Mathieu Van Der Poel’s Cyclocross World Championship Prep Unveils Surprising Track Challenges

Published 02/04/2024, 1:36 PM EST

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Mathieu Van Der Poel is all buckled up to go for glory at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships. However, before the race commenced, the Dutch cyclist thought of taking a tour of the track and he did not regret it. While Poel had already assumed how his strategy would be going into the World Championship, he might have to reconsider and adjust the same a bit after his recent trip to the track. Speaking about his take on the terrain, Poel stated that the track will not be an easy hurdle to conquer. 

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As the days go by in a jiffy, the preparations of all the cyclists are at their peak. Thus, such vital inputs from a world-class athlete would only do a world of good for all of them. So what exactly did Poel make of the track in Tabor?

Mathieu Van Der Poel perceives Tabor as a “hard” challenge 

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Poel would be heading into the race with the title of the defending champion. However, that looks unlikely to put him in a state of complacency. After a careful examination of the track, Poel had some very interesting observations to share with Sporza. The 29-year-old stated that he felt happy about his decision of pre-examining the track, as it depicted an entirely different picture than he had expected. 

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He further justified his findings by elaborating, This is real cyclocross, much harder than first thought and expected. But it is a fair course. The rider with the best legs will become world champion.” However, a quick look at Poel’s chances this year would tell that he is all set to clinch his sixth elite men’s world title. 

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Poel has been in sublime touch this season and almost went undefeated until his horrific crash at the Benidorm World Cup. To top it all, the lineup he would be having looks formidable. Teaming up with Poel for The Netherlands are Mees Hendrikx, Corne van Kessel, Ryan Kamp, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Lars van der Haar, and Pim Rohnaar. 

However, as intimidating as the Dutch team is, they will face off against a resilient Belgian side. 

Belgian coach unperturbed by the Dutch factor

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The Dutch will have the Belgians as their nemesis in their path to cycling glory. To cope with the Dutch fear factor, the Belgian team will have Witse Meeussen, Jens Adams, Toon Vandebosch, Joran Wyseure, Thibau Nys, Niels Vandeputte, Laurens Swweck, Michael Vanthourenhout, and Eli Iserbyt thwarting the opponent. 

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Sven Vanthourenhout, the Belgian coach, also oozed confidence while speaking about his team’s chances. He also doubled down on the Mathieu Van Der Poel factor while being interviewed by HLN, stating, We know that Mathieu is the big favourite. But I’m not going to immediately start talking about second and third place. If we focus on that, we will run into a counterattack anyway. And I can only hope that the boys rise above themselves. The motivation is there.”

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Thus, with the lines drawn, it will now be interesting to see which team ends up with all smiles post-Sunday. 

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Written by:

Disita Sikdar

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Words have the power to inspire and unite, and I am dedicated to making that happen! As a passionate Viral Sports writer at EssentiallySports, my past experiences as a content creator and social media manager have only fueled my drive to bring the world of sports to life. My love affair with American sports finds its epicenter in WWE. Since childhood, I have been enthralled by the dazzling world of WWE, captivated by its awe-inspiring storylines that blur the lines between sports and theatre! My coverage brings out the electrifying excitement of WWE, the poetic beauty of Soccer, and the fierce battles on the Tennis court.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav

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