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Cycling: Van der Poel announces that he will compete in the Tour de France and the road event at the Olympics, giving up mountain biking

The Tour but no mountain biking at the Olympics: Mathieu van der Poel announced on Wednesday his participation in the Tour de France before the Paris Olympic Games, where he will only participate in the road event.

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Cycling: Van der Poel announces that he will compete in the Tour de France and the road event at the Olympics, giving up mountain biking

The Tour but no mountain biking at the Olympics: Mathieu van der Poel announced on Wednesday his participation in the Tour de France before the Paris Olympic Games, where he will only participate in the road event.

“It is the most logical choice,” said the reigning world champion in a press release from his team Alpecin. After winning the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in the spring, the Dutchman has hesitated for a long time in recent weeks about his program for this summer and the possibility of combining road and mountain biking at the Olympics.

“This year the combination is too complicated. My first part of the season was quite long with first the cyclo-cross and then, after a short break, the classics campaign up to Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” he explained.

“If I wanted to concentrate entirely on mountain biking and be fully prepared, I would have to start next weekend in Nove Mesto, the Czech MTB World Cup stage. In consultation with my team, I opted instead for a longer rest period before starting preparation for the Tour de France and the Olympic road race without being pressed for time,” added the grandson of Raymond Poulidor who fell during the mountain bike event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

“The fact that I am currently wearing the rainbow jersey also played an indirect role. It's a special year. As the (reigning) world champion on the road, I would like to wear this jersey as much as possible. And I wouldn’t want to miss the Tour de France either, which I consider to be the best possible preparation for the Olympics,” said Van der Poel, 29 years old.

Also read: Tour of Italy: “Winning a year after my brother is special,” says Valentin Paret-Peintre

He has resumed training at home in Spain and does not plan to compete in any races before the Tour (June 29-July 21). On the Grande Boucle, he wants to once again help the Alpecin sprinter, Jasper Philipsen, to win the green jersey while aiming for a stage victory himself.

The Dutchman will then be one of the big favorites for the online event of the Paris Olympics on Saturday August 3 on a long and demanding course which suits him perfectly.

As for mountain biking, he said that he would “perhaps bet everything” on this discipline at the Los Angeles Games in 2028. “It’s still a long way off but I will then be in another phase of my career,” said -he emphasized.

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