'Winning Paris-Roubaix is the one,' says Van der Poel ahead of first full Classics campaign

We spoke to the Dutch sensation ahead of his hotly anticipated 2020 road season

Mathieu van der Poel at the Volta ao Algarve 2020 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s a dull January day in Belgium and outside a four-star Ghent hotel the slick metallic grey Porsche Panamera stands out among the family hatchbacks. You could be forgiven for thinking that Van Halen are in town, but the fact that there’s room in the back to fit a bike is a clue. The personalised number plate reading MVDP is a dead giveaway.

An altogether different breed of rock star is in attendance. The choice of car mirrors the flamboyance evident in Mathieu van der Poel’s racing. Muscular, powerful, stylish and with a storied heritage, he simply outclasses most of the competition. Style aside, it’s his results sheet that paid for it.

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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.