Mathieu van der Poel has revealed a little more about his plans for the coming cycling season. For the Dutch champion on the road, everything revolves around an Olympic title on the mountain bike and even the Tour de France cannot compete with that. He says so in it Thursday AD.
Van der Poel faces a difficult puzzle, because the Tour will be held from June 26 to July 18 and the Olympic mountain bike race in Tokyo is scheduled for July 26.
He still plans to start in both events, although a two-week quarantine obligation at the Games may thwart that plan. For the time being, the Olympic organization seems to stick to that.
“If I really had to choose, I would not ride the Tour and put everything on the Games. But I also understand that the sponsorship interests are great and that they want to see me in the Tour”, Van der Poel told the newspaper.
“I’m going into the Tour to be good at the Games. Then I might not be the best rider I can be in the Tour, but I have to learn to deal with that in order to reach the bigger goal. What you might see , is that I will release quickly for example.
‘Really in love with mountain biking’
Van der Poel has more to do with mountain biking than with the Tour. “Mountain biking is a sport that I really fell in love with and Olympic champion is something very unique. You will carry that with you forever,” said the 25-year-old Dutchman.
“If I have to choose between ever becoming Olympic champion or ever winning a stage in the Tour, that is a very easy choice for me. Then I choose Olympic champion.”
This year Van der Poel saw his debut at the Tour pass by, because his team Alpecin-Fenix did not receive a wildcard for the largest cycling event in the world. The Dutchman recently closed 2020 with his thirteenth cyclocross victory of the year.