Cyclo-cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel is gearing up for a selective winter campaign, where he’ll embark on a series of twelve cyclo-cross events leading up to the World Championships.
Vincent Van Genechten reported yesterday at 15:05 that Van der Poel’s calendar is now set. The champion is poised to commence his 2023-2024 season at the Zilvermeercross in Mol on 22nd December. His presence is also confirmed for the subsequent Exact Cross, as well as the Azencross in Loenhout. Additionally, January will see him competing in three X20 Badkamers Trofee events: on New Year’s Day in Baal, the 4th in Koksijde, and the Rectavit Flandriencross in Hamme on 27th January, just one week prior to the World Championships in Tabor, where he will be defending his title.
The tally of races is slightly down from last season’s fifteen, with venues such as Herentals, Boom, Heusden-Zolder, and Val di Sole missing from his current schedule. Nonetheless, Van der Poel plans to feature in the World Cup events in Antwerp, Gavere, Hulst, Zonhoven, and Benidorm, as well as returning to Hoogerheide, the site of last year’s World Championships. Also on his agenda is the Superprestige race in Diegem.
Van der Poel recently shared with Eurosport his enthusiasm for balancing between road and cyclo-cross disciplines, saying, “I plan to start my cyclo-cross season at the end of December and will race between ten to fifteen races, culminating in the World Championships in early February.” He expressed his appreciation for not being confined to a single discipline all year round. Although admitting that cyclo-cross no longer presents the same level of challenge for him as it used to, having shifted his competitive focus largely to the road, he acknowledged the cross-discipline benefits. He noted that the endurance and freshness required for the road races are well-sustained by his cyclo-cross efforts, going so far as to liken the finale of the classics to cyclo-cross events, albeit after five hours of prior racing.
Mathieu van der Poel 2023/24 Cyclocross Races
- World Championships (Tabor)