“The Belgian Press Speculates Van der Poel Could Achieve Even Greater Success Outside of Idolizing Teams”



"The Belgian Press Speculates Van der Poel Could Achieve Even Greater Success Outside of Idolizing Teams"



“The Belgian Press Speculates Van der Poel Could Achieve Even Greater Success Outside of Idolizing Teams”



The Belgian Press Speculates Van der Poel Could Achieve Even Greater Success Outside of Idolizing Teams

Belgium may have one of the strongest cycling cultures in the world, but it is also a country that is prone to excessive pride in its sporting heroes. The most recent of which, Remco Evenepoel, has dominated headlines since his arrival on the professional circuit. However, some members of the Belgian press are looking further afield and wondering if Mathieu van der Poel could surpass the achievements of even his greatest predecessors by stepping out from under the oppressive shadow of idolizing teams.

The Power of Teams

There is little doubt that cycling is a team sport, and the importance of a rider’s supporting cast cannot be underestimated. However, some riders become so inexorably linked with their team that they struggle to win outside of its comfort, even when competing against weaker fields. Van der Poel has been one such rider, reportedly struggling on roads not paved with Alpecin–Fenix branding, to the extent that some have questioned how much of his success has been due to his talents, and how much is down to the quality of his team.

Breaking Free

However, if van der Poel were to break free from Alpecin–Fenix, as some are speculating he may, he could achieve yet greater success. Those close to the Dutchman have hinted that he may leave the team to try his hand on the road full-time, and could join a WorldTour team. The benefits of such a move would be three-fold. Firstly, van der Poel would have a larger, better-supported team behind him, increasing his chances of winning. Secondly, he would be exposed to a stronger field of competitors, further cementing his status as one of the best riders of his generation. Finally, he would have an opportunity to prove that he can win without his idolized team pushing him forward.

Belgium’s Reluctance

Of course, van der Poel is under no obligation to leave Alpecin–Fenix or to even race on the road. However, part of the speculation around his future stems from the reluctance of many Belgian teams to offer him a path to career progression. Unlike in other countries, where young riders are supported and nurtured by pro teams, in Belgium, it seems that riders must pay their dues and earn their stripes before they are even considered for the top-tier of cycling.

A Glimpse of What Could Be

Van der Poel has, of course, already shown that he is capable of cross-discipline success. He has won world championships in cyclo-cross and junior-level road races, as well as stage victories in the Tour de France. However, it is hard not to imagine what he could achieve if he were to leave the cozy confines of Alpecin–Fenix and test himself against the best in the world, without the weight of expectation and the pressure of being part of a team. Van der Poel may already be a cycling superstar, but if he were to take this step, he could well cement his place in the pantheon of the sport’s all-time greats.

#MathieuVanDerPoel #Cycling #TeamSuccess #WorldTour #BelgianCycling #AlpecinFenix

Summary: Some members of the Belgian press are looking further afield and wondering if Mathieu van der Poel could surpass the achievements of even his greatest predecessors by stepping out from under the oppressive shadow of idolizing teams. Van der Poel has been one such rider, reportedly struggling on roads not paved with Alpecin–Fenix branding, to the extent that some have questioned how much of his success has been due to his talents, and how much is down to the quality of his team. If van der Poel were to break free from Alpecin–Fenix, he could achieve yet greater success. However, Belgium is reluctant to offer him a path to career progression. Van der Poel has already shown that he is capable of cross-discipline success. However, it is hard not to imagine what he could achieve if he were to leave the cozy confines of Alpecin–Fenix and test himself against the best in the world, without the weight of expectation and the pressure of being part of a team. #SPORT

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