“It’s Difficult to Mix for Sure” – Dutch Cyclist’s Olympic Dilemma Seeks Balance Between Road Race And Mountain Bike Gold

Published 11/01/2023, 10:50 AM EDT

Follow Us

Mathieu van der Poel, often referred to as ‘MVDP,’ has been a cycling prodigy like no other. Known for his extraordinary talents in both mountain biking and road racing, the reigning world champion recently made headlines with a stirring contradiction. Carving a righteous niche for himself in the cycling world, van der Poel admitted facing troubles in paving his professional life. Seemingly, the 28-year-old Dutchman grappled with a perplexing decision as he geared up for the Paris 2024 season, igniting stinging concerns among his fans.

According to reports, the cycling sensation conveyed standing at a crossroads in his illustrious career, showcasing his exceptional versatility on the saddle. Poel’s persistent efforts had earned him a reputation as one of the most dynamic and promising cyclists of the present time, gaining the world championship title in Glasgow. But his cycling prowess extended beyond road racing, where the iconic athlete boasted five cyclo-cross world championships to his name. But while showcasing his dominance in sports that demanded discipline, Poel has encountered a dilemma of Olympian proportions. 

Multi-talented cycling professional rides in confusion 


Article continues below this ad

Poel’s mountain biking talents recently stirred the most interest and intrigue among enthusiasts, forcing him to face a stinging choice. The pro cycling entity had to make a difficult selection of his focus point, where he could aim all his time and skills without hurdles. Significantly, the options were between the mountain bike (MTB) events and road racing, with Poel flaunting admirable wins in both fields. While his Tokyo 2020 campaign had ended prematurely due to a crash, the star cyclist emerged victorious at the world championship for street races. 

Seeking to balance his future plans, Poel’s tantalizing prospect of becoming an Olympic champion in both MTB and road racing hinted at the possibility of disadvantages. Evidently, experts directed how his skillful gameplay was at odds with the risk of compromising his chances in either event. Additionally, many questions were posed at the Madrid Criterium, a race previously won by the cycling Dutchman. However, van der Poel’s response was aptly placed, revealing the complexity of his decision-making process as he mentioned being uncertain during a media exchange. 

Formidable expertise causes daunting hesitancy

Mathieu van der Poel’s cycling career has always demonstrated his uncanny ability to adapt and conquer. Proving his mettle on treacherous terrain and adverse conditions, the sensational rider’s unfulfilled Olympic dream from Tokyo 2020 drove him forward with unyielding spirits. While he was bound to make an early exit, the saddening crash did not deter Poel’s passion for the game. Reportedly, van der’s vision extended beyond mere participation, as he envisioned himself standing atop the podium at the Paris 2024 Olympics. 


Article continues below this ad

Read More: Ex-British cycling & team sky doctor faces total sports ban for anti-doping rule breach


But that was not all to his perception, as Poel noted his urge to win with both MTB and road race gold medals, wishing to feel them hanging around his neck. While he held on to the audacious plan with boundless dedication, the cycling professional emphasized its hardships, remarking, “We still have to make the puzzle. It’s a really difficult combination, especially if you want to do the Tour de France as well.” Further elaborating on his stunning move, Poel added, “It’s difficult to mix for sure, but I think that the mountain bike before the road race is an easier combination than the other way around.”


Article continues below this ad

Adding to his burdens, the 2024 Tour de France will conclude just a week before the Olympic MTB race, a tough schedule for Poel’s brave aspirations. As he prepares for the upcoming campaigns, Mathieu van der Poel’s double quest remains a captivating storyline in cycling tours. 

Watch This Story: Top 5 nutrition missteps every cyclist should avoid 


Written by:

Sanchari Bhaduri


One take at a time

Sanchari Bhaduri is a Viral Sports Moments writer at EssentiallySports. Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from IGNOU, she embarked on her content creation career in 2015 with freelance projects. Her previous role involved her serving as a Content Manager for Reddit.
Show More>

Edited by:

Smrutisnat Jena