Van der Poel to race Tour of Britain ahead of Road World Championships

Mathieu van der Poel will race the Tour of Britain in September as preparation for the UCI Road World Championships in the same country later that month.

The 24-year-old world cyclo-cross champion had a sensational debut spring classics campaign on the road this year and, despite planning to devote the second half of his season to mountain biking and cyclo-cross, will lead the Dutch team at the Road Worlds.

At the end of May, he won his first MTB World Cup event at Nove Mesto and will ride the European Championships and two further World Cup events this summer, but will miss the World Championships in Canada (August 31) in order to focus on the Road Worlds (September 29).

On Thursday his presence at the Tour of Britain – September 7-14 – was confirmed by the race organisers, who have opened a space for his Corendon-Circus team.

"I’m happy to go to the Worlds and to have the occasion to get to know the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in the weeks before. I’m really happy that the organiser gives our team the chance to participate for the first time and at the same time helps me preparing for the Worlds in the best possible way," Van der Poel said.

"Of course, we’ll study the roadbook in order to decide in which stages we will try to go for a stage win."

There are no stages in Yorkshire, where the Road Worlds will take place, but the race will allow Van der Poel to get used to Britain’s grippy, rolling roads, along with getting back into the flow of road racing.

Having already emulated his father, Adri, by winning Amstel Gold Race, Brabantse Pijl and Cyclo-cross Worlds this year, Van der Poel could do so further win a stage win in Britain, Adri having won a stage of the Kelloggs Tour – the race’s predecessor – in 1991.

"We are excited that Mathieu, his team and the Dutch federation have identified the OVO Energy Tour of Britain as a key part of his road calendar in 2019 and look forward to welcoming him to the race," said race director Mick Bennett.

"Like many, I was thrilled to see his performance in the Amstel Gold Race this Spring, and am delighted that British fans will now get to see this amazing talent in action first hand."

The 2019 Tour of Britain gets underway in Glasgow on Saturday September 7 and finishes in Manchester on September 14.

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