Van der Poel will test his back to decide his schedule

Mathieu van der Poel will return to racing on Sunday at Antwerp Port Epic, as he continues to recover from his back problems, which forced him to miss the Mountain Bike World Championships and the Benelux Tour, raising doubts about his end-of-season goals: the Road World Championships in Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix.

His team, Alpecin-Fenix, said on their social networks that the Dutchman had “trained steadily for a week”, and confirmed that he will compete in the Antwerp Port Epic, a one-day race in northern Belgium that includes 47 gravel stages. . The Alpecin assured that will carry out an “evaluation” on whether Van der Poel will later participate in the World Cup (September 26) and the Roubaix (October 3), in addition to the rest of 2021 and the winter cyclocross campaign.

Newly renewed until 2025, Van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix ​​revealed that he suffered a back injury after a stage of preparation for the Games in the Italian Alps, in August. In Tokyo he retired after a fall, just as he left the Tour to focus on his shooting for the Olympic event. According to the web WielerFlits, suffers from a painful herniated disc, with fluid between the bones of the vertebrae.

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