Mathieu van der Poel expected to return at Coppi e Bartali ahead of possible two Grand Tour appearances this summer

The Dutchman is on the provisional start list for the Italian stage-race later this month, with Flanders Classics announcing his participation in two races as well

Mathieu van der Poel return Coppi e Bartali
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel is expected to make his return to racing at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali on March 22-26, with Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France all reportedly part of his 2022 schedule, too. 

Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws and Dutch website WielerFlits are both claiming sources confirmed the Dutchman is on the provisional list of participants at the five-day stage race in the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, before revealing further additions to his calendar.

Flanders Classics also announced Van der Poel will defend his Dwars door Vlaanderen title on March 30, before heading to the Tour of Flanders on April 3. The Alpecin-Fenix rider is also expected to compete at Paris-Roubaix next month, having used the aforementioned races as further preparation. 

Tour of Flanders tweeted: We're pleased to welcome the 2020 winner Mathieu van der Poel in Antwerp next month."

Similarly, Dwars door Vlaanderen tweeted: "Will we witness this again this year? See you in Roeselare, Mathieu van der Poel."

While his Alepcin-Fenix team have refused to reveal anything about the rider's return to action, provisional start lists also include Van der Poel at both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in what looks like a demanding summer for the Dutchman. 

The 27-year-old is currently recovering from a longstanding back injury he sustained from a nasty crash in the mountain bike event at Tokyo 2020 last summer, and hasn't raced competitively since Boxing Day at the UCI World Cup cyclocross race at Dendermonde. 

Though behind schedule having failed to defend his Strade Bianche title he so emphatically won last year due to the injury, Van der Poel has been training in Spain since the beginning of February. In that month, he clocked 2,000km and nearly 30,000m of elevation gain as he attempted to get racing fit once again.

Moreover, on March 3 his father, Adrie van der Poel, confirmed his son won't return to competition for at least another two weeks, which suggests the Coppi e Bartali will come at the perfect time for Van der Poel to get up to speed before Dwars door Vlaanderen. 

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