Mathieu van der Poel continues his comeback this week at the Italian stage race Coppi e Bartali.
Alpecin-Fenix confirmed its roster for the five-day stage race running Tuesday through Saturday with van der Poel’s name front and center.
The Dutch star is hot off finishing third in Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, his first road race since finishing third in Paris-Roubaix in October. Van der Poel was sidelined since December with a back injury, but was a surprise call-up for the Italian monument.
Also read: Van der Poel shines in San Remo return
The 27-year-old performed well, and marked all the piercing accelerations up the Poggio before helping to lead the chase of eventual winner Matej Mohorič onto the Via Roma.
Van der Poel said he made it through Milan-San Remo without any significant back discomfort or pain, a good sign ahead of the important block of northern classics.
Ciao! We’re staying in Italy for our next event: five-day stage race Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali
Here’s our team! 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/OCOrDvoX0q
— Alpecin-Fenix Cycling Team (@AlpecinFenix) March 20, 2022
His appearance at Coppi e Bartali in Italy means he will miss Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne on Wednesday and E3 Saxo Bank Classic on Friday.
Also read: Late call-up opens 2022 for van der Poel
Van der Poel could jump on a flight Saturday and land in Belgium in time to race Gent-Wevelgem on March 27, but it’s more likely he will race Dwars door Vlaanderen on March 30, a race he won in 2019, and Tour of Flanders on April 3.
Though officials have not confirmed any additional dates for van der Poel, if he gets through the next block of racing, starts at Amstel Gold and Paris-Roubaix are likely in the cards. There’s talk of van der Poel racing both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France later this summer.