New challenges for Van der Poel in ‘busy’ 2020

New challenges in the spring classics fill out a busy season with the Olympics as the top goal

No rest for the weary for Mathieu Van der Poel in 2020. As the Dutch superstar builds toward the cyclocross world championships, he’s bracing for a packed calendar from here to August.

“I am going to have a busy season,” he said in an interview on the team’s website. “I’ll be combining the three disciplines. Right now I am concentrated on cyclocross, then the road and finally mountain bike. For me, it’s normal to combine the three disciplines. I like the diversity. I can change disciplines when I want to, so I never get bored.”

He’ll be far from bored this season. Van der Poel reconfirmed that the Olympics are the top goal in 2020, but new challenges await in the spring classics. It’s already confirmed that he will race at Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo for the first time, as well as Paris-Roubaix.

“The top goal is the Olympic Games in mountain biking, but also one of the big classics on the road that I’ve never done before, so that’s exciting,” he said. “I’ll be racing at Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo. Those are races I’ve watched on TV since I was a kid and I’m quite eager to do it on the bike. And I’ll be racing Paris-Roubaix for the first time, and that speaks for itself. I want to perform as well as possible.”

During the interview, Van der Poel said of the three disciplines, he enjoys training on the mountain bike the most.

“My favorite training is getting out on the mountain bike,” he said. “For me, the hardest training is intervals. It’s 40/20 — 40 seconds at the maximum, and 20 seconds recovery. I have to be in good shape to do the intervals.”