Mathieu van der Poel to ride Tour de France, skip Olympic Games mountain biking

Alpecin-Deceuninck announce summer itineraries for Van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen, with the Dutchman only riding the Olympic road race in Paris

Clock14:33, Wednesday 15th May 2024
Mathieu van der Poel crashed out of his debut Olympic Games in 2021

© Getty Images

Mathieu van der Poel crashed out of his debut Olympic Games in 2021

Alpecin-Deceuninck have announced the summer schedules for their two star riders, Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen, with both men in line to lead the team in the Tour de France this July. The Olympic Games road race has been confirmed for Van der Poel but he will not ride the mountain bike event after deciding to prioritise his road ambitions in the World Champion's rainbow jersey.

The Games in Paris are to be Van der Poel's second participation in the Olympics and the Dutchman is hoping to improve on his performance from Tokyo in 2021, which saw him tumble out of the XCO event and miss the road race.

Van der Poel's calendar will not feature any races prior to the Tour de France, but it appears that the 29-year-old will look to complete the Tour after initial conversations about leaving the race before the final two weeks.

This is the approach that Van der Poel took in 2021, when he won stage 2 and enjoyed a stint in the yellow jersey. With just the Tour de France and the Olympic Games road race (3 August) on his schedule this time around, though, Van der Poel will be free to finish the Tour for the second time in his career.

"This is the most logical choice to be able to prepare for my goals without time pressure,” Van der Poel explained in a statement released by his team. “The combination with MTB was too difficult. But who knows, maybe in LA ‘28 I can focus on mountain biking.

“My ambition for Tour de France? I hope like last year to assist teammate Jasper Philipsen in his hunt for stage wins and a possible green jersey. And the goal is to also win a stage myself this year.”

For all his achievements to date, from Monument victories to World Championship success, Van der Poel's stage victory from the 2021 Tour de France remains his only one to date and the Dutchman will be eager to rectify this in July. In spite of not racing between Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour, the World Champion is confident that he will be in good shape for the Grand Départ in Florence and beyond.

"We have gained enough experience to know that, once in competition, I get into the right shape pretty quickly," Van der Poel said, to Wielerflits.

"Last year I got sick when a number of stages came up in which I had opportunities. Hopefully I will be spared that in this edition.

"Let's say I chose the most logical thing. My first half of the season was quite long. First, the cyclo-cross season and after a short break I resumed training in function of spring and I continued that campaign until Liège-Bastogne-Liège. If I want to focus fully on mountain biking now and be perfectly prepared, I have to start next weekend in Nove Mesto, the Czech race of the World Cup MTB.”

Where Van der Poel will skip his national championships and any mountain biking as part of his Tour de France preparation, teammate Philipsen will ride the Baloise Belgium Tour in June, before the Belgian national championships on 23 June and finally, the Tour de France beginning in Florence on 29 June and ending in Nice on 21 July.

The Belgian sprinter and recent Milan-San Remo winner will be hoping to reclaim his green jersey from last season and add to his career tally of six Tour de France stage wins. With a fit and firing Van der Poel as his lead-out man, the 26-year-old will be a difficult man to stop.

For more of the latest from the professional peloton, visit the race news page.

Related Content

Link to Mathieu van der Poel signs huge 10-year contract with Canyon
Mathieu van der Poel pointing to the Canyon bike that helped him to the cyclo-cross world title earlier this

Mathieu van der Poel signs huge 10-year contract with Canyon

One of the longest deals in cycling history will run until the end of 2034 as rider also extends with Alpecin-Deceuninck

Clock
Link to Giro d’Italia stage 20 preview: Double Monte Grappa will bring GC fireworks
UAE Team Emirates will try to set things up for Tadej Pogačar on stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia stage 20 preview: Double Monte Grappa will bring GC fireworks

Tadej Pogačar’s lead is likely safe, but big gaps and possible changes should emerge on the final climbing stage, as local rider Marco Frigo previews the climb for GCN

Clock
Link to Giro d'Italia 2024 abandons: The riders who have left the race
Christophe Laporte suffers cuts in a crash on stage 5, and would pull out of the Giro d'Italia ahead of stage 8

Giro d'Italia 2024 abandons: The riders who have left the race

An up-to-date list of the riders who have been forced to exit the Italian Grand Tour

Clock
Link to Giro d'Italia: No Playstation as Ineos hope 'stable effort can grind Dani Martinez down’
Thymen Arensman leads Geraint Thomas with Dani Martínez following on stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia: No Playstation as Ineos hope 'stable effort can grind Dani Martinez down’

'Contrary to popular belief we don't always have 100% vision like you’re playing Playstation in the car' says DS Dempster as team back Geraint Thomas' push for second place

Clock
Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox