Mathieu van der Poel: Tour de France opening weekend likely 'too hard' for me and Jasper Philipsen

Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen
Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen in Florence on Thursday afternoon (Image credit: Getty Images)

Reigning Tour de France green jersey Jasper Philipsen returns to the race this weekend once again forming one half of the sprint dream team with Alpecin-Deceuninck teammate Mathieu van der Poel, but the pair aren't expecting to find immediate success as the event kicks off in Tuscany.

Last year, Philipsen won at the earliest opportunity on the flat third stage in Bayonne, which came after two hilly stages in the Basque Country. This time, it's set to be a similar story with two hard opening days to Rimini and Bologna coming ahead of flatter stage 3 in Turin.

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Dani Ostanek
Senior News Writer

Dani Ostanek is Senior News Writer at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired full-time. Prior to joining the team, they had written for numerous major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly and Rouleur.


Dani has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, Road World Championships, and the spring Classics. They have interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Mathieu van der Poel, Remco Evenepoel, and Demi Vollering.


As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Dani also oversees How to Watch guides and works on The Leadout newsletter throughout the season. Their favourite races are the Giro d'Italia, Strade Bianche and Paris-Roubaix.


Season highlights from 2024 include reporting from Paris-Roubaix –  'Unless I'm in an ambulance, I'm finishing this race' – Cyrus Monk, the last man home at Paris-Roubaix – and the Tour de France – 'Disbelief', gratitude, and family – Mark Cavendish celebrates a record-breaking Tour de France sprint win.