"Ideal preparation for Mathieu is one without the Tour" - Dutch MTB coach hopes Van der Poel skips 2024 Tour de France in preparation for the Paris Olympics

Every event Mathieu van der Poel takes part in, he is one of the star attractions and the 2024 Paris Olympics will be no different. But in which races will he compete for gold?

The Mountain Bike course us unveiled on Sunday and Dutch coach Gerben De Knegt believes the layout could prove key in van der Poel's decision making. "It may be that Mathieu thinks very differently about his mountain bike ambitions in Paris after Sunday," he tells Wielerflits. "I would like to discuss his preparation. I have said before that my ideal preparation for Mathieu is one without the Tour, or until the first rest day."

The reason De Knegt is hoping van der Poel doesn't play much role at the 2024 Tour de France is simple, more time to prepare on the mountain bike. "This is because mountain biking requires more specific preparation," he explains. "Tom Pidcock will focus entirely on mountain biking and that is a very difficult opponent for him. If Mathieu does that too, I think he can be close to gold.”

"If you do the entire Tour, that also means that you don't touch the mountain bike for three weeks and you only have eight days to sharpen the feeling on that bike again," De Knegt continues. "It stands or falls with what Mathieu himself wants. That should be clear soon. That also depends on the circuit. An interval course leans much closer to the road. Because let's be honest: the road race in Paris suits Mathieu very well. But the combination is a challenge.”

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