While Victor Campenaerts made all manner of tweaks to his bike for Dwars door Vlaanderen, Mathieu van der Poel rode a fairly straightforward machine: His normal Canyon Aeroad with 54/40 rings and an 11-30 cassette.
Notably, van der Poel also used the stock hanger with his Shimano Dura-Ace 9250 derailleur. The majority of WorldTour teams on Shimano have taken to removing the middle ‘knuckle’ joint on the 9250 derailleurs and the derailleur hangers and replacing the two pieces with a single, stiff piece of metal.
The idea is that a direct mount offers better shifting under hard power than a derailleur hanger, which is designed to bend in a crash to save the frame or derailleur from breaking. Van der Poel’s finishing sprint — which caused Tiejs Benoot who was on his wheel to simply give up and sit up — did not seem to be negatively affected.
Check out van der Poel’s bike below.
Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Aeroad is one of very few bikes in the WorldTour peloton with a full Shimano Dura-Ace 9250 group.
Perhaps this name sticker has something to do with his access to the 9250 power-meter crankset.
Okay, Mathieu — so what was scheduled to happen at 110km?
Shimano has broadly distributed its new, 12-speed 9250 group to teams — with the exception of this 9250 power-meter crank. Van der Poel is one of the few riders to have one. At Dwars door Vlaanderen, he raced with 54/40 rings. He was not intimated by Campenaerts big ring.
“I knew Campenaerts was going to attack,” van der Poel said. “He was riding with a 58 chainring on the front and he always attacks on the downhill and I was ready for that today.”
Another notable difference than many WorldTour 9250 set-ups: van der Poel uses the normal derailleur hanger and middle ‘knuckle’ on the derailleur instead of replacing both with a direct mount.
Shimano Dura-Ace wheels come in tubeless and tubular. Van der Poel raced tubulars.
The wind’s view of van der Poel’s adjustable-width handlebar.
The latest iteration of the Canyon Aeroad features a width-adjustable bar, which earned a bit of infamy when van der Poel broke his handlebar at Le Samyn in March 2021. It was not the adjustable part that broke, but the association was made for many fans. Canyon has since reworked the bar’s design, and has replaced the handlebar for teams and many consumers. Because of the bike’s design, riders had to use the Canyon CP0015 cockpit, and not simply replace it with something else.
The Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 is a popular tire in the WorldTour peloton, in both tubeless and tubular. Van der Poel raced a 28mm tubular.
Alpecin-Fenix has dozens if not hundreds of wheels to keep track of. Stickers help.
The Aeroad has a substantial bottom bracket junction.
Do you want to tell van der Poel that these axle levers are not aero? He doesn’t seem to mind. Plus, they make getting the wheel off a lot easier in everyday situations.
You put a saddle bag on your rails; van der Poel sticks a final gel wrapper under his.
Tubulars are no longer the de facto pro standard, but they certainly haven’t gone away, either.
Pieces of inner tubes make for good timing-transponder covers.
The Aeroad has a skinny head tube.
Van der Poel carries his bike down the stairs after his press conference following his win. Even the biggest stars in the sport are still bike racers.