‘Can I become world champion? Maybe, you have to believe’: Mathieu van der Poel wins first race after four month absence from the road

The Dutch phenom made an emphatic return to the peloton at the Arctic Race of Norway

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel says he has to believe he can become world champion in Yorkshire next month, after a four-month absence from road racing.

The superstar of three cycling disciplines was untouchable on stage one of the Artic Race of Norway, as he fired away from the peloton with a long 200 metre sprint after a high-paced day of racing.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.