in the GP de Wallonie on Wednesday that he is back after a difficult Tour de France. Van der Poel won at the Citadel of Namur by beating Biniam Girmay in a nice sprint. Earlier he was also the best in the ‘fairground races’ in Geraardsbergen and Izegem.

“Sometimes things are ridiculous about those kinds of competitions, but you don’t just win a fair race for professionals,” says ‘VDP’. “Of course next week in Australia the level of competition will be a lot higher. But I don’t think training at home and competing in a few smaller races is necessarily a bad preparation for the World Cup. There wasn’t really another option either. I was not in shape in time for the Vuelta and my team did not race in Canada.”

Mathieu van der Poel won the Grand Prix de Wallonie on Wednesday.

Mathieu van der Poel won the Grand Prix de Wallonie on Wednesday.

Mathieu van der Poel won the Grand Prix de Wallonie on Wednesday.

Photo: Getty Images

Van der Poel will ride another race in Belgium on Saturday

Van der Poel will start the Primus Classic in Brakel in East Flanders on Saturday, before he starts the more than 24 hours long journey to Australia that same evening. In Wollongong, where it is eight hours later, he is already driving the mixed team time trial on Wednesday.

“Annemiek van Vleuten talked that into my head at the Draai van de Kaai (a criterion in Roosendaal that was held last month, ed.)”, says Van der Poel with a laugh. “I then indicated to national coach Koos Moerenhout that I would like to drive. We have a chance of gold and it didn’t seem bad to me to make an effort for the road race.”

The road race of 266.9 kilometers is next Sunday, less than a week after Van der Poel arrived in Australia. “Van Aert, Pogacar, Evenepoel and Matthews are the favourites,” says the Dutchman. “It’s hard to say what my chances will be, because I haven’t raced against those toppers for a while. But I feel good, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone to Australia.”

Van der Poel opts for ‘fairground races’ and late flight, but believes in a good World Cup | NOW
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Van der Poel opts for ‘fairground races’ and late flight, but believes in a good World Cup | NOW
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Van der Poel opts for ‘fairground races’ and late flight, but believes in a good World Cup | NOW
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The Article Is In Dutch🡽

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