Monday, June 28, 2021
Famous grandpa couldn’t do that
Man in yellow towers over bike-crazy family
His grandfather is a legend, and so is his father. Mathieu van der Poel is now proving that he can fulfill hopes for the third generation of what is probably the most successful cycling family in the world. At the Tour de France he races into the yellow jersey. And with it he creates something that his grandfather couldn’t.
Mathieu van der Poel comes from what is probably the most successful cycling family in the world for over three generations, but with his ride in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, the 26-year-old Dutchman, like his father, set himself apart from the most famous member of the family. While his grandfather, the legendary Frenchman Raymond Poulidor, never wore the yellow jersey despite his success, the junior, like his father Adrie van der Poel, can now call at least one yellow jersey his own.
“A dream has come true. One could only have dreamed of this scenario,” said Mathieu van der Poel, who is contesting his first big tour ever, after winning the second stage on the Mur-de-Bretagne: “As mine Team me at the finish said that I definitely got yellow, it was an incredibly emotional moment. “
Van der Poel had outrun the top favorites at the finish of the 183.5-kilometer second stage. Previously, he had laid the foundation for the overall management through a time bonus. The decision was made in the “L’Alpe d’Huez der Bretagne”, which had to be climbed twice. Classic hunters van der Poel, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) secured bonus seconds on the first crossing. Van der Poel’s hour struck again in the final, and nobody could follow his attack. At the finish he was six seconds ahead of the favored Slovenian duo.
The grandpa is honored
Poulidor, who died in 2019 at the age of 83, had contested the tour 14 times, won seven stages and reached the overall podium eight times, but never wore yellow. In honor of “Poupous”, van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix dressed in a jersey in the iconic yellow-purple of Poulidor’s famous Mercier team on the first stage on Saturday – but on Sunday the grandson won in the usual dark blue.
Adrie van der Poel, Poulidor’s 62-year-old son-in-law, competed ten times, won two stages and in 1984 wore the “Maillot jaune” on his third tour – but only for one day. Mathieu should not be satisfied with that.