By his standards, Mathieu van der Poel’s Tour de France has got off to a relatively quiet start. His fifth place finish on the opening ITT proved the Dutchman is in some seriously good form, but he’s been keeping his cards close to his chest since then.
Rumor has it, though, that MVDP is waiting for later in the race to really light up this year’s Grande Boucle, and he’ll be doing so aboard his striking, bright red Canyon Aeroad. Ahead of stage four, we got a close look at the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider’s TDF whip and it’s fair to say it looks fast, aggressive and ready to tackle anything the Dutch rider throws at it.Unlike the rest of his teammates who ride Canyon Aeroad bikes in a white and blue colourway, Van der Poel’s bike has been given special treatment with a deep red paint job, ensuring he stands out in the peloton. The bike has white Canyon logos which align with the rest of the Alpecin-Deceuninck bikes, as does the white Zwift logo on the fork of MVDP’s Aeroad which signifies the team's partnership with the American indoor training software company.Van der Poel’s bike had the new Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 Di2 groupset and power meter. He was also using 54/40 front chainrings and a 12-speed cassette – a suitable choice for the relatively flat terrain which was coming up in the stage ahead.The bike has a suitably slammed stem with a negative angle to aid aerodynamics. Van der Poel was using the integrated bar and stem combination from Canyon with fully integrated cabling to make for a very clean looking cockpit. His stem notes mainly focussed on fuelling strategies throughout the race, reminding the Dutch rider when to eat and drink in the stage. Van der Poel bonked famously at the 2019 Yorkshire World Road Championships, but it looks like he is now placing a focus on when to consume nutrition during tough days out. The bike featured the new Dura-Ace C60 wheels, the deepest rim offering from Shimano, said to be the brand’s most aero wheel intended for sprints and pursuits. Van der Poel was using 25c Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tyres.