Mathieu van der Poel: The Tour de France will be my first Grand Tour, so a stage victory would be a success

The superstar rider shares his plans for the second apart of the season

Mathieu van der Poel in the 2021 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Nico Vereecken - Pool/Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel has shared his plans for the rest of the season, as he hopes to win a stage of the Tour de France before heading to the Tokyo Olympics.

The Dutch superstar rider has closed out  the first half of 2021, having won four races on the road and performing well in mountain bike World Cups despite his limited preparation.

Van der Poel, 26, said he hopes to win a stage of the 2021 Tour, his first ever three-week race, before he hopes to take an Olympic medal on the mountain bike. 

Speaking from an Alpecin-Fenix altitude camp in La Plagne, France, Van der Poel said: “The main goals are basically Tour de France and the Olympics, which is the biggest goal of the summer for me.

“It’s a goal I’ve been working towards for a couple of years now, so that would be the highlight hopefully of the summer.” 

On the Tour, Van der Poel said: "I haven’t really looked at the stages yet but for sure I will pick some and try to get a stage win. It’s my first time ever riding a Grand Tour, so it would be a success if I can win a stage."

Van der Poel opened his season with victory on his first day of racing in the UAE Tour, before going on to win Strade Bianche and two stages of Tirreno-Adriatico.

He then finished fifth in Milan-San Remo, third in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic and second in the Tour of Flanders.

Van der Poel then switched to the mountain bike for two World Cup rounds, winning both short track events and finishing second to Britain’s Tom Pidcock in the Nove Mesto XCO event. 

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On his performance on the mountain bike, Van der Poel said: “The level I had was acceptable. I had some good results. The preparation was a bit short so now we’re here at altitude to prepare for the second part of the season.”

Van der Poel will now return to the road at to the Tour de Suisse on June 6, before heading to the Tour at the end of the month.