Mathieu Van Der Poel to Continue Racing Mountain Bikes Until 2024

May 14, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
Not Mathieu van der Poel s day here in Les Gets.

Following the cancellation of most of the race season and the postponement of the Olympic Games, Mathieu Van Der Poel has announced he will be racing mountain bikes until the 2024 Games in Paris.

Van Der Poel was one of the favourites for the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo as he proved he was capable of beating Nino Schurter with 3 World Cup wins last season. He enjoyed another strong cyclocross season and was tipped by the bookies to win the Paris Roubaix as well but now his season has been put on hold he has reassessed his plan for the future.

Van Der Poel had previously said that the Tokyo Olympics race would be his last in mountain biking and at that point he would change his focus to becoming a Grand Tour rider on the road. However, speaking to he has now confirmed he will have another 4 years off-road alongside his road and cyclocross racing. He said, “I want to continue to combine the three disciplines. As it looks now, I’ll stay on the mountain bike until Paris. That also gives me three more years to try and become World Champion in that discipline. I really love mountain biking."

The track and conditions couldn t have been any better suited to Mathieu van der Poel.

Van der Poel still has Grand Tour ambitions but with his Alpecin Fenix team denied a wild card space at the Vuelta a Espana in August he will likely focus on the truncated mountain bike season at the end of this year before the cyclocross season restarts.

Even if Van Der Poel does take some time to ride Grand Tours in the future, it seems like he will not be turning his back on mountain biking entirely. He added: "Normally, the focus would have moved very quickly to the Grand Tours, to try to ride a Grand Tour in the next two to three years. Then I can switch back to mountain biking and ride some more World Cups in between, which can be combined with a Grand Tour. That way I can stay at the top of the ranking.”


  • 92 0
 He is the ultimate cyclist. Not just a roadie, mtb'er, crosser, but a true cyclist. Just like a large majority of us who just enjoy riding on two wheels...just much faster.
  • 51 0
 And let me add that Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Jolanda Neff are also included in this category.
  • 10 0
 There's a few videos of him riding pretty big jumps on his IG. Surprise, he also looks right at home on a DJ bike.
  • 13 0

And the DH bike:

He’s a totally bike beast
  • 13 0
 @witica: Not bad. And he probably beat the chairlift to the top after that run.
  • 4 0
 Sagan is a pretty handy MTB rider also
  • 2 8
flag thedirtyburritto (May 14, 2020 at 23:00) (Below Threshold)
 @Offrhodes: It's just that Jolanda looks like a robot with rusted joints when she rides. Shes fast, she deserves the credit given to her, but she aint stylish!
  • 4 1
Are you serious ? Shes got a lot of skills and flow.
  • 2 0
 @legrandzebre: he's right, if you look closely, she's very rigid, not very flowy. She's fast but just because she unplugs the brain a bit more than the opponents. But she's a bit robotic.
  • 38 0
 Well... of luck to the other mens racers until 2024.
  • 3 5
 All the CX kids wanna be mountain bikers anyways.
  • 2 0
 @youknowitsus: all CX kids ? I don't think Belgium and Dutch tend to be mountain bikers. And since they make most of the CX field... Smile
  • 22 0
 There should be some type of "triple crown" type competition of different bike disciplines. WC in mtb, CX, and gravel/road for pedal and WC in DH, enduro, and slalom for gravity.
  • 11 1
 If there were one for DH/Dual/Motocross/Ski/Snowboard you'd be looking at Shaun Palmer, "the miserable champion".
  • 5 49
flag Mikevdv (May 14, 2020 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 XC, Road, DH.
DH needs to be there so that you can't automatically predict the the winner by looking for the skinniest most sickly person at the start line.

