Three weeks after the end of his cross season, Mathieu van der Poel starts his road season on Sunday in the UAE Tour.
Van der Poel tempered expectations in advance: “I am mainly here to help the team. I have no goals myself.”
“The team has better sprinters and climbers than I am, so I will mainly support them. During the flat stages I am part of the sprint train, while on the climbs I hope to push for our leader (Louis Vervaeke) as well as possible. But I don’t know yet what my level will be uphill.”
It is clear that after his short rest period, Van der Poel mainly went to the United Arab Emirates to warm up for the rest of the season.
“Thanks to my world title, I entered the rest period well. The UAE Tour came soon after that. In the past three weeks I only rode the bike ten times, so I mainly hope to grow in the race. ”
The Alpecin-Fenix rider has a busy season ahead with goals in the Flemish spring, the Tour de France and the Olympic Games.
“All those goals are close to each other. It will be a really busy year, but for now I have no choice. In 2022 I may take it a bit slower ”, he concludes.