Mathieu van der Poel only traveled to Tokyo four days before his Olympic race. Then he has just enough time left to properly prepare for the mountain bike race, in which he is a medal candidate.
“Because the rules are so strict”, Van der Poel gives the reason for his late departure. “Sitting in a hotel room is not for me.”
A few weeks ago, Van der Poel rode as a cyclist for six days in the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. On July 4, he stepped out of the round to focus fully on the next project. “To get a bit of feeling on the mountain bike again. The difference is big, between the mountain bike and the road bike.”
Hunting for gold
In his hunt for Olympic gold, Van der Poel therefore opted for a preparation close to home. He thinks it can also be done this way.
“I still have two days to explore the course, that is enough. I also do that at World Cup competitions,” says Van der Poel, who cannot estimate whether the Olympic track suits him. “I haven’t ridden it yet, just seen some footage.”
Watch below how Mathieu van der Poel conquered the yellow in the Tour: