Mathieu van der Poel to stay with Corendon-Circus until 2020

Belgian team set to apply for Pro Continental status to ride the Classics

Despite heavy interest from WorldTour teams, Mathieu van der Poel has chosen to extend his tenure with the Belgian Corendon-Circus Continental squad, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

The 23-year-old could still yet go up against his cyclo-cross rival Wout van Aert in the Spring Classics, with Corenden-Circus reportedly set to apply for a Professional Continental licence for 2019. The team currently has just three elite riders, including Van der Poel. They would have to boost that to a minimum of 16 riders if they are to be considered for a Professional Continental licence, with confirmation of whether or not they are successful coming in October. According to Het Nieuwsblad, more information on their bid is to come later this week.

Van der Poel has been with the Corendon-Circus team, run by the brothers Christoph and Philip Roodhooft, since 2014. Predominantly competing in cyclo-cross, Van der Poel took the 2015 world title in the discipline and won the European title last year. He dominated the World Cup but struggled in the World Championships and had to settle for third behind Belgian rivals Wout van Aert and Michael Vanthourenhout.

Van der Poel is also a former junior road race world champion and has ridden an ever-expanding road programme in recent seasons. He made his 2018 road debut at the Boucles de la Mayenne at the start of June and won a stage and the overall title. He has since won the Ronde van Limburg and the Dutch national road race title.

Van der Poel has also been finding success in mountain biking after making his competitive debut in 2016. He took the Dutch mountain bike title, making him the first male rider to hold the title in cyclo-cross, road and mountain bike at the same time.

He also has secured several podium finishes in the World Cup this season and won two short-track events and took a dominant victory at the La Rioja Bike Race in May. Van der Poel is set to ride the cross-country event at the European Championships on Tuesday afternoon.

He has said that he will focus on mountain biking in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, before turning his mind to road racing at the highest level. Van Aert has signed a contract with the LottoNL-Jumbo team for the 2020 season. 

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