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MTB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - Van der Poel: "I haven't been on MTB for a year"

Mathieu van der Poel approaches the XCO World Championships with a clear idea: to bring points for the Netherlands and qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Mathieu van der Poel

We talked about it a while ago: Holland currently has no points to go to the Olympics even if there are many "wild cards" to allow athletes like Van der Poel to participate. But better not to risk it.

Mathieu van der Poel lowers expectations: “I haven't been MTB since last year“. Yes, that could be true (he had been seen in June 2022 training with Ondrej Cink in Livigno on MTB), but someone like him could equally fight for a rainbow jersey even in these conditions. He is a natural talent and we don't find out today.

mathieu van der poel world cup 2023 road
Mathieu van der Poel he won the world road championship a few days ago Credits: Eurosport

After his performance on Sunday he proved that, leg-wise, nobody in the world is better than him. Now only the technical aspect is missing: ok, it's certainly not a trivial aspect, but Mathieu has about a week to get used to mountain biking again. He also stated that he could take part in the Short Track World Championships after the cancellation of the qualifying heats, situations that would have put him in difficulty given the short recovery time from the road world championships.

Van der Poel and Wout Van Aert
Van der Poel in one of many head-to-heads with Wout Van Aert in cyclo-cross – Picture by Alex Whitehead/

I think the options are few. I haven't been mountain biking since last year in Livigno. Being MTB world champion is not my main goal, but getting a place in the Olympic Games sthe. Now on the road I will add some races to show off my rainbow jersey. But I'm not thinking about it yet. Otherwise, we will have to wait until the start of the cyclo-cross season to see me as a world champion again – Mathieu Van der Poel

Van der Poel doesn't seem to want to race road and MTB at the same time at the Paris 2024 Olympics but he will certainly think about it given his exceptional performance at these last world championships in Glasgow. For now the head is on the MTB Olympics.

Written by I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').


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Van der Poel and Wout Van Aert Van der Poel and Wout Van Aert

Van Aert and Van der Poel less multidisciplinary in 2024

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