Mathieu Van der Poel had to leave the competition due to injuries. From the hospital, he explained what had happened.
Mathieu Van der Poel became one of the protagonists of the third day of the Tokyo Olympics. The Dutchman was one of the favorites to win the medal in mountain biking. Still, an error in his calculations ended up taking away any chance of getting it.
During the first lap, the 26-year-old athlete suffered a severe fall when taking a steep incline. Although he managed to rejoin after the spectacular accident, four laps later, he was forced to leave due to the injuries he had suffered.
One of the biggest medal-winning favorites in Tokyo's mountaineering program, Van der Poel, explained what happened via download on his Twitter account.
I didn't know it was on the table again during the nouveau riche. He was removed at the test event, telling the cyclist on his social networks next to a picture in which he could see a wooden plank resting on a rock as a ramp.
Did they explain this to you before the race? A similar question was asked to him by an expert journalist, to which he replied: No, I did not know anything. I am currently in the hospital for an X-ray.
In the pictures, you can see the moment in which the Dutchman, the grandson of French cycling legend Raymond Poulido, seems to want to support the front wheel on the ramp, which was finally missing.
But, failing to find it, the deck stalled squarely against the mountain, causing the young man to end up rolling down the slope. After stepping over his bike, he was shocked for a few seconds before continuing.
During the run-up to the Olympics, Van der Poel received some criticism from cycling fans after choosing to withdraw from the Tour de France after playing the first week (he had won a stage and dressed in the yellow jersey) to entirely focus on this Olympic event.
The 26-year-old has an excellent track record behind him, including his eight gold medals distributed in the different categories. Seven in Cyclocross (four of them in world championships) and one in the European Mountain Biking Championship in 2019. With the rest of the Silver and Bronze medals, he accumulates 13 between 2015 and 2019.