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Mathieu van der Poel: ‘I intend to finish the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year’

'I have indicated to the team that I will not dismount again after 10 days,' Dutch rider says of his Tour de France hopes.

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Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) may have only completed one day of racing in 2022 but that hasn’t stopped the Dutchman from targeting both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France later this year.

Van der Poel took a surprise third place in Milan-San Remo last weekend. The race was his first road event since last year’s autumn Paris-Roubaix, where he also finished on the podium.

A lingering back injury sustained in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games ruled van der Poel out for the start of this road campaign but he was a last-minute addition to Alpecin-Fenix’s team for Milan-San Remo.

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While Matej Mohorič stole the show with a memorable win for Bahrain Victorious it was van der Poel who took the final step on the podium after 293km of racing. That display means that the Dutch rider will be among the favorites for the spring classics later this month and into April but he also has ambitions for starting and finishing both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France later this year.

He made his grand tour debut at last year’s Tour de France, winning the second stage and wearing the yellow jersey before eventually leaving the race ahead of stage 9 as he looked to build up towards the Olympics.

“The Giro is definitely an option. It’s not 100 percent sure yet, but the Giro and Tour combination is definitely in my head. The first week is very attractive. Also a chance at the pink jersey. That is the main reason,” van der Poel told AD.nl.

“I actually wanted to finish the Tour last year. I have indicated to the team that I will not dismount again after 10 days. I intend to finish both the Giro and the Tour this year.”

Alpecin-Fenix has yet to announce their rosters for either the Giro or the Tour de France at this stage but van der Poel’s intent is certainly clear. Racing back-to-back grand tours and completing both after such a long injury layoff would be a significant undertaking for any rider but, given his condition in Milan-San Remo, the idea of van der Poel finishing both grand tours isn’t out of the question.