A few days before the cyclocross world championships in Switzerland, Mathieu van der Poel has questioned the course. The double world champion hopes to extend his title on Sunday in Dübendorf.
An airport in the village near Zurich is the scene of the battle for the rainbow jersey this weekend. Some artificial obstacles are placed to create differences in height on the otherwise completely flat course.
"It must be about money again", Van der Poel tells Sporza . "There are plenty of nicer crosses in Switzerland."
Van der Poel has not yet seen the course with his own eyes, but did watch a video animation of the cross. He does not understand why the UCI chose the airport. "The drivers who regularly go abroad are always lyrical about other Swiss courses."
Dutch selection cyclocross world championships
- Men: Mathieu van der Poel, Lars van der Haar, Corné van Kessel, David van der Poel, Stan Godrie, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Sieben Wouters
- Women: Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Lucinda Brand, Yara Kastelijn, Annemarie Worst, Geerte Hoeke
Van der Poel is reminded of a disastrous World Cup in Bieles
"I find it very strange to ride the World Cup in a place where a cross has never been ridden," said Van der Poel, who experienced the same thing three years ago in Bieles in Luxembourg. After a series of flat tires, 'VDP' had no chance for the world title, which went to its Belgian rival Wout van Aert.
"I think the World Championships in Bièles have shown that it would be good to race earlier before a World Championship takes place. But I will not care too much about it."
Van der Poel will start in Dübendorf on Sunday as a big favorite. The 24-year-old all-rounder on the bike won 23 of the 24 cyclocross races this winter where he appeared at the start.