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How big can he be?

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A new era seems to have dawned in the world of cycling. ^ Brown, Mathieu van der Poel is in no time has grown to be the measure of things.

How big can he be?

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Mathieu van der Poel gasps for breath after his improbable final kilometer. To the relief of the opposition last the Dutch all-rounder is now a short break, and then the focus to shift to mountain biking. Marcel van Hoorn/afp

A new era seems to have dawned in the world of cycling. ^ Brown, Mathieu van der Poel is in no time has grown to be the measure of things.

How big can he be?

Of our employee, Benedict Vanclooster

Brussels Leo van Vliet was tired. If the teams are price on slot continued to throw, then he would intervene. The organiser of the Amstel Gold Race, held his crowbar ready. The surroundings of Valkenburg, he knew some dirt roads. If necessary, he would in the future in the track record.

Van Vliet was Sunday, after the finish to shine on the stage. He put his thumb up, while he puts an arm around the waist of the winner of the beat. The plan of the gravel roads may move to the bottom drawer of his desk. That is so, if there is a phenomenon rise as Mathieu van der Poel.

The Dutch champion defies all wielerwetten. Attacks in an early stage, taken back to be at the worst possible moment, even a second time instinctively go when the calf is already long drowned seems, all the chestnuts out of the fire get in the chase on the biggest winner, the sprint head start with eight vultures in the wheel and from an impossible distance, and then Julian Alaphilippe to be accelerated, the number one in the world.

The shock effect

“I have always known that Mathieu is a special, but now he seems to almost be the new Merckx’

Christoph Roodhooft

Team leader Mathieu van der Poel

By Mathieu many things are not logical, said his team mate Philipp waltz leben this weekend yet (DS, april 20). “I have always known that Mathieu is a special, but now he seems to almost be the new Merckx”, said an emotional team leader Christoph Roodhooft to the finish line.

Van der Poel is today 24 years and 94 days old. His list of achievements as road cycling championships are seventeen UCI profkoersen, with peaks in the Dutch championship, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse pijl and the Amstel Gold Race. Eddy Merckx reached the age of 24 years and 94 days on september 19, 1969. He had more than one hundred profkoersen won, including three-time Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, liege-Bastogne-Liege, the world CHAMPIONSHIPS, the Giro and the Tour de France.

Of course the Dutch champion the achievements of the Greatest never match, if only because cycling today is much more international than it was in the sixties and seventies. Also Roodhooft has more than enough of the history of the sport to realize. Nevertheless, it is good to understand that the team leader of Corendon-Circus no other comparison could come up with. So much swagger and guts Van der Poel in his first spring on the way to the day put. And that after a long veldritwinter in which he only two of his 34 career not won.


At the same time tried Roodhooft a general sense to express that also lived when the Cannibal half a century ago in a devastating way all existing wielertheorieën rewrote. The sensation that a new era has dawned, in which a young ^ brown in no time has become the new measure of things. A shock effect that a number of careers with the blow in a different perspective. For types like Yves Lampaert, Oliver Naesen and Sep Vanmarcke is the threshold to profit in a big classic race after this spring suddenly much higher.


To the relief of the opposition last Van der Poel, now a short break and then the focus to shift to mountain biking. In the second half of may, the first wereldbekermanches of the season on his program, in the German Albstadt and the Czech Nove Mesto. It fits all within a step by step plan is that next year in Tokyo should lead to olympic gold.

Also as a biker, Van der Poel all mouths do opening. Yet, ironically, in the discipline of his primary objective that he was there the longest to get all the way through to bump up to the absolute top. He has won already three times the shorttrackprelude of a world cup, a hoofdvogel he has in the mountain biking still can’t shoot. It says perhaps the most about the qualities of the Swiss Nino Schurter, (for now) and his black beast.

By that wide opened in disciplines feel for Van der Poel the road racing as a fun freak. That also explains why on Sunday he is so open-minded could deal with his status of top favourite and was not afraid to lose, where he last year in the same region at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS cyclo-cross is still the stress fell. ‘A wegkoers is so long that the tension until the finale, but even there, I had now no problems.’

Yellow dream

The French legend, Raymond Poulidor said already a few times out loud his dream to ever grandson in the yellow jersey in Paris. Christoph Roodhooft think that the pursuit of a gc in a grand tour for the youngest Van der Poel, too monotonous and too little spectacular. The past spring brought for him, especially the confirmation that Van der Poel a rider is that all the classics can win, of the kasseikoersen, maybe even the Tour of Lombardy.

Corendon-Circus, where Van der Poel until the end of 2023 under contract, will now continue to grow with the team leader. Because the puzzle will not always be so perfect in fall as last Sunday, be aware of the Dutch all-rounder too. Inevitably he will be in a stronger core should be able to fall back, how meritorious his teammates this spring, also above himself and his people.

“It is clear that the evolution of Mathieu is very fast, even for us,” said team manager Philip Roodhooft after the Amstel river. ‘After his brief rest, we will go along to see how to do.’ About a possible participation at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS on the road this fall – one week before the olympic testevent mountain biking in Tokyo – he wanted the emotion of the moment, not make statements. “But we can’t deny that the course in Yorkshire at the profile of Mathieu van der Poel fits.’

The question of where this ends, got Van der Poel himself Sunday evenings under the nose pushed. As great champions can afford it, he made himself easy of: “No idea, I first go this, try to enjoy it.’ On grandeur, you will the down to earth Dutchman can never catch.

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