Mathieu van der Poel won't defend Amstel Gold Race title, according to his father

The young Dutchman will finish road racing after Paris-Roubaix to focus on mountain biking, with the Toyko Olympics in mind

Mathieu van der Poel (David Stockman, AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel will not defend his Amstel Gold Race title in 2020, according to his father.

The Corendon-Circus rider took the biggest win of his road career so far at the Ardennes classic, ambushing Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) on the finishing straight to snatch victory.

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With a stacked 2020 schedule ahead of him, Van der Poel will race a shortened road season as he sets his sights on the Tokyo Olympics in the summer.

In an interview with Helden (opens in new tab), Adrie van der Poel confirmed his son will stop racing on the road following Paris-Roubaix on April 12th in order to re-focus on mountain biking, the event the young Dutchman will be targeting a gold medal in at the Games in Japan.

"Next season Mathieu will organise his season through to the Games differently than he did this year," Adrie van der Poel said. "After Paris-Roubaix he won't ride any more classics, which includes the Amstel Gold Race."

Van der Poel is expected to race Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan - San Remo in the early season, with the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix being the two one-day races where he will seriously target victory.

Corendon-Circus have said Van der Poel's exact plans could change however, although Amstel is definitely off the table as the team decided to pass on a wildcard invitation to the race earlier this month.

Following the Yorkshire Road World Championships, where the 24-year-old blew up spectacularly in the final kilometres as Denmark's Mads Pedersen claimed the rainbow bands, he soon bounced back upon his return to cyclocross.

Van der Poel won his third European cyclocross title in a row as he works towards defending his CX rainbow jersey in the new year.

In sadder news, Mathieu van der Poel's grandfather, Tour de France legend Raymond Poulidor, passed away last week, with the cycling world paying tribute.

The 83-year-old had been suffering from heart issues and was been admitted to hospital in October after reportedly feeling unweel since his summer VIP job at the Tour de France.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.