After Van Aert signaled his intention last week to fight for next year’s Tour points classification, management duo Alpecin-Fenix of Christoph and Philip Roodhooft signaled their team will look to challenge him. for the title, either by Jasper Philipsen or Van der Poel himself.
“When I hear Van Aert say he’s going to get the green jersey, I’m like, ‘We’ll see that,’” said Christoph Roodhooft. The last news after the Kristallen Feits award in Belgium for the best team manager of the year.
“If everything goes a bit normally, that’s a very realistic goal for us. I am thinking of Jasper Philipsen or Mathieu van der Poel.
Roodhooft’s brother, Philip, echoed this thought. Van der Poel made his Tour debut in 2020, winning Stage 2 at Mûr-de-Bretagne and holding the yellow jersey for six days. He then gave up racing after the first week to focus on his mountain bike preparation at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Mathieu is the perfect runner to win the green jersey. The green jersey and stage victories, ”said Philip Roodhooft.
Mark Cavendish won the 2021 Tour green jersey, becoming the second Deceuninck-QuickStep rider in as many years to win the standings after Sam Bennett. Peter Sagan, who moves from Bora-Hansgrohe to TotalEnergies in 2022, won all seven green jerseys in eight Tours between 2012 and 2019.
The Roodhooft brothers played down the idea that they and Van der Poel were motivated specifically by a rivalry with Van Aert, pointing out that their team simply competed in the same space – in the classics and in the sprints – as Jumbo- Visma and Deceuninck-QuickStep.
“The ambitions are the same. Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck-QuickStep, our Alpecin-Fenix team, we all want the same things, ”said Christoph Roodhooft.
Van der Poel will ride to defend his cyclo-cross world title this winter and then look to increase his number of classics next spring, but his 2022 campaign will also feature a tilt towards the world mountain bike title and even the very first Gravel. World. Championships, a company that sets him apart from both Van Aert and world road champion Julian Alaphilippe.
“We can say that we also want to become world mountain bike champion. For others, it’s impossible, ”said Christoph Roodhooft. “In the WorldTour peloton, Tom Pidcock is the only one who can say the same.
Alpecin-Fenix this week added Deceuninck to its list of sponsors for the next four seasons after the Belgian door and window spare parts company with QuickStep at the end of this year. After winning 33 races in 2021, including stage victories in all three Grand Tours, Alpecin-Fenix was once again the top ranked ProTeam of the peloton. They could eventually make it to the WorldTour, but their success means they got an automatic invitation to all of the major WorldTour races in 2022.
“The number of WorldTour licenses is limited. We are trying to get to where we want to be in a different way, ”said Philip Roodhooft.
“The fact that Deceuninck is now joining us is further proof of this. They sponsored the most successful team in the world for three years. Now they come to us with total enthusiasm. It’s a big compliment.