Mathieu van der Poel's bike: The flying Dutchman's Canyon Aeroad for 2023
At Milan-San Remo, Mathieu van der Poel launched one of his trademark big attacks on the Poggio to put clear air between him and a chasing group of Filippo Ganna, Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogacar. They never brought him back and he won by 15 seconds on the Via Roma. He was riding a new, as yet unreleased Canyon Aeroad.
It's a continuation of a string of one-day race victories like his first major win in the Amstel Gold Race in 2019 and Grand Tour stage wins in previous years by the Alpecin-Deceuninck team's Dutch star, proving that he's back in peak form after 2022 was marred by recurrent back problems from his crash at the Tokyo Olympics in the MTB XC event.
Those injuries followed him into the 2022/23 cyclocross season, but weren't enough to stop van der Poel from claiming a fifth cyclocross world championship in February, beating that man van Aert in a sprint. Canyon had another unlaunched bike, a new Canyon Inflite, for him during the cyclocross season.
This year, van der Poel will be concentrating his road campaign on the Classics, the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France, with the aim of arriving in Paris after abandoning in both 2021 and 2022.
As a rider who competes in road racing, cyclocross, gravel and mtb, we have taken a look at some of the interesting machines Van der Poel has raced on over the last few years.
What is Mathieu van der Poel's bike for 2023?
Van der Poel's Milan-San Remo winning bike was a new model Canyon Aeroad, which the brand has yet to launch officially. Changes from the current generation Canyon Aeroad CFR, which is already a formidable speed machine, appear slight, with similar frame tube profiles.
But the giveaway is the newly-positioned seatpost clamp, which has been moved from the rear of the seat tube to the top of the top tube, where it was placed in the last-but-one Aeroad model.
It's not the first time that van der Poel has been spotted on what appeared to be a prototype Aeroad. We discussed the seatpost issues with the 2020 bike (not to mention a Stop Ride notice from Canyon in 2021 when van der Poel broke the bike's handlebars) when the latest-model Aeroad first appeared in Instagram and Strava posts.
What size is Mathieu van der Poel's bike
Van der Poel is 1.84m tall and weighs 75kg. He rides a size Large (56cm) Aeroad which has a reach of 490mm and a stack of 662mm.
Van der Poel like most professionals rides a pretty aggressive setup with only a single spacer under his handlebar stem and his gear shifters quite low down on the integrated handlebars which also lend themselves to the aggressive setup.
He uses 172.5mm cranks and turns his Dura-Ace levers in slightly but doesn't go the whole hog with an extreme setup as is popular currently amongst some riders.
Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Aeroad: Specifications
The Alpecin-Deceuninck team has been riding Canyon bikes since 2018 and van der Poel has been using Shimano components right back to his first cyclocross world championships in 2015, aged just 20.
The first spy shots of his new Aeroad were of a black frame, but the bike is now painted up in standard deep red team colours.
Van der Poel's tyres are another yet-to-be-released feature of his 2023 race bike. They're the new tan sidewall Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres, which we spotted on Jumbo-Visma's bikes during the off-season.
While Canyon sells the Aeroad CFR with a 25mm front and 28mm rear tyre, van der Poel looks to be riding 28mm tyres front and rear. On the cobbled roads of the E3 Saxo Classic, where he placed second behind Wout van Aert and our detailed shots were taken, the extra comfort from the wider tyres is probably welcome.
At Milan-San Remo, the new tyres were mounted on Shimano Dura-Ace C60 deep-section tubeless wheels. Shimano makes the C60s stiffer than the C50s that van der Poel was riding at E3 Saxo Classic, using 1.8mm spokes in place of 1.5mm. It says that this makes them better for manoeuvring at high speeds - useful for a race-winning descent of the Poggio then.
Van der Poel sits on a Selle Italia Flite carbon-railed saddle, a long-time favourite.
Van der Poel has been riding for his current team for his entire career, including his time before joining the WorldTour when he was racing cyclocross. It picked up Deceuninck as a sponsor in July 2022, having previously been called Alpecin-Fenix from the 2020 season. In previous years, the roster of team sponsors has changed regularly, but it included Corendon from 2016 racing under the Correndon - Circus name in 2019 when Van der Poel claimed his maiden World Tour win.
The team has been sponsored by Canyon from 2017, with the Aeroad its principal road bike.
Mathieu van der Poel's 2022 Canyon training bike
We caught up with Mathieu van der Poel at a winter training camp in November and managed to have some time with his training bike.
It had a few interesting points that differed slightly from his training bike including an Ultegra cassette we think to possibly balance costs. He was also running Inner tubes for training with the mechanics citing less hassle as well as shallower Dura Ace C36 wheels.
Mathieu van der Poel's Gravel Worlds Canyon Ultimate CFR
The inaugural UCI Gravel World Championships took place in late 2022 and a number of World Tour stars lined up to compete. Mathieu van der Poel competed, riding to a third-place finish.
There was much speculation pre-race about whether the road riders in particular would use road bikes with gravel tyres (doable now clearances are big enough) or slightly more relaxed gravel bikes.
Van der Poel opted to use a faster road bike with gravel tyres fitted. Choosing the semi-aero Canyon Ultimate CFR fitted with his usual road equipment and Vittoria gravel tyres.
Mathieu van der Poel's 2022 Pink Canyon Speedmax
Mathieu van der Poel lined up for the second stage time trial of the 2022 Giro d'Italia with a bike to match the Maglia Rosa pink leaders jersey he claimed on stage one.
The specially painted bike was a slightly different shade to the race leaders jersey itself making for an interesting contrast. The majority of the rest of the components being black also ensured the bike stood out.
A similar equipment package looked to be in place for the Dutchman to defend the race lead after a scramble for faster equipment to defend his lead early on in the 2021 Tour de France.
Mathieu van der Poel's 2021 TDF yellow Canyon Aeroad
The 2021 Tour de France included a first stint in yellow for van der Poel and his team duly rolled out a yellow Canyon Aeroad. The bike also featured a message in honour of his famous grandfather, the late Raymond Poulidor, who was the eternal second in the 1960s and 70s. Van der Poel took a spectacular and emotional stage win which saw him point to the sky in memory of his grandfather.
Mathieu van der Poel's 2019 Canyon Aeroad
In the 2019 season, van der Poel was on the previous generation Canyon Aeroad along with the last-generation 11-speed Shimano 9150 Dura-Ace groupset and tubular wheelset. Tyres, saddle and bottle cages were from the current sponsors Selle Italia then ranges.
This version of the bike interesting also featured a seatpost clamp bolt on the top tube and external cable routing.
Mathieu van der Poel's 2021 Canyon Inflite cyclocross bike
Van der Poel bagged his fourth cyclocross world championship in 2021 aboard the Canyon Inflite SLX model that he'd been riding since Canyon took over as team sponsor in 2017.
The bike has a kinked top tube to make shouldering easier and van der Poel continued to use the classic cyclocross 46/36t double chainset along with FMB tubular cyclocross tyres. In 2023, we spotted him aboard a new Inflite. The kinked top tube remains, but the cable routing has gone internal.