Adrie van der Poel says son Mathieu might 'only race MTB in 2024'

Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix sprints during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022
Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix sprints during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 (Image credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The possibility that Mathieu van der Poel might only race on mountain bikes in 2024 and drop both cyclo-cross and road that year with an eye to competing at the Olympic Games has been raised by his father, former pro Adrie.

Van der Poel senior was talking in an interview in the magazine Helden, where he argued that a single focus on MTB might be more productive for the Alpecin-Fenix racer. That was both in terms of qualification rounds and how that affected actual race participation, as well as the physical toll that alternating between disciplines demanded, he argued.

Van der Poel  said that as yet the 2024 Olympics were not up for discussion yet, but there was a chance that Mathieu would race them again in the MTB discipline. Rather than switching from road to MTB and cyclo-cross and back again, he argued, one option could be to stick to a single branch of the sport.

“Perhaps it would be wise to give up mountain biking in 2022 and 2023, and then focus solely on mountain biking in the year of the Olympics and leave road cycling [that season],” Van der Poel told Helden.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.