It shouldn’t come as a surprise but yesterday the KNWU confirmed that Mathieu van der Poel will indeed be part of the Dutch team for the world championships in Wollongong.


– By Rob Arnold (Photos: Zac Williams)


Get ready for the showdown that has become very much part of modern cycling. Last week the Belgian federation announced its line-up for the 2022 world championships in Wollongong (18-25 September) and Wout van Aert was, quite obviously, listed as one of the leaders. And, as is often the case these days, when WvA is in action to too is MVDP.

Yesterday it was confirmed that Mathieu van der Poel will be part of the Dutch team for the road race on the final day of the championships.

Mathieu van der Poel is confirmed as a starter for the world championships in Wollongong. (Photo: Zac Williams)

The full selection for the Dutch elite men’s team is as follows (in alphabetical order):

  • Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma)
  • Daan Hoole* (Trek-Segafredo)
  • Jan Maas (Team BikeExchange-Jayco)
  • Bauke Mollema* (Trek-Segafredo)
  • Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious)
  • Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers)
  • Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux)
  • Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck)

*Denotes riders who have been nominated to ride the time trial.

The rest of the Dutch team for Wollongong was announced earlier in September, with Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Demi Vollering and Ellen van Dijk part of the elite women’s team that is highly likely to dominate the penultimate race of the championships on Saturday 24 September.

Mathieu Van der Poel hasn’t had quite the run of luck this season that he has enjoyed on the road for the rest of his career but he is still one of the most dominant riders of his generation. First in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, a stint in the maglia rosa and a list of other conquests feature on his CV for 2022, and he is the obvious leader for the Dutch team in Wollongong.

Still, the national coach Koos Moerenhout is mindful not to dismiss the qualities of the other riders in the elite men’s team, including 2022 Paris-Roubaix winner Dylan van Baarle as well as Wout Poels and Bauke Mollema.

The winner of Paris-Roubaix this year, Dylan van Baarle, will also be part of the Dutch team. The 30-year-old was the runner-up in the elite men’s race in 2021.

“Mathieu is a spearhead,” said Moerenhout in the KNWU announcement, posted online yesterday, “but we certainly want to use the strength of the entire team.

“As far as you can compare a World Cup course with a Classic, it is a mix of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

MVDP hasn’t competed on the road as much as he did in 2021 but he recently lined up for the one-day Stadsprijs Geraardsbergen at the end of August – only his second race since his DNF in the Tour de France this July – and he duly won… and his brother David van der Poel finished second.

“We have a balanced squad on which we can be competitive on all parts of the course,” says Moerenhout.

“In recent years, the pace at the world championships has often been high and in combination with approximately 4,000 metres of climbing, this championship will again become a battle of wear and tear, especially once we have passed the limit of 200km. The last climb shortly before the finish invites you to attack.

“I am happy to have put together a team that will allow us to compete for the win on this difficult course. We travel with confidence and ambition.”

– By Rob Arnold


You can already find plenty of news items and course previews. Search #Wollongong2022 and/or #VisitWollongong for more.