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by Dane Cash
January 21, 2020
Photography by Kristof Ramon, Cor Vos
Assuming his team selects him for the roster, Mathieu van der Poel will have his shot at Paris-Roubaix this April.
As a member of the second-division Alpecin-Fenix team, the two-time cyclocross world champ can only race in events to which his squad has received a wildcard bid. Fortunately for van der Poel and his aspirations of making his mark on the pavé this year, the Belgian ProTeam was among the six second-division squads named in Paris-Roubaix’s team selection announcement on Monday.
Alpecin-Fenix is one of four teams receiving a wildcard bid this year. The others are B&B Hôtels-Vital Concept, Nippo Delko Provence, and Arkéa-Samsic.
The peloton at Paris-Roubaix. Photo: ©kramon
Total Direct Energie and Circus-Wanty Gobert are the other ProTeams that will be in attendance, having secured automatic bids to join the 19 WorldTour teams after finishing 2019 placed highly in the team rankings.
A Roubaix start in April would mark the van der Poel’s debut in the event. He enjoyed a highly successful campaign across a handful of Classics starts last year, winning the GP Denain, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse Pijl, and the Amstel Gold Race and finishing fourth at the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem.
If he makes the start at Roubaix this year, the 25-year-old Dutchman will be racing towards being the first ever second-division rider to win the event since the inception of the ProTour.