Mathieu Van Der Poel is all-ready for the Tour of Flanders, and whatever the outcome will be, he will be happy with the results. The Dutch cyclist has had no pressure with training, he could train however he wanted, and until two weeks ago, it was not even confirmed that he would be making a comeback.
A long-standing back injury delayed his debut, but when he finally showed up for Milan-San Remo, he was already pushing his limits and hitting the max speed in Italy which showed that he is ready for the next big challenge. We even saw how far he has come when he won stage 4 of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali.
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As of right now, Van Der Poel is the one favored to win the Dwars door Vlaanderen, and surprisingly, this is where his eternal rival Wout Van Aert will be absent. Speaking to different racers, Van Der Poel shared his excitement and goals:
I think it’s maybe been one of my best preparations. I could prepare myself the way I wanted to and not start racing immediately after the cyclo-cross season.
I feel pretty good with the preparation I did. It still has to pay off, of course, but I felt good already during the races I’ve done, so that proves it was a good preparation. It was a bit shorter than I would have liked, but I think it’s been really good.
Van Der Poel cannot seem to shake if this break from racing had a good effect on him mentally if it provided any kind of benefits or relaxation. It did provide him the time to focus on other areas though, areas that he neglected before.
I don’t know if it was good mentally. It was not a nice period.
I especially learned that I have to focus a lot on stability and fitness exercises, that’s maybe a thing that was a bit in the background in the last years because I had to switch disciplines a few times and I didn’t have the time to do these exercises.
I even ride one hour less on the bike just to do my exercises now.
The Tour of Flanders starts on Sunday, will Van Der Poel emerge victoriously? Only time will tell, catch all the latest updates here at IceBike!
Featured Image Via YouTube/Cycling Pro Net