Mathieu van der Poel: It is difficult to look ahead

Mathieu van der Poel planned for years to compete in the discipline of mountain bike at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games but now with the Games moving one year, the rider has many doubts about his future.

“It is a very unfortunate, but understandable decision,” said Van der Poel. “Global health has to be first. On the other hand, I am left with a bad feeling. Four years ago, we made a plan for the Tokyo Games, and that plan actually falls through.

“It’s not easy mentally if you have been doing this for four years, but that is the case for everyone who has worked towards a long term goal in this difficult period. For the time being, there is also little clarity about the resuming of the races. I will stay busy for the time being, but of course I cannot make a real plan.”

“I still hope that the World Championships of mountain bike in Albstadt (June 25-28) can continue as planned,” he explained. “As for the Olympic Games in 2021? It is difficult to look ahead. The first thing we have to wait for in the dates. I myself hope for the same period as it was expected for this year, so I can finish the classics campaign first, as I had planned for this year.

“The only disadvantage is that I might have to choose between the Olympic Games and a Grand Tour. But it is certain that I will continue doing mountain bike for the time being. We’ll see the rest later.”


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