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Mathieu Van der Poel is undoubtedly one of the greatest cyclists of all time, in particular on the road and on the cyclocross course. And sure, he can ride all day for Milan-San Remo or any number of Classics. But can he do an Ironman triathlon? He may just have to... unless he wants to go back on a bet.
After appearing for the second time on Belgian YouTube channel Average Rob, Van der Poel was just supposed to be talking about mountain bike skills.
Now, Average Rob may claim to be a ‘mediocre dude from Belgium,’ but he’s clearly heavily invested in endurance sports, and just did a half-Ironman a couple of weeks ago with his cameraman after doing his first Ironman just a few months before that. For those unfamiliar with Ironman, it consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run (a full marathon).
Rob wagered Van der Poel that if the video hit over 42,000 likes (a little arbitrary, but OK!), he would sign up for an Ironman. Set to the backdrop of the opening bars of Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest Dreams,’ Rob threw down the gauntlet... And surprisingly, Van der Poel didn’t look at all stressed by the idea.
Van der Poel shook on it—but mentioned that scheduling it might be a bit tricky considering that little wrinkle of the 2024 Olympics Games, not to mention needing to defend his Cyclocross World Champion title in early 2024. (“You choose one and we’ll do the same one,” Rob told him.)
Pretty quickly, the comments and likes started rolling in—fast enough that only hours after posting, there were already enough likes on the YouTube to trigger the bet. As of the time we’re writing this, it’s amassed 72,000 likes—clearly, the nearly half a million fans of the show really, really want to see Van der Poel in the swim.
Yep, looks like Van der Poel is going to have to start his swim training ASAP.
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