Mathieu van der Poel hopes this week at the Arctic Race of Norway to enhance his return on the road with stage wins. The Dutchman does not have the ambition to ride a good classification.
Van der Poel won the Amstel Gold Race impressively in April and then exchanged his road bike for the mountain bike. In Norway he resumes his road season, partly in preparation for the World Championship on the road at the end of September in Yorkshire.
Last season, Van der Poel was successful in the Norwegian stage race by winning two of the four stages and, moreover, winning the points classification. The Corendon-Circus rider would like to repeat that scenario.
"The climbing here is a bit too heavy for me, so it's not a goal to go here for the overall win," he says on the website of the Arctic Race of Norway.
"But I will definitely try to win one or two stages in the sprint just like last year. Then I can help my teammates in the mountains."
"My body will have to get used to this again"
Van der Poel can look back on a successful mountain bike season. In July he won the European title and he also won three world cup competitions. The 24-year-old rider expects that his return to the road will again be a complete change.
"My body will experience it as a considerable shock. I have not been used to driving such large distances in recent months either. In the first instance I am here to work on my endurance and to get back the good feeling on the bicycle."
The Arctic Race of Norway, which is not part of the WorldTour, starts Thursday and lasts until Sunday. In the run-up to the World Cup, Van der Poel will also ride the Tour of Great Britain.