Mathieu van der Poel on a ‘silly attack’ with Wout van Aert at the Tour de France (Image credit: MARCO BERTORELLO AFP via Getty Images)
Mathieu van der Poel looks relaxed and sun-tanned as he takes his seat in the bar at the Syncrosfera hotel and performance centre in Spain, where he has been staying to log some dry November kilometres.
The difficult periods and accumulated mental fatigue that occurred in the second half of his 2022 race season are behind him and he is looking ahead to his cyclo-cross campaign and ahead into the new year.
You could sum up Van der Poel ‘s season as one of two halves. Despite delaying his start due to a back problem, victories and podiums arrived straight away in the spring. Yet, the second half of the season wasn’t quite as smooth, with an early exit from the Tour de France and a controversy-mired World Championships.
Rewind several months and Van der Poel hit the ground running with a podium place at Milan San Remo, which was followed up with victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen as well as a second win at the Tour of Flanders. The following month brought a stage victory at his debut Giro d’Italia and a three-day stint in the maglia rosa .
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