Yes I know Mathieu van der Poel won’t be driving the 1,000 km in his Lamborgini from his home in Belgium to Tábor, Czech Republic, but please allow me to be hyperbolic this time. Why? Because Mathieu van der Poel has been utterly unbeatable this year, barring incident, he will crush the competition and take another rainbow jersey to add to his collection. A reader told me about a joke from Reddit where a few Redditors had made a similar quip about a broken-down Lambo being the only thing that stood in his way–and they make a good point.
He has won 12 out of 13 races this ‘cross season, and without some bad luck, it would have been a sweep. At the UCI World Cup in Benidorm, Spain, he looked poised to take the win when a crash into a pole (as in the inanimate object kind, not the Polish national ‘cross champ, Marek Konwa, type) wrecked his chances. Prior to that, he exhibited godly power as he creste the short climb each lap.
This was on a day too which had been preceded by some hefty training. “I didn’t have freshest legs,” van der Poel said after the race, where he finished fifth.
Stunning exhibits of power
But for a guy with tired gams, he sure was impressive. He was way back in 19th after the first lap, and with the course being quick and the riders being strung out, it would be a tough feat to make it to the front. By the third lap he would fly by eight riders. And those aren’t just any racers, but some of the best ‘cross riders in the world–and he made it look like they were 12-year-old racers.
He would finally catch the lead group, but that little crash put him out of contention.
MvdP’s new rig
The world champ showed up to with a brand-new Lamborgini Urus Super SUV at the X2O Trofee Herentals 2023 – Men Elite (C2). It’s not the first Lambo he’s driven: he became an ambassador for the super car company in April. But this current rig is basically the cyclocross version of a sports car–so it’s a perfect match.
Jeremy Powers told cyclingnews.com that the world championships course in is a “total wattage track,” so that sounds perfect for the Watt Monster himself. As long as he doesn’t have any bad luck–hopefully the pole incident will be the only incident of this year–he should put on an unforgettable performance.