Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) wins Antwerp Port Epic, his first race back after two months away from competition.

Van der Poel confirmed for Worlds start

Mathieu van der Poel will start the elite men's road race at Flanders Worlds.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos

After a few weeks of uncertainty, the Dutch cycling federation confirmed on Monday that Mathieu van der Poel will start the elite men’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships.

There had been question marks surrounding Van der Poel’s participation in the event due to back issues, which have affected his racing program over the past several weeks. Van der Poel did not make the start at the recent Benelux Tour, a race he won in 2020, but he did return to road racing – and winning – at the Antwerp Port Epic on September 12. He has since raced the Primus Classic and Gooikse Pijl.

The Dutch cycling federation had included Van der Poel in its provisional plans for men’s road race at Flanders Worlds, whose lumpy course suits the 26-year-old’s skillset, and now he is confirmed to be taking part.

“Mathieu has not had the ideal run-up to this World Championships, but he certainly gives an extra dimension to our road team, it increases our chances of success that he participates,” said national coach Koos Moerenhout.

“He may not be the clear favorite due to his physical issues leading up to this World Championships, but he will certainly be a rider to watch. I’m glad he’s getting started.”

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