Mathieu van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix team confirmed on Monday that he will line up at the upcoming Giro d’Italia.
The 27-year-old told Wielerflits that until racing at the Tour de France last year, Grand Tours did not appeal to him. However, having got a “taste” for them, after winning a stage and taking the yellow jersey at the 2021 Tour, he is now setting his sights on the Giro.
“The Giro is a race that appeals to me,” Van der Poel said. “I think it will definitely be good for me in the future, to do a Grand Tour for my evolution as a rider. Especially when you see what a spring I’ve ridden now. That was not very extensive.”
Having missed out on the cyclocross season and crucial winter base training due to back pain, the Dutchman still came into the 2022 road season strong, taking third at Milan-Sanremo and winning the Tour of Flanders. Despite mastering one-day races, however, he still believes that finishing a Grand Tour could give him an edge.
“That might give me a little more base and I’m just a little stronger. The engine is just a little bigger,” he said. “That’s something I still need to work on. I haven’t ridden a big lap yet, even though I’m 27 years old. Everyone always says that a grand tour makes you better, so I’m curious.”