Van der Poel opts against Tokyo 2020 road race
Mathieu van der Poel has decided against taking part in the Tokyo 2020 road race and opted to fully focus on the mountain bike event at next year’s Olympics.
The Dutchman was reportedly thinking about juggling both events in Japan, with the 24-year-old Corendon-Circus rider having impressed on the road this year, including victory in the Amstel Gold Race.
However, Van der Poel told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf he will not compete in the road race at the Olympics as it is scheduled to take place two days before the mountain bike event.
“It is far too difficult, my participation in the road race at the Games is not an option,” Van der Poel said.
“I thought about it for a while, but that was at an early stage when the first dates showed that there was a bigger gap between the road race and the mountain bike event.”
Van der Poel will be in action at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire later this month – live on Eurosport on September 29 – and is also set to race in the Tour of Britain, which is live on Eurosport from September 7-14.
“I think the course of the World Championships is comparable to the Amstel Gold Race, there aren’t any long climbs but it is also not flat,” Van der Poel added.
“Of course, you don’t get the chance to ride on a course that suits you so well at the World Championships that often. I don’t want to let that chance go.”