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Mathieu van der Poel to make Paris-Roubaix debut

Cyclocross World Champion among favourites as Alpecin-Fenix handed wildcard spot

Joe Robinson
20 Jan 2020

Cyclocross World Champion Mathieu van der Poel will make his Paris-Roubaix debut as his Alpecin-Fenix team have been handed a wild card entry. The Belgian-registered team were among the six non-WorldTour squads to be announced for the Monument taking place on 12th April, Easter Sunday.

Alongside Alpecin-Fenix, B&B Hotels-Vital Concept, Arkea-Samsic and Nippo Delko Provence were also awarded wildcard invites while Total-Direct Energie and Circus-Wanty Gobert earned their invitations through their 2019 results.

Alpecin-Fenix will be the ProTeam catching the most headlines, however, as they take Van der Poel into his first full Spring Classics campaign.

Last week, it was confirmed that the team would be on the startline of Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche, while their invite to the Tour of Flanders had already been confirmed.

This means we are likely to see the 25-year-old compete at three Monuments this spring as well as major semi-Classics Strade Bianche and Gent-Wevelgem.

Many are tipping the Dutchman to make waves in his first proper road season and to continue the kind of form that won him Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Amstel Gold Race in 2019.

Recently, Deceuninck-QuickStep sports director Wilfried Peeters told Cyclist about how much he fears Van der Poel at the Classics.

'I have never witnessed a rider with such a natural talent on the bike as Mathieu van der Poel,' said Peeters.

'I am very afraid of Van der Poel because he is coming on and improving with every race on the road. He is truly a special talent.'