Mathieu van der Poel – A born champion | SHIMANO

When everything is going fine,
it’s always fun of course. But when it isn’t going fine,
it’s sometimes a struggle. There are days, you just
do not want to ride. But for me going out for a
cyclo-cross ride is always fun… …riding my cyclo-cross bike. But, like I just described my week… …only one or two hours a week
we train in the forest… …the remaining training
rides are all on the road. You have to love cycling if
you want to keep doing it. I prefer to ride
through the woods. Just like a tour. However, we have to do exercises
to improve ourselves… …just to get better and better. But still, I’d rather go riding with a
couple of friends through the forest. Stop at the fun spots to play
around for a while and ride on. They often ask me why I just
don’t go straight over a path. I’ve always done that. I always
like to challenge myself. And a lot of the things I learn during
training, I use in the races. For example, when I’m not
reaching the top of a small hill… …I just won’t leave before
I’ve ridden all the way. And I think you can see
this in the races as well. I always try to push the boundaries… …riding lines others don’t ride… …riding uphill where others stop. And this comes back in
my training rides as well. In the past I always stayed on the bike. But now if it’s faster
to get off the bike… …I’m also getting off the bike. Just because it’s the most
efficient and quickest way… …and that’s most important in a race. But during training I’ll still
try to do it on my bike There are a lot things you have to
step away from, to stay in good shape. You have to focus on the sport and rest
instead of doing other things. You have to stay at home more often,
because you are tired of the training For me that’s not a sacrifice. What it gives you in return,
is definitely worth it. I’m someone who works
towards the weekend. I’m always looking forward to it. That’s what it’s all about… …and it’s what motivates
me during the week. I believe I’m quite relaxed. I don’t act different on a raceday. I like to be relaxed during raceday. A lot of pressure dropped… …but also new pressure occurres,
because I’m always expected to win. When I’ve had a good week,
I know I’m here for the win. That releases me from a lot of stress. I believe I’m someone who
usually does his own thing. A little cocky, which I
believe isn’t bad in my case. If the advice I get is good, I will
certainly take it into account. But I never make a race plan. I take my decisions in the moment. And whether they are good or not… …I’m someone who likes to airball it
and don’t mind the competition. I’m not a wheel sucker. That’s not who I am. I believe in my own strength and I just
want to make my own race when possible. I’m just someone who races and when
I’m strong, I’m in for the win. And when I’m not, I’ll try
to do the best I can. If you can’t follow, you can’t follow. Cyclo-cross is a honest
sport in that matter.