Mathieu van der Poel: the bike in the DNA

Can you present MVP in just thirty second?
I think I’m passionate about what I do, about cycling. I have done it since I was a young kid, and I still love doing it. Now it’s on a higher level and, yes, it’s really funny.

 

You are son and grandson of two great champions. Is it a predestination or a forced way?
No, I think It was a bit destination, definitely not forced. I also see some other sports, but cycling is something I enjoyed when I was little kid, I’m still doing it and that’s the most important thing for me.

 

How did you begin you career and how old were you when you started and what was a difficult situation?
I was quite young when I started, I had my first cyclocross race when I was 6, so I made it quite early and I’ve done it for a long time as I said, and my first difficult situation was, I think 3 years ago when I had some knee problems. That wasn’t nice situation for me, it costed for me some time to get back on top, but before that it went by itself. It was the first big issue that came across my path.

 

I think you must have a mix of talent and hard work. I won races when I was little, I started to think that I could make it when I began to win pro races in the Elite category
Yes, of course some days when there’s a very bad weather outside or something like that very cold and you’re asking yourself what you’re doing, but at the end, when you win a race

A very personal question. Are you engaged? How is the private life of a pro rider?
I’m single, and my life is about cycling, it’s my profession and apart from that, even when I’m not training I rest and I try to be as good as possible in view of my next training.

And tell me: if you find a real love which would say you, or the bike or me?
I think the bike will always win. It’s something I do all my life, I make my living with it.

If you were not a rider, what would you be? Have you ever thought about your future after your career?
Maybe I would play soccer now, I’ve done it for a few years, It was pretty good. For me was very clear I would have become a professional cyclist when I was 19, so clear what I would have do. After my cycling career? Maybe some extreme sport or something like that, I hope.

Your favourite team?
To be honest, in soccer I don’t really follow a team, even if I like to play it.

Which is you role on the pitch?
I was a stiker.

Do you usually ride your bike to travel and not only for a race?
No, I only take my bike for training. When I was younger I was used to ride the bike to go to the school, but actually I use it just for the competitions.

In your opinion, who is the greatest rider of all time?
That’s a hard question, I think it’s not so easy to compare the actual racers to the runners of thirty years ago. There are a lot of great names, Eddie Merckx is one of them, but it’s difficult to say which is the best of all time.

Your favourite dish?
I like food in general, so I don’t really have a unique preference. I appreciate almost all kind of food.

Let’s come back to your career. Your greatest satisfaction till today and the worst lose?
My best satisfaction was this year by winning 32 cycle races, something unique I think. Biggest disappointing was World Championship last year where I had 4 flat tyres and lost the race.
And the day after I had two flat tyres in my car too!

The strangest/funniest thing happened on the bike?
I had a lot of good moments on the bike. It’s so funny when you go out with your friends and someone crashes (not too bad obviously).

Target in view of the 2018?
My dream was to be professional cyclist in the beginning, it was the main goal. I wanted to be World Champion, and I achieved it two/three years ago. Now I try to win as many races as possible. I did a good job this season, hope to continue in this way. I hope to do some good races on MTB as well.

What about the e-bike trend? Have you ever tried it?
No I never really tried one yet. I think it is such a funny way to ride especially for people who don’t want to suffer so much and want to get fast in an easier way.

In the future, when you will have a son, do you hope that he will follow your steps and your father and grandfather’s steps?
I really don’t think about it yet, to be honest. It’s not in the near future.

You and Selle Italia: let’s talk about this relationship. Cyclocross, mtb, road: 3 different disciplines and type of saddle. What do you look for in a saddle for these different riding experiences?
I think the most important thing about saddles is the comfort, especially on the road when you are sitting many hours on it; for cyclocross it doesn’t really matter so much the comfort but it has to be strong enough because there are a lot of bumps on the track.

Which kind of saddle are you using now and how did you choose it?
Now I’m using the Flite Flow. It’s a very good saddle, it is comfortable and strong enough for cyclocross and so I like it so much.

How much the saddle influences your performance?
I think is very important because in cyclocross you must pull a lot of power on the pedals when you’re sitting down, and it’s also important to have a strong grip when pedaling.

How many saddles do you usually change during the season? Is it a need or a choice?
I don’t think I change a saddle that much during the season. I cyclocross you are not spending so many time on the saddle. If I change is just a matter of need and not because I want a new saddle.

How is your relationship with Selle Italia and how did you meet it?
I met it trough the team. For me is very important to have a good saddle, especially when I have long trainings. I think that’s fundamental not only for me but even for all the other cyclists.

Merckx, Hinault, Indurain, Pantani: the most important cyclists rode with Selle Italia. What’s your feeling about entering this club?
It’s cool! These are great names in the world of saddles, it’s such a big proud for me to join this family.

Selle Italia has a scientific approach to find the ideal saddle size for every athlete. What do you think about this philosophy? Do you feel the benefits?
Yes, I think it’s a great innovation by Selle Italia which contribute to make a saddle for each single rider. There are not so many riders that have the same desires and, for this reason, it is good to have a lot of choices. For me it’s perfect to enjoy the ideal saddle, sitting on it and have good feelings while I’m on the bike.

Let’s talk about our new mtb saddle, the X-LR. What do you expect from this light and strong product?
It looks great, as you said it’s really light and I expect to be as good as the others “Selle Italia”. I look forward to test it off-road.

Last question: can you give me three main features to describe Selle Italia?
You do a really great job. I will give you a right feedback after riding on the new X-LR!

 

 

 

 

 

« Back

Scegli il tuo paese

Europe

is also

Enter your details and sign up for our newsletter.

*mandatory fields