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"It is the first time that I have done such a long ride during the cross season, but with the wind in your back, it is not bad to do. After a good training week in Spain and this training, I can take it somewhat easier."




21.11.2016 @ 16:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

When Mathieu van der Poel Sunday was told that the race in Koksijde was canceled, his entire schedule was in tatters. The 21-year-old Dutchman who lives in Kapellen with his parents and brother, returned to his home on bike. "We had mostly tailwind", he told Sporza.


On Sunday evening, Mathieu van der Poel tweeted a picture of the Port House in Antwerp. Van der Poel had briefly stopped during a bike ride from Koksijde to Kapellen, a trip of almost 208 kilometers.


Sporza called Van der Poel on Monday morning to ask how he got that idea. "It was actually the idea of ​​my brother David. We both did not want to return home by car and then decided to ride. We were just the two of us, there was no one else," said Van der Poel.


"We left Koksijde at around 11.30 when there was still light. In Antwerp it was getting dark and I took pictures of the new headquarters.”


How do you plan a route that you never travels? "David had his bike GPS. In Ghent, we really needed it because it was unknown terrain. The GPS took a little too many small oads and winding paths, so we stopped a few times to see on our smartphones what direction we had to go. "


"Eventually we rode along ma canals and the route was a little longer than we thought, but no problem. We had the wind in our back. In the beginning there was still a lot of wind, which was very nice. There were a few sections in headwinds and we had to work hard there.”


In the news, people were advised to stay indoors. Is such a bike ride not dangerous? "No, not really. Where we live, it sometimes blows very hard. We had to have a firm grip on our bikes but we never thought that it was irresponsible.


"In the end it was a nice trip. I had good legs and then it is always better (laughs) But it's also true: If you haven’t planned anything, is it easier to keep going.


"Because if you say beforehand that I'm going to ride six hours today, you know that it will take so long. Now we were on unknown roads and we saw new and different things. That makes it different.


"Whether I plan the training together with others? Actually, I make my plans myself, in consultation with team leader Christoph Roodhooft and my father (Adri van der Poel, ed.) To have such a ride on Sunday will in any case not be a disadvantage for the next week.


"It is the first time that I have done such a long ride during the cross season, but with the wind in your back, it is not bad to do. After a good training week in Spain and this training, I can take it somewhat easier the rest of the week to be fresh for next weekend.”



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