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Double cycling world champion Mathieu van der Poel loses a bet and has to do an Ironman

A YouTube interview ended up with him losing a wager and everyone wants to know if he will stick to his word

Photo by: Sirotti

Is the current double world champion, Mathieu van der Poel, gearing up for an Ironman? While everyone acknowledges his ability as a cyclist, along with his running skills honed through his cyclocross expertise, now a recent bet might see him adding swimming to his repertoire.

The wager unfolded on the Average Rob YouTube channel. In a segment featuring the Dutchman alongside YouTubers Average Rob and Arno the Kid, van der Poel pledged that if it reached 10,000 likes, he would teach the duo mountain biking. Thanks to the channel’s 400,000 subscribers, this target was swiftly met.

In a subsequent video titled “Becoming a Mountain Bike Champion ft. Mathieu van der Poel,” Average Rob upped the stakes. He proposed that if the video reached 42,000 likes, the Alpecin-Deceuninck leader would have to tackle an Ironman. van der Poel, after a moment of contemplation, broke into a smile, sealing the deal with a handshake.

The video exceeded expectations with an impressive 66,000 likes. So, will he live up to his word? Given his athleticism and incredible talent, he’d probably be able to pull it off (depending on his swimming).

The significant question remains: given van der Poel’s already hectic schedule as the current road and cyclocross world champion, when will he find the time for such an event? Additionally, can he successfully conquer a 3.8 km swim and a marathon run, considering his unquestionable prowess in a 180 km ride?


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van der Poel wouldn’t be the first professional cyclist to venture into triathlons. In October, Greg Van Avermaet tried his hand at a gravel version, and Cameron Wurf of the Ineos Grenadiers team is a renowned Ironman triathlete. Canada’s current ITT national champion, Paula Findlay, is also a multiple 70.3 champion and was the runner-up at the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. Not to forget, there’s a certain Lance guy who initially began his career in triathlons before transitioning to professional cycling.

This story originally appeared on canadiancycling.ca