Mathieu van der Poel remounts his mountain motorbike Sunday to trip the Olympic take a look at tournament at Elancourt hill in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, the website for mountain motorbike competitions on the Paris Olympic Video games subsequent 12 months.
Different elite athletes anticipated to take part come with multidisciplinary Global Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, four-time French MTB champion Loana Lecomte, reigning ladies’s XCO Eu champion Puck Pieterse, Rio Olympics gold medalist and 10-time Global Champion Nino Schurter and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Tom Pidcock.
Simply two UCI-sanctioned races shall be held Sunday, one for ladies at 1:00 p.m. native time and one for males at 3:00 p.m. native time, on a 4.4km direction. A complete of 39 ladies and 43 males are a part of the beginning lists.
Paris 2024 organisers presented the take a look at occasions no longer only for competitions, however for comments from athletes. Gerben de Knegt, the Dutch mountain motorbike nationwide trainer, mentioned the workforce had particular pastime within the technical sides of the direction and the way it matched talents for key athletes, like Van der Poel.
“The [athletes] would love so to make an estimate upfront of the gravity of the climbs and revel in for themselves how technically sure passages are. That is how you’ll get an concept of the way the direction suits your abilities and if you wish to upload sure abilities within the run-up to the Paris 2024 Olympics. We’re satisfied that we will – somewhat with regards to house – for a weekend to peer how the path is,” De Knegt said at the KNWU Instagram feed.
Van der Poel is likely one of the workforce’s headliners and in a quest to constitute the Netherlands in cross-country mountain cycling on the Paris Olympic Video games in 2024. The newly-crowned street race Global Champion comes into the take a look at tournament from a street victory at SUPER 8 Classics per week in the past. HIs remaining look on a mountain motorbike used to be within the cross-country race on the Global Championships in Scotland, the place he crashed out at the first lap.
It used to be a equivalent state of affairs for Van der Poel on the Tokyo Olympic Video games the place he crashed out of the XCO race at the opening lap. It used to be his most effective likelihood for a medal, as he had pulled out of the elite males’s street race. Van der Poel may just strive the road-MTB double-header in Paris, because the elite males’s street race is scheduled for August 3, 5 days following the cross-country mountain motorbike contest.
“We shouldn’t have two Van der Poel-types. It continues to be observed what possible choices he makes,” Koos Moerenhout, some other Dutch nationwide workforce trainer at the flooring in France, informed Wielerflits.
“He is additionally no longer going to do each disciplines if he does not believe in both of them. Within the coming length, we will be able to have conversations to peer the place his priorities lie. Mathieu at all times will get an additional megastar as a result of his completing high quality. However then the entirety needs to be proper.”
Self belief with the mountain motorbike direction shall be extra necessary than the end result this Sunday.
“We can know what that direction seems like and what plans we will make for it after this weekend. I’ve attempted to assemble details about that direction in a wide variety of how, however it is rather restricted,” De Knegt informed the Dutch information outlet.
“It may be a mountaineering direction with two lengthy climbs, or an period direction with a number of brief climbs. It can be that Mathieu thinks very in a different way about his mountain motorbike ambitions in Paris after Sunday. However I wish to speak about his preparation.”
A part of the state of affairs is that the Paris Olympic Video games come at the heels of the Excursion de France, the place Van der Poel plans to race for his Alpecin-Deceuninck workforce. The Excursion used to be moved to per week previous than same old, between June 29-July 21, with the Paris Olympic Video games starting on July 26.
“In case you do the entire Excursion, that still method you do not contact the mountain motorbike for 3 weeks and also you most effective have 8 days to hone the sensation on that motorbike once more. All of it hinges on what Mathieu himself desires. That are meant to be transparent quickly,” De Knegt added.
“It additionally will depend on the direction. An period direction leans a lot nearer to the line. To be honest: the line race in Paris, Mathieu likes that very a lot. However the aggregate is a problem.”
Sunday’s take a look at tournament takes position on an open slot at the UCI Mountain Motorcycle Global Cup calendar, happening comfortably following occasions in Les Will get, France and earlier than the general two competitions in North The us – Snowshoe, West Virginia from September 29-October 1 and Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec from October 6-8.
Elancourt hill is a public park that used to be remodeled 4 a long time in the past from long-closed sandstone quarries. The hill itself reaches a peak of 231 metres, the easiest level within the Paris area and provides perspectives of the Eiffel Tower from the summit. Nearly all of motorbike paths on this location, as much as 95%, shall be used for mountain motorbike competitions subsequent summer season, designed via South African knowledgeable Nick Floros, in step with Paris 2024 organisers.
Van der Poel continues to be searching for an elusive Olympic Video games medal, and he can have a possibility at two. The routes for the line races on the Paris Video games have been unveiled in early July this 12 months, with the boys dealing with the longest direction within the historical past of the Video games, 273km. Filled with 13 punchy climbs, the elevation acquire provides as much as 2,800 metres and fits the manner of a rider like Van der Poel. After the announcement the Global Champion mentioned “this can be a Vintage in Flanders”.
Now the climbs and turns of the mountain motorbike direction desire a nearer inspection. It’s nonetheless 11 months away till the actual take a look at, however exams and arrangements start Sunday.