HLN SportscastWout van Aert (27) and Mathieu van der Poel (26) are currently enjoying a well deserved vacation after a long season. But this winter, duty calls again, because in December they dive into the field. Is it wise to continue to combine the Way and the Cross? “Yes, they should be thinking especially about the prep races,” it sounds in HLN Sportcast.
Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel were among the most prominent trends in road cycling last season. Van Aert won three stages on the Tour, among others, Van der Poel won the Strade Bianche and wore yellow for a few days after winning a stage on the Tour. And that’s while they’ve been fighting each other since Tirreno-Adriatico. “They should consider if it’s necessary this winter,” provokes Johan Museo at HLN Sportcast. “Do they really have to compete against each other every day in Tirreno, and then have to feel a little less at Milan-Sanremo?”
Tom Boonen adds: “The options have to be made. You can’t fully open the throttle everywhere. In these preparation races, you have to ask yourself what you are doing: win a stage or be on top of the classics in a few weeks” time. Spring lasts a long time, if you have to be at the top from the first day to the last.”
No World Cup?
Another question is whether Van Aert and Van der Poel are no better off dropping cyclo-Cross, in order to better start the road season. But Museeuw, Boonen, and Sven Vanthourenhout do not think this is necessary. “I wouldn’t quite let it go, but the tone could be different,” Vanthornhout says. “They shouldn’t be training twice a week in the woods in mid-November to win this cross on Sunday. Riding a cross is not bad in itself, but how you handle it determines its condition and freshness in the spring.”
In recent years, Van Art and Van der Poel have mainly focused on the World Cup on the field. But that’s also a question mark this winter, as the Battle of the Rainbow takes place in America at the end of January. Not ideal, a month before the opening weekend. National team coach Fanthornhout says: “I certainly wouldn’t force Wout to participate. This takes at least two weeks, which are crucial in getting ready for spring. And also energy, while you need every percent in the classics.”
Listen to the full episode of HLN Sportcast’t again with Tom Boonen, Johan Museeuw and Sven Vanthourenhout below:
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