Mathieu Van Der Poel Continuing Mountain Bike Sabbatical Until After Road World Champs

Apr 27, 2023 at 8:21
by Ed Spratt  
From the first lap after the start loop Mathieu Van der Poel and Thomas Pidcock played a very tiring game of cat and mouse.

Mathieu Van Der Poel is expected to continue skipping major mountain bike races until after the Road World Championships taking place in Glasgow on August 6.

After announcing a Mountain Bike sabbatical last May Mathieu Van Der Poel has skipped racing XC World Cups to instead focus on his road racing career. Last year Mathieu was reported saying: "In 2023 it is the intention to get back into the mountain bike routine. Then I want to work towards the Olympic Games in Paris."

Despite planning to skip the opening 2023 World Cup rounds and seemingly the XC World Championships, Cycling News reports that Mathieu's team Alpecin-Deceuninck said that his race calendar in September and October could switch to having a focus on XC racing.

If Mathieu wants to achieve his goal of securing an Olympic gold medal in mountain biking, then he relies on the Netherlands to secure entry to the event. The Netherlands have until May 2024 to qualify for the Olympic mountain biking and is currently ranked 31st.

Mathieu Van Der Poel is not guaranteed an entry even if they make qualification as he will have to be selected against other riders from the country including Milan Vader. If the Netherlands can be ranked eighth or above, an aditional two riders (one male and one female) can be selected for the Olympics. Unlike Mathieu, Milan Vader is planning on racing the opening rounds of the 2023 World Cups. Given Milan's top results in the past this will could definitely help the Netherlands' chance of qualification but if only one rider can be selected then skipping half the season could mean Mathieu misses out on another chance at Olympic gold.

Based on the current suggested plan to begin XC racing after World Champs then we may see Mathieu take part in the XC World Cup rounds at Andorra, Les Portes du Soleil, Snowshoe and Mont-Sainte Anne.

