Mathieu Van der Poel has all the skills in mountain biking. But his road team commitments will dominate this season. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)
After Tom Pidcock’s dominant performance at the UCI XCO World Cup in AlbstadtMTB fans have been expecting a battle between the two biggest all-around riders this season.
With immense abilities in road racing, cyclocross and mountain biking, Tom Pidcock and Mathieu Van Der Poel form a formidable rivalry. But since Pidcock won gold at the Tokyo Olympics, the two haven’t met as often as fans would like, especially at mountain bike events.
the Tokyo Olympics was an unfortunate time for Van der Poel. He was expected to be a serious medal contender, but he crashed badly, hurt your lower back. The injury has blunted some of the Dutch cycling superstar’s potential over the past year.
Mountain bike fans are hoping Van der Poel returns to his off-road rivalry with Tom Pidcock. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)
All About Road Biking – For Now
Recovered and racing at the Giro D’Italia, Van der Poel seems to have regained much of his form. But this season it will focus on cycling Grand Tours rather than mountain bike events.
After the Giro d’Italia, van der Poel will race the Tour de France, before starting his preparations for the UCI Road Bike World Championships in Australia in the spring.
A committed program of Grand Tour and road races leaves little room for the mountain bike events of the UCI XCO World Cup. It’s a shame, because any mountain bike race featuring Van der Poel and Pidcock may be the most exciting rivalry
in all of cycling.
Van der Poel has a point to prove, and his terrible experience at the Tokyo Olympics will no doubt motivate him for the Paris Games in 2024. And that will mean plenty of mountain biking next year.
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