Mathieu van der Poel aims to ride Giro d'Italia and Tour de France this year

Dutchman is continuing his comeback from injury at Coppi e Bartali this week

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel has said that he is thinking about racing both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France this year, as he continues his comeback from his back injury.

The Alpecin-Fenix rider told Dutch newspaper AD (opens in new tab) that he is considering making his debut at the Giro in May, especially as there would be a chance to wear the pink jersey in the first race of the week.

The Dutchman made his road season debut on Saturday at Milan-San Remo, and is currently riding the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali stage race in Italy. He finished third in San Remo in his first race back, and finished fourth on stage one of Coppi e Bartali.

Van der Poel spent all of January and early February off his bike after injury complaints forced him to cut his cyclocross season short.

The Dutchman has suffered from a longstanding back injury that was compounded by a crash in the mountain bike event at the Tokyo Olympics. He managed to secure third at Paris-Roubaix in October, but back pain continued to affect him for the rest of the season. 

After a couple of months rest, Van der Poel then raced in the UCI World Cup cyclocross race on Boxing Day at Dendermonde, but stepped off the bike to try and properly recuperate, and missed the cyclocross worlds in January.

The first stage of this year's Giro, which starts in Budapest, ends with a punchy finishing climb, something that would suit Van der Poel.

Speaking to AD, he said: "The Giro is definitely an option. It's not 100 percent sure yet, but the combination of Giro and Tour is definitely in my head. The first week is very attractive. Also a chance at the pink jersey. That is the main reason."

Van der Poel made his grand tour debut at the Tour last year, winning stage two in Mûr-de-Bretagne, and then spending five days in the yellow jersey. However, he pulled out ahead of stage nine.

For 2022, the Dutchman said he was committed to completing all 21 days of the Tour, and maintained that he would also finish the Giro if he rode it.

"I actually wanted to finish the Tour last year," he said. "I have indicated to the team that I will not dismount again after ten days. I intend to finish both the Giro and the Tour this year."

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