Mathieu van der Poel makes his return to the road after a dominating run in mountain bike races, as he prepares for the Yorkshire World Championships.
The Dutch star secured a hat-trick of wins in mountain bike World Cup rounds in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Sunday (August 11), where he beat world champion Nino Schurter by 25 seconds.
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After four months away from the peloton, Van der Poel now switches back to the road at the Arctic Tour of Norway on Thursday (August 15) as he targets the elite road race in Yorkshire next month.
After winning his third World Cup of the year, Van der Poel said: “Victory means a lot to me. It’s probably the hardest one of the year, because Nino is of course even more motivated to his home audience. The overall World Cup may eventually become an issue, for the time being I stick to my plan and will not go to [the mountain bike world championships in] Snowshoe. I have other goals. I’m very happy with my mountain bike season.”
In April, the 24-year-old secured one of the most memorable victories of the season at Amstel Gold Race, the last time he competed on the road.
The cyclocross world champion has spread himself across three disciplines this season – CX, road, and mountainbike – and has set himself ambitious targets in each.
On the road, Corendon-Circus rider Van der Poel will skip the MTB World Championships later this month, instead preparing for the road Worlds where he hopes to win the rainbow stripes on the challenging course that finishes in Harrogate.
Next season, Van der Poel will make the off-road season his main focus as he targets the Olympic mountain bike event in Tokyo.