Skip to main content

No Volta a Catalunya for Mathieu van der Poel

LAGOS PORTUGAL FEBRUARY 19 Start Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix Interview Portimo City during the 46th Volta ao Algarve 2020 Stage 1 a 1956km stage from Portimo to Lagos VAlgarve2020 on February 19 2020 in Lagos Portugal Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mathieu van der Poel is back to a full schedule of training in Spain but is not planning to compete in the Volta a Catalunya should the race go on as scheduled. Van der Poel has recovered from a week-long bout with influenza and is due to fly to Belgium on Saturday to prepare for Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, according to Wielerflits.nl.

Alpecin-Fenix have not yet set Van der Poel's programme for the coming week as they are awaiting confirmation of which races are going forward in the light of government efforts to contain the coronavirus illness Covid-19. Nokere Koerse, the GP Denain and the Bredene Koksijde Classic are possibilities, his team manager Christophe Roodhooft said.

"Of course his condition today is a little less than what it was year ago, but that makes sense," Roodhooft said. "Van der Poel's programme for the coming weeks hasn't been set one hundred percent yet. What is certain is that he won't ride the Volta a Catalunya.

"Mathieu has been sick for a full week. That makes you a little weak but it's not a disaster. There are still a few weeks until the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix."

The coronavirus situation has impacted Van der Poel's preparations for the Classics, too. "Mathieu would not have made it to Strade Bianche, but he might have done Milan-San Remo - not in top form, but to participate. Both we as a team and Mathieu were looking forward to his debut in la Primavera. He also would have done Omloop [Het Nieuwsblad] These are things we can't control ourselves, but they are part of the life of a top athlete."

Depending on how the race season evolves, Van der Poel's programme will also include the E3 BinckBank Classic and Dwars door Vlaanderen before Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.