Van der Poel ponders 2021 Tour de France debut with Tokyo 2020 in mind
Mathieu van der Poel admits he could make his Tour de France debut in 2021, but ruled out featuring in the Grand Tour next year because of the Olympics.
The Dutch Corendon-Circus rider will go for Tokyo 2020 gold in the mountain biking, and said the Tour de France falls too closely to the Olympics to consider competing.
"Next year I will not ride the Tour anyway because I want to participate in the Games and the two events do not coincide well on the calendar," Van der Poel told reporters.
"Maybe participating in the Vuelta a España is going to be an option, but I'm not working on that yet.
" It could certainly be that I will appear at the start of the Tour in 2021, but nothing has been decided on that either.""
A remarkable 2019 saw Van der Poel claim the Gerrit Schulte Trophy – awarded to the best male Dutch cyclist of the year – after winning Dutch, European and world titles in cyclo-cross.
He also won the Amstel Gold race on the road, and Van der Poel spoke of his admiration for Belgian Wout Van Aert, who won stage 10 in his Tour de France debut earlier this year.
"Although I was certainly not watching with jealousy, it is very beautiful what he has shown," Van der Poel said on Van Aert, who was forced to abandon the Tour after stage 13.
" Wout and I pull ourselves together and we reach a high level. His performance in the Tour is an indication of what I could do in that race. It makes me dream a bit. Like this: if Wout could win that sprint, I would normally have been there."