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Van Der Poel: Worrying signs, back problems are back

“It's not fun to race like this,” reported the Dutchman after his 2nd place behind Van Aert at Zonhoven.

van der poel zonhoven 2023
© Eurosport / GCN

In Zonhoven, Wout Van Aert dominated in front of a compliant Van der Poel. For those who followed the race, Van Aert's domination was overwhelming, but seeing a Van der Poel give way already after 20 minutes of the race seemed strange.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) had to settle for a distant second place, more than a minute behind Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) at the Zonhoven world cup. The Dutchman admitted that he was hampered by his persistent back pain.

van der poel 2023

Recall that Van der Poel missed almost all of last year's cyclocross season for a back injury and the problem reappearedX2O Trophies of Koksijde in the middle of the week, where he always placed 2nd behind Van Aert.

That's no good. She's not doing the way I like. My back hurts again and it's a bit frustrating. The only thing I was thinking about in the race is my back hurting, and in cyclocross you have to be 100% focused on the course, and I haven't been able to. I can maybe do half a turn at the pace I want but then I have to slow down because of the pain, it's super frustrating – Mathieu Van der Poel


Van der Poel will travel to Spain on Monday for a road training camp with his team Alpecin-Deceuninck: the next Cup in Benidorm on 22 January is just around the corner. Not to mention the duel that awaits him on February 5th with Wout Van Aert at the World Championships in Hoogerheide.

Of course Wout van Aert is also very strong, you can't put that down. But of course I need to be able to compete longer. Tomorrow I'm leaving for a retreat in Spain, and maybe it's just the right time to recover and work on my back. The crowds were helpful here in Zonhoven, but at the moment it's not fun to compete in the cross – Mathieu Van der Poel in Sporza

Written by

[email protected] 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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