Dutch mountain biker Mathieu van der Poel is sent to hospital after a horrific crash during the Tokyo Olympics that caused him to roll over his handlebars – and he blames the missing wooden plank for the accident
Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel blamed the removal of a wooden ramp for his heavy fall during the cross-country mountain bike event at the Tokyo Olympics.
While in fifth place in the breakaway, the man wearing the yellow jersey flipped over his handlebars at the start of the Tour de France after falling off a rock and then slid down a slope. He was stunned for a moment before getting back on his bike.
The Dutchman, nephew of legendary cyclist Raymond Poulidor, eventually gave up with one lap to go after losing a lot of ground to the other competitors. He eventually left the race and went to the hospital for x-rays of a hip injury.
Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel crashes while cycling mountain bike men’s cross country event
Van der Poel had forgotten to remove the wooden ramps before the start of the race, causing him to crash and leave the race injured
The Dutch rider crashed very hard early in the race for Pidcock, who won the event
Both Dutch national team coach Gerben de Knegt and Van der Poel’s teammate Milan Vader, who finished 10th, could not explain why the pre-race favorite hadn’t realized the plank would be removed.
After Thomas Pidcock’s overall victory, De Knegt gave some insight into the Dutchman’s crash. During the training, a wooden plank was placed behind the rocks for the safety of the riders.
However, on the day of the Olympic event, the ramp was removed as planned, but Van der Poel seemed to have forgotten it.
Van der Poel from the Netherlands holds wrist after crash on hill a
Van der Poel got up after the crash before leaving the race to go to the hospital for X-ray scans
“It may be hard to say, but we talked about that over lunch today,” Vader tells NOS.
‘Mathieu said, ‘Gosh, everybody jumps there.’ I asked, “Won’t you?” He said, ‘No, I’m rolling off that board,’ then I said they will remove that board at the 2019 test event for the competition.’
Van der Poel confirmed on Twitter that he was under the assumption that the plank would be in place during the race.
‘I was not aware of it, that plank was there during the reconnaissance. I only heard that it was removed at the test event,” Van der Poel wrote.