The multiple cyclo-cross world champion has revealed his plans for the winter: on December 17th he will challenge World Champion Tom Pidcock in Vermiglio, Val di Sole. “I can't wait to compete in a race that thrilled me on TV last year: I think the snow must suit me"
His most recent memory in Val di Sole has him raising his arms on the finish line of the 2019 MTB World Cup stage in Commezzadura. Since then, first the COVID, then the injuries and finally his ambitions in road races have held back Mathieu Van der Poel from showing off in Trentino.
The wait is now about to end. The Dutch sensation, multiple World Champion in cyclo-cross, has included the Cyclocross World Cup stage in Vermiglio, Val di Sole, as the fourth appointment in his winter calendar, and he will certainly try to pick up in the same way he had left – winning.
"As soon as I saw that it fit into my calendar, I didn't hesitate to add this World Cup to my program,” Mathieu Van der Poel said. “After all, I have good memories of Val di Sole. I won the MTB World Cup there in 2019 and was already on the podium a year earlier. I am delighted to be able to cross in Val di Sole now as well. Last year I saw the race on TV and I was absolutely thrilled with the course. Even though it's been a long time since I raced on snow, a surface like this must suit me. I'm really looking forward to it.”
Van der Poel won’t be the only star in the men’s event on December 17th. Reigning Cyclocross World Champion Tom Pidcock is expected to make another run at Val di Sole’s World Cup stage after last year’s 2nd place behind a dominating Wout Van Aert.
Although the Belgian will not defend his title from 2021, having to attend his Team Jumbo-Visma’s training camp, the Van der Poel - Pidcock is set to ignite the fans’ enthusiasm: the early feedback from the ticket sales (online at valdisolebikeland.com) confirm the level of expectation surrounding a stage that was recognized as “World Cup event of the year” last season, watched from everywhere in the World.
The anticipation of the Italian World Cup stage also involves Flanders Classics, the World Cup’s managing company, as stressed by the words of CEO Tomas Van den Spiegel on the occasion of his recent visit to Vermiglio.
“Last year's success demonstrates that Val di Sole has the potential to become a real fixture in the World Cup calendar, a new classic. We are confident that we will see a great show of public once again, this time also with fans from Belgium and the Netherlands traveling over, without last year’s restrictions.”
“The top champions of cyclocross love to compete in the snow, as they stated after last year’s event,” continued Van den Spiegel. “In 2021 we had the likes of Vos, Van Aert and Pidcock putting on a show, and in 2022 we can’t wait to have Mathieu back on the circuit after his physical troubles and look forward to a great showcase in Val di Sole as well.”