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Mathieu van der Poel ‘riding but not training,’ classics kickstart in question

Van der Poel clocking up easy miles after long layoff, team hopeful of return to proper training Monday.

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Mathieu van der Poel is back on the bike, but still not “training.”

Van der Poel has been stretching his legs in Denia in the past week as he pedals his way out of the back injury that nagged through summer and torpedoed his ‘cross campaign this winter.

But van der Poel’s easy miles on Spain’s “Costa Blanca” are just that – easy.

“Mathieu is just cycling around as part of his rehabilitation. For a professional cyclist, such short rides fall under the heading of cycling around. It is not a resumption of training,” Alpecin-Fenix team manager Christoph Roodhooft told Het Laatste Nieuws.

Also read: Van der Poel in race against clock to return to racing

Van der Poel barely touched the bike through January as he sat and waited on his long-nagging back injury to rehabilitate. The Dutch dynamo only got back in the saddle at the turn of this month, spinning his legs on Zwift and the roads around his base in northern Belgium.

Roodhooft and Alpecin-Fenix’s fleet of medical staff are hopeful that van der Poel’s can kickstart training proper Monday, should his back allow it.

However, being back on the bike is no guarantee that van der Poel will be out crushing the classics any time soon.

Team management indicated this week it is braced for a full classics block without “MvdP.”

With the “opening weekend” now just two weeks away and Strade Bianche one week later, the spring may bloom late for van der Poel this year.