WATERLOO, Wisconsin – The rising cycling star Mathieu van der Poel has arrived here to do battle in Sunday’s World Cup Waterloo, the second round of the 2017-2018 Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup nine-race series. The young Dutch sensation won last’s week opening round of the cup in Iowa City, Iowa, at Jingle Cross and is now looking to defend his lead this weekend in the Badger State before he and the world-class series head back to Europe.
At 22, Van der Poel is already a multi-time world champion on the road and in cyclocross. His father, Andri, is a former world champion in cyclocross who also won stages in the Tour de France and several classics; his maternal grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, won the Vuelta a España and was runner-up at the Tour three times.
Van der Poel is the best rider in world cyclocross so far this season, though the reigning world champion, Wout van Aert, and other top rivals will try to spoil Van der Poel’s party this weekend. Temperatures will be unkind to all the riders, with the forecast calling for 85 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday afternoon – very hot for what’s traditionally a fall-winter sport.
Business Insider got a close-up look at Van der Poel’s bike. See the photos below.
We shot Van der Poel’s bike a few days before the big race in Waterloo, at Trek Bicycle Corp., host of the second round of the nine-race Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup series. This is one of Van der Poel’s Stevens Super Prestige bikes. He has three on hand for each event.
Van der Poel rides a 58 cm carbon Stevens Super Prestige. According to Stevens, it weighs 8.2 kilograms, or 18 pounds.
Stevens Bikes is a German company; its bike are not available for sale in the US, and pricing is unavailable.
Van der Poel’s tidy cockpit features a fully integrated carbon stem-handlebar combination by Pro, the component division of Shimano. These are the Stealth EVO bars.
The Stealth EVO bars feature an ergonomic bend in the drops for a comfortable hand position. They’re wrapped in grippy Selle Italia tape.
Van der Poel rides a 120 mm stem with the Di2 junction box strapped snug underneath. (This is where you charge the battery for the Shimano Dura-Ace electronic-shifting system.)
The grippy Dura-Ace hoods are nice and long, so you can easily fit your whole hand on them comfortably.
The Dura-Ace Di2 shifters let you change gears electronically with a simple touch.
Dura-Ace is one of the best component groups on the market. It’s well designed and engineered with a refined, classy look.
Like most pros, Van der Poel rides hydraulic disc brakes. These are part of the new Dura-Ace Di2 R9100 component group.
There’s plenty of smooth, powerful stopping power in back. Here Van der Poel had a quick release in the rear, though he also rides wheels with thru-axles.
This is Shimano’s new Dura-Ace Di2 R9100 rear derailleur.
In back, Van der Poel was running an 11-28 cassette.
Up front he was riding double chainrings, 39-46.
Van der Poel rides 172.5 mm cranks.
Van der Poel’s bike had Elite Prototype FMB tubular tires when we shot the bike.
The Dutchman may race these 33 mm file treads on the fast, dry course in Waterloo.
With no canti bakes in the way, there’s plenty of mud clearance in back.
Van der Poel has been riding “proto type” pedals from Shimano, but they seem to just be Shimano XTR PD-M9000s with the side shaved off, perhaps for better performance in sand and mud.
Of course this is a UCI-approved race frame.
Van der Poel rides a Selle Italia Flite saddle.
Given the heat of the past two weeks, Van der Poel is racing with a water bottle; this is a cage from the sponsor Tacx.
The custom M sticker is a nice touch for Mathieu.
It doesn’t get much more custom than this.
Mathieu van der Poel is one of the most exciting racers in cyclocross.