Mathieu van der Poel left the Tour de France with a quiet drum. Christoph Rudhoft then told Wieler Revue that the captain had to relax for a while, but Van der Poel himself soon seemed ambitious again in conversation with NOS: he wanted to move forward in the World Cup.
Van der Poel added that he wanted to show himself earlier. “I hope so too, but I hope to be the best version of myself in Australia, yeah.” No software has been submitted by Alpecin-Deceuninck yet. Van der Poel has been in training in Spain since August 5, training once with Remco Evenepoel.
The World Championships takes place in Australia on September 25th, so Van der Paul has more than enough time to ride at his best. Due to the long journey and the difference in conditions, the preparation for the World Cup will be much different than last year for the World Cup in Leuven. For Van der Paul, this preparation was a race against time anyway due to his back issues.
Thor Hushovd recently told Wieler Revue that in 2010 (when the World Cup was also in Australia) he traveled to Australia about twelve days before the race. It didn’t hurt the Norwegian, as he eventually crowned himself world champion that year. Hushovd did so with the Vuelta a España as a setup. Van der Poel won’t do that, because he’s already mastered the Giro and the half-round.
Where can Van der Poel resume the competition? Judging by his team’s program on ProCyclingStats, there are a few WorldTour races where Van der Poel could start. Unlike Wout van Aert, who has BEMER Cyclassics, Bretagne Ouest Classic and Canadian Diptych in Quebec and Montreal on his programme.
Van der Poel can choose to ride that first race and then add the Tour of Deutschland to it. This first race (August 21) has a hangman with Waseberg, but it generally ends in a sprint. On the Tour Deutschland (24-28 August) there are four stages plus an introduction. Riding a horse is also a must-have for Van der Poel. Furthermore, with fourteen WorldTour teams at the start, the competition is also tough.
Earlier this year, the organization of the Tour of Luxembourg (September 13-17) reported Van der Poel’s participation, but that tour ends a week before the road race in Australia, which usually doesn’t look ideal. Although Van der Poel also crossed into Japan late last year for Olympic mountain bike racing.
Between the Tour of Deutschland and the Tour of Luxembourg, Alpecin-Deceuninck is mainly active in the one-day Belgian races, which GP Wallonie upon completion at the Citadel of Namen Van der Poel should do very well. This race will take place on the 14th of September and could substitute for the Tour de Luxembourg as a last test. Anyway: It won’t be long before Van der Poel is back in business.
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