While the Alpecin-Fenix rider is in Spain, he will not be racing the 100th edition of the Volta a Catalunya and is instead going to focus on his classics preparation with a training block in Flanders.
In an article on Wielerflits.nl, team manager Christoph Roodhooft says: “Of course his condition today is a little less than what it was year ago, but that makes sense,
“Van der Poel’s programme for the coming weeks hasn’t been set one hundred percent yet. What is certain is that he won’t ride the Volta a Catalunya.”
The suggestion is that Alpecin-Fenix are waiting to see what races are actually on before committing to releasing the Dutchman’s new schedule.
But races like Nokere Koerse, GP Denain and Ronde van Drenthe are all races that could gain the presence of the superstar as they are all still down as going ahead with no sign of change.
Van der Poel has had a quiet start to the road season after coming off the back of yet another dominant cyclocross season where he won all but one race he started.
He spent the whole of the Volta ao Algarve working for his teammate, Sacha Modolo, and tuning his condition, when climbing the Alto da Fóia, before planning to open his classic season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, won by Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).
Unfortunately for the former Dutch road race champion, he had to pull out a few days before the race as he had come down with influenza.
He was down to ride Strade Bianche but Roodhooft confirms he would not have been able to ride even if it wasn’t cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak:
“Mathieu would not have made it to Strade Bianche, but he might have done Milan-San Remo – not in top form, but to participate.
“Both we as a team and Mathieu were looking forward to his debut in la Primavera.”
Van der Poel will reportedly fly to Belgium on Saturday to join his teammates to build up his Classics training, along with build up races, towards his main goals of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.