After his successful Grand Tour debut in 2021, Mathieu van der Poel is harboring hopes of not only riding both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2022 but finishing them.
Despite a delayed start to his season due to injury, the Dutchman took no time in getting back up to speed, finishing third at Milan – San Remo in contrast to the low expectations he held for his performance at the start line.
Now, buoyed by his podium finish and at the start of his second race of the year, Italy’s Settimana Coppi e Bartali, the 27-year-old is already looking forward to the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race and Paris-Roubaix in April, before potentially racing both the Italian and French Grand Tours.
“The Giro is definitely an option,” Van der Poel told AD. “It’s not 100 percent sure yet, but the combination of [the] Giro and Tour is definitely in my head.”
The main reason for this is the chance at taking the Giro’s pink jersey in the first week, just like he did in the first week of his debut Tour de France.
“The first week is very attractive,” Van der Poel continued. “Also a chance at the pink jersey. That is the main reason.”
The first stage of the Giro, which heads out from Budapest as part of the Hungarian Grand Départ, finishes with a tough climb that Van der Poel could prosper on before a 10km-long individual time trial on stage two followed by a flat stage three. Stage four’s ascent of Mount Etna would likely see the Dutchman cede the pink jersey should he have it on his shoulders.
“I actually wanted to finish the Tour last year. I have indicated to the team that I will not dismount again after ten days,” Van der Poel said, explaining his abandonment of the Tour de France last year, prior to his participation in the Tokyo Olympic Games, as the race hit the first of the mountain stages after seven days of racing. “I intend to finish both the Giro and the Tour this year.”