October 3, 2022

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Matthew van der Poel delays my debut by a week due to a slight delay in training and immediately starts at Dendermonde with a duel against Van Aert |  cyclocross

Matthew van der Poel delays my debut by a week due to a slight delay in training and immediately starts at Dendermonde with a duel against Van Aert | cyclocross

cyclocrossMatteo van der Poel (26) will not be impressed on the field this weekend. The world champion injured his knee during the fall of last week and as a result was (slightly) delayed training. His Boxing Day debut is now scheduled for Dendermonde. Directly against arch rival Wout van Aert.

It was a normal crash. But with effect. The deep knee injury, which Van der Poel sustained during a training session in the woods last week, caused a small “blowback” to his schedule. Four days later than planned, he joined his Alpecin-Fenix ​​teammates for the first training camp in Benicassim, eastern Spain. It took a while for the injury to heal, which prevented the Dutchman from properly completing his cross-training sessions. In recent days, Van der Poel has been in the saddle, but he has only honed his basic condition on the road. There was absolutely no question about cycling in sand, mud, or other surfaces. Last night he returned home from Benicassim, which will allow him to focus fully on the field again in the coming days.

This is possible without any problems, because Van der Poel no longer has any serious handicap from a standard collapse, and the biggest pain in his knee has now subsided. However, next weekend’s World Cup double, with Dutchman Rucphen on Saturday and Citadelcross in Namur on Sunday, arrives very early. In Alpecin-Fenix, the decision to postpone Van der Poel’s debut show by one week is described as “choosing the mind”.

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The team and rider don’t want to act in a hurry and are clearly avoiding ‘half the battle’. You can’t just throw someone with Van der Poel’s reputation and stature in front of you, without competition and major cross-training. Ten or eleven days of additional training should be enough to prepare for the start of his occasional campaign, which should culminate in a fourth consecutive world title in Fayetteville at the end of January 2022.

The new D Day will be Boxing Day: World Cup at Dendermonde. Where he will immediately face Van der Poel … arch rival Wout van Aert, who twelve months ago drove him there in a thick mud bath in about three minutes. No gift, especially now that Van Aert starts his season with 3 of 3. The next day, Monday 27 December, Van der Poel also starts Superprestigecross in Heusden-Zolder, which he – not coincidentally – added to his program at the end of last week. He won that match last year. Van Aert, who has been in training with his team Jumbo-Visma since yesterday, will also be in line for Rucphen and Namur this weekend. Even Eli Iserbet, Toon Airts, Michael Fanthornhout and their buddies. Suddenly you get two golden chances to win. Although they will have to deal with Tom Bidcock, who is still third in Val di Sole on Sunday.



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