Report: Worlds, Paris-Roubaix an uncertainty for Mathieu van der Poel as back problems persist

Van der Poel continues to struggle with consequences of Olympic crash, team plans to decide next steps over the weekend.

Photo: James Startt

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Mathieu van der Poel still hasn’t thrown off the consequences of the dramatic crash that wiped him out of the Tokyo Olympic MTB race last month.

Het Laatste Nieuws reports that van der Poel is still receiving treatment for back pain and that his prestigious late-season schedule has been cast into uncertainty. The Belgian daily stated Friday that Alpecin-Fenix bosses will hunker down this weekend to decide if van der Poel can continue with his plans to race through a schedule that includes the mountain bike and road worlds and Paris-Roubaix.

Van der Poel is still yet to return to action after his dramatic crash at the Tokyo Games in late July.

The 26-year-old had attempted to get the pedals turning at an altitude camp in Livigno earlier this month ahead of a return to racing at the MTB worlds next weekend. However, the training block was cut short when van der Poel was forced to return home due to back pain.

HLN indicates that van der Poel has recently received a pain-killing injection and had his bike and cleat fit tweaked in a bid to iron out the residual pain from his dramatic Olympic crash.

The next 48 hours could determine whether Mathieu van der Poel will see his bid to win Paris-Roubaix and score world titles across two disciplines come to an early end.

Van der Poel’s planned late-season schedule:

  • Mountain bike worlds (Val di Sole): August 29
  • Benelux Tour: August 30-September 5
  • Road worlds (Leuven): September 26
  • Paris-Roubaix: October 10

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