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World champion Mathieu van der Poel will not defend his cyclo-cross world title later this month, Alpecin-Fenix has announced. Van der Poel’s winter was marred by injuries, and following the latest flare-up of his back injury, the 26-year-old has decided to prioritize recovery, hopefully in time for the Classics of the spring.
The news is not particularly unexpected. Van der Poel’s father Adrie told Sporza yesterday his son will not be competing this week and hinted that the rest of his cyclocross season is in jeopardy.
This morning, in a team press release, Mathieu confirmed the news: “I can’t say much about it, it’s like that. Because of this back pain I couldn’t reach the desired level since the Tour, I just want it to be in the past.
“The only cure turns out to be a longer rest period. So it would be foolish to interrupt this period again and try to make it to the World Championships anyway. We all agree on that. Even though it’s very bitter – I’ve been at the CX World Championships 10 times in a row – not being able to defend my title in the United States is really depressing.
“I’m not worried about the future of my career, but of course it frustrates me now that I don’t know how long this rest period will last. We will only set a date and goals if we can make it happen. justified way. Until then, I will do what I can. “