Mathieu Van Der Poel won’t defend his world cyclo-cross title later this month. Due to his already known back injury, Mathieu van der Poel and the Alpecin-Fenix team management have decided to put a stop to his cyclo-cross season.
Team management Alpecin-Fenix, Christoph and Philip Roodhooft:
“We want to optimize the healing process and that is not possible if there is time pressure for a possible participation in the World Championships in Fayetteville. Hence the decision to end his cyclo-cross campaign. Medically there is no news to report. Mathieu respects the prescribed rest, and the injury is monitored by the medical staff and the treating specialist.
Speculations about whether it will take weeks or months are groundless. It is currently impossible to predict how fast the swelling will disappear. The treating doctors agree that it will effectively disappear with rest. That’s the most important thing, both for Mathieu and for the team. He will only start his road season when the injury is over, and when he’s been able to prepare for it properly. At this moment it makes no sense to pinpoint a date on it. We will only do that if it does.”
Mathieu van der Poel:
“I can’t say much about it, it is what it is. Because of that back pain I haven’t been able to reach my desired level since the Tour. I just want that to be in the past. The only remedy turns out to be a longer rest period. It would therefore be foolish to interrupt this period again and still try to make it to the World Championships. We all agree on that. Even though it is very bitter – I have participated in the World CX Championships 10 consecutive times – not being able to defend my title in the States is a real downer. I’m not worried about the future of my career, but of course it frustrates me now not knowing how long this rest period will last. We’ll only set a date and goals if we can do so in a substantiated manner. Until then, I’ll do what I can.”