Mathieu van der Poel won’t be racing for at least another two weeks

According to his father, Van der Poel is enjoying training in Spain but is still not 100% ready to race.

by Abby Mickey

photography by Gruber Images

Strade Bianche is coming up and defending champion Mathieu van der Poel is not on the start list for Alpecin-Fenix. Unfortunately, it looks like Van der Poel will not race for another two weeks at least, according to his father Adrie van der Poel, due to lingering back issues as well as knee surgery.

“He is very enthusiastic about the location he’s in now, and he is going to stay there for another two weeks,” Adrie van der Poel told Sporza. “So he won’t be racing for at least two more weeks. He has been training for three or four weeks now. It’s going well, but those training sessions are not the same as racing for more than six hours with an average of 45kph.”

Van der Poel is has been training in Alicante, Spain for more than two weeks and it is still unclear when he will return to the races. According to his father, Van der Poel will start when he has little or no pain “Occasionally he still has a reaction,” Adrie van der Poel said. “But what I do find reassuring is that he says it’s not like it’s been the past few years.”

The back issues started after Van der Poel swapped his road bike for a mountain bike to prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and was exacerbated after a heavy crash in the mountain bike event there. He continued to race on the road through Paris-Roubaix in October where he finished third, however, Van der Poel cut his cyclocross season short prior to the World Championships in January after it was discovered he had swelling in an intervertebral disc in his back.

At the time there was speculation about whether the former Dutch national champion would return in time for the cobbled Classics. With the spring campaign only just begun there is certainly still time for him to animate the races.

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