In 2020 we missed Mathieu Van Der Poel take on the world's best at the XC World Cups but it looks like he will be back for 2021 with his sights still set on an Olympic gold medal.
As MVDP heads into the cyclocross season he has told the Dutch website Wielerflits
his plans for the 2021 race season and it looks like he is going to be riding non-stop across there different disciplines. With his current schedule, he quite possibly could be the busiest rider in cycling.
MVDP told Wielerflits: "I am supposed to make the combination... I assume I will start in the Tour de France with the aim of reaching Paris. I do not intend to leave any earlier. But I realize that it is not an ideal combination."
The 2021 Tour De France is set to run from June 26 to July 18 and the rescheduled Olympic XC race in Tokyo is being held on July 27, this gives him just nine days to travel from France to Japan and recover for the biggest MTB race of the year.
As well as his aim to at least get to Paris in the Tour he also wants to ride at some of the XC World Cups as he hasn't raced XC since 2019. "I'm a bit scared of it. It took me a long time to get to the top of mountain biking and I mainly succeeded by riding a lot on that mountain bike and training specifically on it. With that entire calendar gone, I feel like I've lost a year. There is a preliminary schedule to ride two, three World Cups in 2021 to grab some points and limit the damage. But that is of course all subject to change.
“Mountain biking has become my favorite discipline, especially in terms of training. It is also the heaviest of the three. I never saw more hardship than on a mountain bike. Only in the last year, when I had made the connection with the top, did that suffering evolve into enjoyment. The euphoria of a World Cup victory is also greater. Perhaps precisely because it took me longer to reach the top."
MVDP is always a great rider to watch on the XC circuit so let's hope everything goes to plan next year and we see him back between the tape and providing a tough challenge for the other riders.