Mathieu van der Poel says he will ‘go full’ for Yorkshire World Championships

The road cyclocross prodigy is targeting the rainbow bands

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Mathieu van der Poel says he will “go full” for the Yorkshire World Championships next month.

The versatile star faced a tough choice between targeting the road or mountain bike Worlds, but has opted to focus his attention on the tough Yorkshire course.

Van der Poel, the reigning cyclocross World Champion, is hoping to add another rainbow jersey to his collection in the road race on Sunday, September 29 in Harrogate and says he is training towards that goal.

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Speaking at a post-Tour de Fance criterium in Belgium, the 24-year-old told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “The course is that of a Classic, so that must be my thing.

“I am already training to win there and I hope I can continue to improve my condition until then.”

On his choice between the mountain bike and road Worlds, Van der Poel said: “Going full for one is better than being able to give eighty per cent twice.”

Corendon-Circus Van der Poel has had a huge breakthrough this year, winning the CX Worlds, going on to a memorable fourth place in the Tour of Flanders before winning Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race in emphatic fashion.

Van der Poel has a long-running rivalry with fellow cyclocross star Wout van Aert, which has now strayed onto the road as both riders have taken huge wins.

But there is a mutual respect between the pair.

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On Van Aert’s Tour de France stage win, Van der Pole said: “Wout performed very well, everyone was able to see that.

“But for me the Tour will not be for next year, maybe for 2021. As a rider you have to experience it.”

On his future plans, Van der Poel said cyclocross remains his biggest passion but that his victory in Amstel Gold “brings much more” than his off-road victories.

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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 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.