Mathieu van der Poel’s dad Adri is a former world cyclo-cross champion, Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner and Tour de France stage winner. Cycling runs through the family. His brother Jacques was also a pro, Adri married Raymond Poulidor’s daughter Corinne and their sons David and Mathieu are both professional riders.
In late February, before Europe was locked down, Richard Moore travelled to the Van der Poel family home in East Flanders to meet Adri, the former Dutch star who is father to the current Dutch star, Mathieu.
The dynasty doesn’t end there – Adri’s father-in-law, Mathieu’s grandfather, was the late Raymond Poulidor.
In this episode for Friends of The Cycling Podcast we hear from Adri about his own career – he was a “badass” rider who won the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, as well as Tour de France stages – and his son’s development and prospects.
Adri claims that Mathieu’s talent was evident from the start: “Everything he did on the bike was so easy.” But he acknowledges that his son has followed an unconventional path and that the challenge now is for him to continue to specialise in three disciplines, cyclocross, road and mountain biking.
We also hear from Belgian journalist and Van der Poel obsessive Hans Vandeweghe and from Van der Poel’s manager, Christoph Roodhooft…