A year before the Olympic Games, he seems to be able to become the biggest tormentor of the Dutch team in Beijing. And not just because he wins, especially the way he stands out.
Van der Poel achieves a number of kilometers, both on running shoes and in training on the ice, where most of his competitors raise an eyebrow.
Little ice or few matches
And there are more skaters who took a world title last weekend with an atypical preparation, disrupted by the corona crisis. They were either barely on the ice or had little serious competition until mid-January, while the Dutch in Heerenveen had both the facilities and the competition incentives throughout the winter.
Does that lead to reflection in the skating union? “What is doing this season is that coaches will put things in a different perspective”, says Remy de Wit, responsible for technical policy on behalf of the KNSB.