Dylan van Baarle won't defend his national title ahead of busy summer: "To be able to optimally prepare for this, I just have to save my energy"

Spring didn't quite go as Dylan van Baarle must have envisioned it, but there's only as much to pity. There are still fascinating races ahead for the Dutchman, although defending his title at the National Championships is not on the bucket list. This comes as a choice of reason as the Dutchman is lined up to more than 50 race days in next three months. He won't be able to complain about low workload.

"I normally won't be there," he begins his story in the podcast with co-host Wout Poels. "It has to do with what will come next," Van Baarle refers to his plans to complete the Tour de France in support of Jonas Vingegaard before trying to help Mathieu van der Poel add Olympic gold to his palmares in Paris. And on top of that he should then travel to Lisbon, Portugal to the start of Vuelta a Espana where it should be all-in for Vingegaard once again.

"There is one week less between the end of the Tour and the start of the Vuelta, compared to last year. To be able to optimally prepare for this, I just have to save my energy. In addition, we want to take as little risk as possible. The National Championships course is slightly less difficult than last year, which increases the risk of falls slightly. And the main goal is to get off to a good start at Tour de France."

Van Baarle will only ride one more race in the national champion jersey then. "Critérium du Dauphiné will be my last in red-white-blue, at least for this year. I have enjoyed it for a long time and I am very happy that I was able to wear it. It was a huge honor." Will it be an emotional farewell? "Maybe I'll shed a tear, you know," he laughs.

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