Surprising comeback at Milan-Sanremo: MVDP is back on the road
“The past month weren’t like my favorite ones for sure”, reports Mathieu van der Poel in an exclusive video interview. After a long period of resting, Team Alpecin-Fenix together with MVDP surprisingly decided to race the first monument of this year: Milan-Sanremo. So we will see Mathieu van der Poel back on the Poggio.
Originally MVDP wanted to do the last form check at the Coppi Bartali. Now plans have sponaneously changed, due to the fact that there is currently a high level of illness in the team and otherwise they would have had to start with only 6 riders. In the interview Mathieu talks about his time of recovery and how his plans are for the rest of the classic season. The planned schedule of classics sounds promising, with Dwars door Vlaanderen and of course the Ronde as well as Paris-Roubaix.
“To abandon the cyclocross season was the right decision”
After Van der Poel crashed last fall and he had problems with his back anyway, he decided to have a minor surgery on his knee. Instead of racing he really tried to use his freetime for resting. No training, but lying on the couch, watching CX-worlds or some of the WT-races dominated his timetable. “To abandon the CX-season was a tough decision to make”, he said, “But I think it was the right one and in the end I’ve had really proper time now to take care of the problem”.
The enforced break before the surgery didn’t give MVDP a lot of fun, which was felt by family and friends as well, so he was really happy to start training again. “I think they were also happy that I could start working out again”.
“I wanted to safe the classic season for myself”
After the break, MVDP went to Spain for a special period of training. The focus in Denia was to build up condition. However, this was not very promising at the beginning. “I didn’t really expect to get to the classics, because the progress was really slow, but then it started to go well. And then the last two weeks I made some really good steps which I and the team didn’t really expect”.
In Denia, the decision was made to race Coppi Bartali with five consecutive days of racing. The plan was to have a perfect preparation for the rest of the classic season. “I hope I will be there at the starting line and try to get the best out of it”.
Now, plans have changed a little bit and we will see MVDP at the starting line in Milano and hopefully later on the Poggio as well as on the “Via Roma”.