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,730 articles

  • 60 0
 He likes mountain biking more, but road biking pays the bills I guess
  • 13 0
 Racing XC, gloveless with sweat/mud covers hands... Savage
  • 6 0
 It mostly pays for expensive cars...
  • 8 1
 @two-one: doesnt even need to pay for them now, hes sponsored by lambo lol
  • 6 0
 Maybe road/TDF has a bigger audience than XC.
  • 5 5
 @two-one: Lambo is basicaly a Volkwagen
  • 44 4
 ...heard there were drops.
  • 2 2
 Having seen what they are building its not just drops there is a gap jump too Big Grin
  • 15 0
 @McMeta666: nothing that can't be fixed with a little wooden bridge.
  • 1 1
 Drops or drop bars? Both?
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: fixed it...took out the bridge: "nothing that can't be fixed with a little wooden....."
  • 30 0
 hopefully he can find a nice quiet hotel in Glasgow
  • 7 0
 lmao, kids around the world shit themselves of the Tale of MVDP
  • 28 3
 So he's gonna start ramping down his training for road and ramp up his mtn bike training..hope the ramp down doesn't give him too much trouble
  • 12 0
 Too much.
  • 20 0
 MvdP at the MSA word cup in early October please please please
  • 3 0
 Possible. The first World Cup is in Waterloo the weekend after MSA
  • 1 0
 This would be so epic
  • 16 2
 To be clear, I think the pro road racing MVDP is doing is a level above what the cross country racing scene demands. The competition is much deeper, and the overall level of fitness demanded is higher. And even though it isn't mountain biking, the level of bike handling skill isn't to be underestimated. If you've done any high level road racing you'll know this to be true. Riding in a big group at 50 mph takes not only top notch riding skills but iron nerves as well. I have no doubt that when he goes mountain bike racing again he'll be an elite racer. I personally think he'll be more fit than many of his competitors.
  • 4 25
flag Starch-Anton (Apr 28, 2023 at 1:51) (Below Threshold)
 Considering the amount of crashes there are, the bike handling is pretty poor; that's why they ride on the road - it's all about power, watts/kg.......
The skills of most roadies is at best average. The off-road racers are in another league skill wise.
  • 7 1
 @Starch-Anton: It's a group of 100+ riders all fighting for the same 5 meter section of road. Everyone knows where you need to be but getting a spot there is the hard part. That is why you have lots of crashes on the pro peloton. They will absurds amount of risk to get into position.
  • 8 0
 @Starch-Anton: Riding in a peloton at 55-60kph with 20cm of security margin with people in front, behind and on the sides end up with crashes regardless of rider's skills. The best DH racers would certainly descend mountains faster than most pro-roadies but they wouldn't crash less in a peloton.
  • 11 0
Tell me you've never ridden a road bike in a pack without telling me you've never ridden a road bike in a pack
  • 3 2
 Different kind of fitness. I remember someone asking Lance Armstrong what he was looking forward to upon retirement and he said “being allowed to do push-ups again”.
  • 3 0
 For most road races it's a completely different set of bike handling skills required compared to XC. His CX experience is more relevant to MTB and shone through in his win at Paris-Roubaix this year; pumping dirt gutters off the cobbles like a mini berm.
  • 1 0
 The only person who seems to have his number on the MTB is Tom.
  • 53 45
 The hype around this guy has really been ramping down lately.
  • 103 7
 yeah he's just cyclocross world champion, Milano-SanRemo and Paris-Roubaix winner
  • 18 2
 lol. Never gets old.
  • 38 2
 @manolo: Valid point, but still WOOOSH
  • 9 1
 I don't know his Paris-Roubaix win got me pretty ramped up about him. I love Nino, but I think MVP would dominate world cup XC if it were his sole focus.
  • 10 0
 Haha, my bad.. now I get the joke.
  • 12 0
 Sounds like this joke was a drop
  • 5 0
 @ratedgg13: i was a bit late catching on the joke...
  • 11 0
 To be clear, I respect this guy's accolades, I was just trying to figure out a ramp joke
  • 9 3
 Hype is down? The dude won 2 out of the 3 monuments he participated this season while arriving 2nd at the Ronde behind Pogacar. That's more than most cyclist would dream to achieve in a lifetime.
  • 8 4
 @dick-pound: So it was you that moved the ramp...what a dick...
  • 1 1
 @dick-pound: crashed in Olympics when they moved the ramp on the rock drops...
  • 4 0
 @bikerbarrett: the REAL Dick Pound would already know that
  • 7 0
 wander what Pidcock is going to do.... he makes winning way too easy.
  • 5 0
 Probably got his eyes on the Grand Tours.
  • 1 0
 Racing cross country for the next three weeks
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Doubt it, can't TT well enough.
  • 6 1
 @bikerbarrett: You don't need to be a GC contender to have your eyes on the grand tours. Many ways to make your name - and fill your wallet.
  • 6 0
 Love watching XCO with him in the mix.
  • 11 6
 Should read- "Mathieu Van Der Poel Continuing Mountain Bike Sabbatical Until After Rollable Drops Mandated"
  • 5 3
 Maybe dropping mountain biking will help him keep his career rubber side down.
  • 3 0
 XCO without MVDP is just a playground for Pidcock
  • 2 0
 Well, it would be a shame to take an Olympic shot away from Vader.
  • 11 0
 No one’s taking anything away, I really find your lack of faith disturbing
  • 4 2
 Sam Gaze will take his spot and deliver for the team!
  • 4 3
 Sma Gaze isn't Dutch
  • 3 0
 @cookiemonster615: Both ride for UCI Pro Team Alpecin-Deceuninck .
  • 2 0
 @cookiemonster615: the article is about the first half of the World Cup season and they are both team mates. MVP actually helped Sam get a spot in "his" team.
As for the Olympics, I hope that Milan does not have to stay home, because MVP is not contributing as many points as he could and then the Netherlands end up with only one spot. (The points from the 2 best male riders count towards the JO qualification)
  • 1 0
 @dirty-sundays: I was speaking about the Olympics. Sorry for the confusion.
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: I'm referring to the Olympics, which I gathered that the original comment was about. Considering the original poster of the comment never replied, I feel that supports my presupposition.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how Nino would fair on the road
  • 3 0
 He raced with Orica in 2015 as training. He did fine but was unremarkable.
  • 1 1
 @aquanut: I think he said it was pretty boring, or words to that effect.
  • 1 0
 @Starch-Anton: On the other hand that is what you are expected to do when you aren't winning. He did a few top 10 at Tour de Suisse but he never really made a full season so you can't really conclude on his potential from this.
  • 1 0
 He did one race in 2021 or 2022. It wasn't anything special.
  • 1 1
 Sounds like his mountain bike sponsors are getting the short end of the deal.
  • 4 0
 He is under the same sponsorship across the board, for all his types of riding.
  • 2 1
 His XC riding has dropped off I guess?
  • 1 0
 More money in road
  • 1 0
 The Dutch are going to struggle to qualify for the Olympic MTB full stop.
  • 2 3
 tell me which type of biking get's that international booty without telling me....
  • 6 7
 Mountain bike Van Der Poel
  • 4 2
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