Mathieu van der Poel signs historic cycling contracts with Alpecin-Deceuninck and Canyon

Mathieu van der Poel has signed a long-term contract with Canyon (Canyon)
Mathieu van der Poel has signed a long-term contract with Canyon (Canyon)

Mathieu van der Poel has committed his future to Alpecin-Deceuninck and suggested he will finish his career with the Belgian team.

Van der Poel signed a five-year deal with the team on Monday, and at the same time signed a 10-year sponsorship with Alpecin’s bike manufacturer, Canyon, with the first five years allocated as a rider and the second five provisionally as an ambassador, should his riding career come to an end after his new team deal concludes.

The 29-year-old Dutchman has ridden for Alpecin throughout his professional career, becoming a sensation and establishing himself as the best one-day specialist in men’s cycling.

The multi-talented Van der Poel has won a raft of world titles in cyclo-cross and on the road; Monument classic triumphs at Flanders, Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix; and stage wins at the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

He sacrificed his own chances of defending his Milan-San Remo title last weekend in order to help teammate Jasper Philipsen to glory, but will have licence to be a little more selfish at the upcoming Tour of Flanders on 31 March, and Paris-Roubaix a week later.

Van der Poel has called the Olympic Games this summer the “north star” of his season. His focus on making up for disappointment in Tokyo, where he was beaten to mountain bike gold by Britain’s Tom Pidcock after suffering an early crash, is likely to impinge on his involvement in the TOur de France, which ends only five days before the Olympic opening ceremony.

Long contracts with brands like Canyon are rare at the top of the sport, as riders look to keep themselves free to move between different teams who work with different manufacturers. Google searches and sales of the Canyon bike Van der Poel rides spike after his major wins, and his long-term agreement represents a bold move by the German company.