Mathieu van der Poel (27) will skip mountain biking this season. “I’m taking a sabbatical so to speak, because the program on the road is so busy. But it is certainly the intention to pick up mountain biking again next year,” the cyclist told CyclingFlash† Van der Poel is currently riding the Tour of Italy and is wearing the pink leader’s jersey.
Van der Poel aimed for the Olympic title in mountain biking in Tokyo last summer, but a crash early in the race quickly put an end to his high expectations. It gave the all-rounder on the bike a back injury that would hinder him for a long time. He largely let the cyclocross season pass by, but came back strongly this spring with a win of the Tour of Flanders. Last Friday he took the pink jersey by winning the first stage of the Giro in Hungary.
His goal is still to win gold medals in mountain biking. “The intention is to get back into the mountain bike routine in 2023 and then I want to work towards the Olympic Games in Paris,” said Van der Poel, who plans to ride the Tour de France again this year. Last year he won a stage in the Tour and rode in the yellow jersey for six days.
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