Dutch 'boy-wonder' Mathieu van der Poel has had to call a halt to his cyclo-cross season due to his back problems - How will this affect his spring Classic campaign and the future of his Alpecin-Fenix team? Spencer Martin gives us his Takeaways on the 'Van der Poel effect'.
Mathieu van der poel
All eyes are on cyclo-cross at the moment with three big stars causing all the talk, but the cross scene has seen 'super stars' before. Many big names from the road have been top men in the mud - Ed Hood takes a look back through cyclo-cross history.
On Sunday Mathieu van der Poel will start his cyclo-cross season in Dendermonde after a week's delay and in his first race he will fight it out with his 'arch enemy' Wout van Aert. In a Zoom interview the World champion looked ahead to his first 'cross of this winter and explained more about his crash.
Alpecin-Fenix's Mathieu van der Poel made up for the stage 1 disappointment by winning stage 2 in an up-hill battle on the Côte de Mûr-de-Bretagne, he also took the yellow jersey from Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) who finished fifth at 8 seconds.
Mathieu van der Poel has cycling success in his genes. Raymond Poulidor was his grandfather and Adrie van der Poel is his father. Adrie was at home watching his son win the Strade Bianche on TV: "If he continues to ride his races and doesn't do too much, Mathieu can maintain this form for another five or six weeks."
Many predicted that the Dutch national champion, Mathieu van der Poel would win the 2021 Strade Bianche, but the Tuscan race on the white roads can be a lottery. The race came down to three men; Van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal, the race would be decided on the final climb to the Piazza del Campo, Siena.
Last Sunday there were four cyclocross rainbow jerseys on offer in Oostende, and Holland won all of them. Of the twelve medals, Holland won eight and the kings of cross, Belgium, only won three. So why were the men and women from the Netherlands so good? Because they all learnt their trade in Flanders.
Mathieu van der Poel will start his road season in the UAE Tour, but he did win three cross races in a row - TOP STORY and results from Hulst, Gulligem and Baal. Other news: No quarantine at the Olympics. Team news. Rider news. Race news and new kit. Happy EUROTRASH New Year.
Dec 28, 2020: Cyclocross mud from Dendermonde and Heusden-Zolder. Evenepoel planning ahead - TOP STORY. Aru riding cyclocross, Bilbao to ride Giro/Tour and Gilbert getting fit. The Tour de l’Ain and the Giro Rosa. Transfer news: Intermarché, Alpecin and Aldag. Bahrain Victorious. Crashes for Guerreiro and Conti. Video from Rapha.