Raymond Poulidor: Mathieu van der Poel is of the same caliber as Eddy Merckx
Jun 18 2017 01:15 pm CET

Photo of Mathieu van der Poel by Beobank-Corendon
Vuelta a España and three-times runner-up in the Tour de France Raymond Poulidor thinks his grandson has what it takes to become a Grand Tour winner and a legend on his own.

Even though the name Mathieu van der Poel is still not very familiar in the road racing world, he is already a major presence in the Cyclo-cross world where he has won the World Championships and twice the Junior World Championships, being the first rider to do so at that level.

Van der Poel comes from a family of cyclists: his brother David is also a cyclo-cross champion, his father Adri was six times Dutch national champion and won races like the Tour of Flanders, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Amstel Gold Race; and his grandfather is the legendary Raymond Poulidor.

The French Grand Tour winner sees a bright future for his grandson's career. "If you look at what Mathieu has achieved so far, he has done more than his father and grandfather at his age," said Poulidor to Belgian tv station Sporza.

"Right now he says that he's to heavy for the mountains but there have been plenty of riders who have lost weight and played a role in the mountains after all. Look at Eddy Merckx. When I saw his debut, I never thought he would later drop us all in the mountains. I think Mathieu is of the same caliber," he added.

Right now van der Poel still does both, cyclo-cross and road cycling, but Poulidor believes it is "inevitable that he will choose the road." And then, he predicts that the world will be seeing a name to remember in the big races: "In time, he will even be one of the top favourites for the overall win."
Related rider(s)
Mathieu VAN DER POEL





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Giro d'Italia (2.UWT)
Stage 21 (ITT) Monza - Milan (2017-05-28)

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Pos. Name Team Country Time
1.Jos VAN EMDENTLJ 33:08
2.Tom DUMOULINSUN +15
3.Manuel QUINZIATOBMC +27
4.Vasil KIRYIENKASKY +31
5.Joseph ROSSKOPFBMC +35
6.Jan BÁRTABOH +39
7.Georg PREIDLERSUN +51
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9.Jan TRATNIKCCC +57
10.Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVAMOV +1:02
11.Marcin BIALOBLOCKICCC +1:04
12.Mads PEDERSENTFS +1:04
13.Vincenzo NIBALITBM +1:09
14.Tobias LUDVIGSSONFDJ +1:09
15.Michael HEPBURNORS +1:13
16.Stef CLEMENTTLJ +1:14
17.Chad HAGASUN +1:16
18.Jurgen VAN DEN BROECKTLJ +1:17
19.Silvan DILLIERBMC +1:17
20.Svein TUFTORS +1:18
21.Tejay VAN GARDERENBMC +1:21
22.Jasper STUYVENTFS +1:31
23.Ruben PLAZAORS +1:36
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25.Lukas PÖSTLBERGERBOH +1:37

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