Forget this gravel/CX nonsense
Bastard road bikes dressed up in drag.
  • 4 0
 @Mikevdv: Gravity training is so much different than pedal training I don't think it's realistic for athletes to prep for both. I do think it would be really cool to have races with an enduro/multi-stage format that includes climbing stages to test "all around" riders. The enduro "one-at-a-time" format allows narrow, technical trails without having to worry as much about passing, and it would be great to see races with an equal number of time-balanced climb and descent stages.
  • 1 2
 Cooking up a competition like this because of one guy seems kind of short sighted.
  • 13 1
 @dthomp325: enduro with timed uphill is XC
  • 8 0
 Yeah... No future in gravel... It's not like it's the fastest growing segment in biking or anything. And there aren't even any pros leaving the more recognized disciplines to compete in gravel. Guys like Sven Nys are all washed up anyway. And that Payson Mcelveen guy is probably just a flash in the pan. I think Rebecca Rusch is just good marketing too. Silly attitude. I've been riding and racing BMX and MTB since the late 80s and the most fun I've had competing on a bike has been the last five years when I started riding local CX races and gravel events.
  • 2 1
 @dthomp325: you're basically describing the Golden Giddyup
  • 1 1
 @sspiff: yes, would like to see some international level races like Golden Giddyup or Downieville. Protective gear could be an issue though. As an enduro competitor I want to wear padded shorts, knee pads, back protector, full-face, but that sucks to climb at race pace with. They'd need to figure something out for that.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: Not really because climb time in an XC race is much greater than descent time. You need to balance the stage times. XC is also mass start, which limits course width and technicality on both uphill and downhill due to need for passing. WC XCO courses currently have some decently technical descents, but most of the uphills are wide and tame to allow passing, plus XCO descents aren't very long. As an example you could pair something like a 1500ft descent stage with a 300ft climb stage to have stages that are both about the same time and contribute equally to total time.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: plus Peter Stetina, EF pro guys, Kiel Reijnen etc
  • 2 0
 @dj100procentenduro: Dennis Van Winden also made the switch. I think getting free of the UCI before they attempt to obsconde gravel and ruin it is a big attraction for riders right now. If they can keep the events fun and challenging and keep the UCI out of it, you'll see a lot of big names making their way into gravel in the near future. I did the Keystone Gravel race two years ago (and intend to do it this year) by far the most challenging day I've spent on a bike in a long time. Selene Yeager was there plus some of the Stan's pro riders. It was punishing but when it was over we all got really drunk and stumbled back to our tents. Food was on point, booze was free and plentiful, music was awesome and the vibe couldn't have been better. Plus the peanut gallery at the finish was awesome. So much camaraderie. Plus after 80mi and 9k ft of climbing everyone was completely shot. It's why I was online at exactly 1200 on the registration day, along with a half-dozen of my buddies paying our fee for this year's event.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: enduro riders spend as much time climbing as XC riders do...actually more so.
  • 6 0
 Stoked to hear this, will keep those epic NS v MVDP battles alive - will have added massively to the upsurge in XC popularity / viewership in the last few years.
Nino, you need to step it up!!!! The Raw Talent Train just left the station and you ain't got a ticket!
  • 1 1
 Man, he's 34.... he's clearly closest to the end of the career than the beginning. It's just biological, you can't be as nervous/powerful/reactive at 34 as at 24...
  • 3 0
 Or the raw pharmaceutical train.
  • 2 0
 @clink83: He's already in it
  • 11 2
 We should start a gofundme to buy the man some black socks.
  • 2 0
 Oh come on he rocks them pretty well
  • 10 1
 And on Nino’s birthday no less...
  • 6 0
 That’s PB right there. The news article they link to is from 2 days ago.
  • 6 0
 Well, let"s see if he explodes the record from Ferrand Prevost then Smile
  • 6 0
 Just reading that schedule I feel exhausted....
  • 5 0
 Animal from a different planet!
  • 4 0
 [edit ... need option to delete posts]
  • 4 0
 Welp. There goes the neighborhood.
  • 4 0
 Well, thank God!
  • 1 2
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Sorry to burst your bubble but e-bike are biggest growing segment of biking!
Gravel is not even a real segment, just un paved roads, marketed as a new segment?
May make interesting racing but just like XC but easyer like old XC racing, so nothing new just older!
  • 1 0
 E-Bikes aren't a bike segment they're a moped segment.
And we sell gravel bikes at about a 4:1 to e-Bikes.
  • 2 0
 I'm so happy to see him continue to combine XC, CX, and road. He is a joy to watch racing.
  • 2 0
 Yeah boi!
  • 1 0
 Oh that's good news.. this kid is kinda quick...
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