Aside from a strong opening period in Copenhagen, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) has not yet been part of this tour. If it came into the picture, it was because it was dangling in the back of the package. At La Super Planche des Belles Filles, the Dutchman seemed to be enjoying his bike again for the first time in a long time. “Hopefully, the positive trend is starting now,” he said after the stage.
Jeroen de Pauw
To say that ambitious Mathieu van der Poel had been expecting more from the Tour de France so far is an understatement. Van der Poel himself had already broken his head about where his form could have come from. “The only thing I can think of is that I feel the ramifications of altitude training. Even though I’ve never had such a huge drop that I’m experiencing now.”
But he reappeared on Friday for the first time in the first mountain stage. “I did the initial stage for a while and then found my own pace. But today (yesterday’s edition) my level wasn’t that bad,” the Dutchman said on Friday after the stage. “I wasn’t forced. I let it run at the end to waste as little energy as possible. I feel fine.” Van der Poel could gradually enjoy it again: “Especially from people. Although La Super Planche des Belles Filles was fun Also in the leadership. We hope the positive trend has begun.”
Looking forward to Alpe d’Huez
A few hours ago, Van der Poel stated before the stage started that there was a good chance he would be fired, but in the meantime he sees it all right again. “It should go well, of course. But I am so glad I persevered on Friday, because I got so close to an assignment so many times. Now things are suddenly so much better.”
“There is still a lot of great things ahead. I am especially looking forward to Alpe d’Huez. Not that I can win there, but it’s the first climb I’ve ever done and the weather is always great.” On Saturday, Van der Poel will head to Switzerland, just like the rest of the Peloton Tour.