"It is a shame" - Dutch national coach reacts to Mathieu van der Poel's MTB snub at Paris Olympics

With Alpecin-Deceuninck announcing the summer race schedule of Mathieu van der Poel, there was a big surprise. Contrary to what was initially planned, the Dutchman will not be taking part in the mountain bike at the Paris Olympic Games.

“This is the most logical choice to be able to prepare for my goals without time pressure,” said van der Poel, who will instead focus on the Tour de France and the men's elite road race. “The combination with MTB was too difficult. But who knows, maybe in LA ‘28 I can focus on mountain biking. My ambition for the Tour de France? I hope like last year to assist teammate Jasper Philipsen in his hunt for stage wins and a possible green jersey. And the goal is to also win a stage myself this year.”

Now, in conversation with NOS, Dutch national coach, Gerben De Knegt has given his first reaction to the disappointing news. “There is a risk in doing both. Then it can't work out twice. And we now know that if he focuses completely on something, he is often successful,” De Knegt explains, understanding of his compatriots choice.

“Mountain biking is a bit more difficult, he hasn't done it for a while. There are very few who can do that. Yes, one other person, Tom Pidcock. But between the two, Pidcock has won slightly fewer major road races and had more success on the mountain bike. In any case, it is a shame,” De Knegt concludes. “It's his own decision. He did tell me that he will definitely go mountain biking in the future.”

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments