Mathieu van der Poel might but journey the highway race at this 12 months’s hilly World Championships, in line with feedback from the Netherlands’ nationwide selector Koos Moerenhout within the Belgian press. The Alpecin-Fenix chief has apparently been briefed concerning the route of this 12 months’s rescheduled and relocated course in Imola, Italy, and can seemingly be capable to determine himself whether or not he takes half.
Imola – some 40 kilometres east of Bologna, in northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna area – was picked by biking’s governing physique the UCI earlier this month as a alternative venue for the cities of Aigle and Martigny in Switzerland, that are unable to host this 12 months’s Worlds as a result of Swiss authorities limits on public gatherings through the ongoing coronavirus disaster.
It had been unlikely that Van der Poel would have featured within the Netherlands’ squad had the championships remained in Switzerland, the place as an alternative Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) would have absolutely been the workforce’s leaders.
And whereas Dumoulin and Mollema are nonetheless more likely to lead the choice in Italy – offering they arrive out of the Tour de France wholesome and in kind, and, in line with Moerenhout, “no rider has cancelled prematurely” – Van der Poel’s inclusion for the Worlds would make for an extremely robust Dutch squad, which Moerenhout apparently expects to unveil early subsequent week.
“It is a course on which Mathieu can get far,” Moerenhout informed Belgian information company Belga after coming back from a reconnaissance journey to see the course, in line with Het Nieuwsblad on Wednesday.
“I am not saying the course is made for him – it is tougher than final 12 months,” Moerenhout mentioned, evaluating it to the highway race course in Yorkshire, within the UK, the place Van der Poel light to complete forty third within the chilly and moist circumstances, greater than 10 minutes down on winner Mads Pedersen of Denmark. “I’ve handed on my notes about it to Mathieu, and it is now as much as him to interpret them.
“It additionally has to suit into his schedule, along with his actions on the highway, on the mountain bike and in cyclo-cross. In any case, Mathieu didn’t say no prematurely,” he added, with Van der Poel at the moment collaborating in Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy.
Of the Worlds highway race route round Imola, which finishes on the well-known motor-racing circuit, Moerenhout mentioned that it was “grueling” and “actually troublesome”. The males’s race covers 260 kilometres and consists of over 5,000 metres of climbing over 9 laps of a 28.8km circuit.
“As well as, once you depart the circuit [before the finish], there is a stretch of 4 kilometres that is not steep however ‘secretly’ climbs,” Moerenhout defined. “Even after the final climb, there are nonetheless just a few uphill sections. It is a route on which the race could possibly be determined anyplace.”