Mathieu van der Poel forced to pull out of mountain bike World Championships

The Dutch star has been suffering with back pain

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel has been forced to pull out of the mountain bike cross country World Championships due to persisting back problems. 

The star of road, mountain biking and cyclocross, Van der Poel would have been hoping to bounce back from his crash at the Olympic Games, which saw him abandon the mountain bike race, but his back issues continue to cause problems, meaning he will not race at the mountain bike World Championships held between August 25 and 29.

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Adrie van der Poel, Mathieu's father, has suggested that maybe he should step off the bike for the rest of the season, as reported by Het Nieuwsblad: "Maybe he should consider not riding any more and go full for a cyclocross winter. It doesn't make sense to start in the Benelux Tour only to find out after three days that it's not going to work."

Van der Poel is currently still set to ride the Benelux Tour, formally the BinckBank Tour, where he is defending champion, before focussing on the World Championships road race and Paris-Roubaix.

His team, Alpecin-Fenix, released a statement saying: "Mathieu van der Poel has been dealing with back pain in the past weeks. While the situation is improving, the UCI mountain bike World Championships in Val di Sole comes too soon for the world cyclocross champion.

"It is now his intention to prepare for the goals in the next part of the season - including Paris-Roubaix - via the upcoming Benelux Tour, where he is defending champion."

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This all comes after Van der Poel left a team training camp in Livingo, Italy due to his back problems. 

The main focus for Van der Poel now is completely on the road where he can manage to pain and focus on the goals of the World Championships in Leuven, Belgium and his hotly anticipated debut at Roubaix.

The Benelux Tour will starts in Surhuisterveen on August 30 and finish in the famous Flandrien town of Geraardsbergen on September 5, ahead of the  Worlds road race on September 26 and Paris-Roubaix on October 3.

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