Mathieu van der Poel’s hopes of adding an Olympic gold to his parcours were ended after he suffered a brutal-looking crash in the men's mountain bike.
The 26-year-old appeared to misjudge a landing and came over his handlebars in what looked like race-ending crash.
“One of the superstars of racing has gone down,” bemoaned the Eurosport commentary box that.
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He is holding his ribs, so that might be the end of the race for Van der Poel.
However, Van der Poel remounted and attempted to chase down the leaders but he had shipped in excess of a minute following the crash.
He eventually abandoned the race after failing to shrug off his injuries, watching on as Tom Pidcock secured a famous win for Team GB.
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Having won a stage at the Tour de France, Van der Poel left the Tour de France mid-race to focus on the Olympics.
The 26-year-old Dutch rider won one of his Alpecin-Fenix team’s two stage victories, and also held the yellow jersey before Tadej Pogacar took over as leader in the general classification.
“It’s impossible against the real climbers to defend, it wasn’t my goal to go for GC, it’s been an amazing week for me and the team. We won two stages and had the yellow for six days. It’s been my first Grand Tour and we can be really proud of that,” Van der Poel said at the time.
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He explained why he would withdraw, to be able to focus on the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games where he will represent his country.
“I will not start today. We decided with the team it is in my best interests to quit the race and focus on the Olympics now,” he said.
“I’m going to take some time to recover from this first week. We know it would have been difficult for me and I have some other goals.
“It was impossible for me to do the whole tour and then be at my top at Tokyo. I’ll be back next year.”
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Van der Poel avoids broken bones after crashing heavily in Olympics mountain bike cross-country