Mathieu van der Poel wins European Mountain Bike Championships
But the Dutch star is back on the road in Norway and says he’s going to have to make a physical adjustment before he’s ready to perform at his best again.
“During the summer, when I do both, when I go from mountain bike to road, I don't have the endurance to be at my best at the end of a race. Then when I come from a long period of cycling on the road I don't have the interval training needed to go with the best guys on the mountain bike," Van der Poel said ahead of the four-day race.
"There's no real mental switch, it's just physically I'm not used to being on a bike for that long. I've prepared really well for mountain biking in the last months, doing intervals and not really endurance. It's more than a month since I did a long endurance training ride, so that will be the problem. That's the reason I wanted to start here again, to get back into racing on the road bike and get the endurance back."
Van der Poel: ‘My next goal? Winning the world road race’
Upon leaving Norway the 24-year-old will turn his focus towards preparations for the World Championships in Yorkshire, with a training block scheduled as well as participation in the Tour of Britain.
The undulating course through the north-England region seems to suit Van der Poel’s skill-set, and he says that 2019 could be a rare opportunity for him to get his hands on that title.
"That's one of the reasons I chose to do the Worlds, because I think I have a good chance,” Van der Poel said. “World Championships courses are sometimes too hard for me, or if not, it's a sprint. So I think Yorkshire is a good one for me."