mathieu van der poel watts
Mathieu Van der Poel has started the Giro d'Italia in superb form, winning the stage 1 hill top finish and finishing second on the punchy stage 2 time-trial, ensuring he will keep the Maglia Rosa until the Giro goes to Etna on stage 4. The Dutch superstar finished his classics season on April 18th with Paris-Roubaix, after which he took a four day break, according to Strava. Van der Poel is practically the only superstar who publishes on Strava all his races, training, heart rate and power data. Previously we analysed his preparation for Milano-Sanremo, as he was recovering from a back injury. In this article we will look at how he prepared for the Giro d'Italia as well as his performance in the opening two stages.
No one thought at the start of March that Mathieu van der Poel would have made this impressive a come back in Milano-Sanremo and the Tour of Flanders, considering his back problem and missed training kilometres in the winter. However in a perverse way, the enforced rest, during his usual cyclocross schedule, probably made his incredible victory at Flanders possible. The Dutchman was the only one able to stay with Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar on the short Flandrian climbs and then produced his typical 15s power to win the final sprint. Let's look at van der Poel's and other riders' power from the big race.