Mathieu van der Poel has revealed that he crashed during the Olympic mountain bike race due to a ramp being removed from the course between the recon and the race.
The Dutch rider was pre-race favourite for gold in a race that was won by rising British star Tom Pidcock on Monday.
But he suffered a nasty crash early in the race and was unable to finish, being taken to hospital to assess the extent of his injuries.
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The incident came when the riders negotiated a rock jump followed by a steep bank descent, with Van der Poel flipping off the jump and sliding down the slope in a dramatic crash.

Mathieu van der Poel has revealed that he crashed during the Olympic Mountain Bike race due to a ramp being removed

Image credit: Getty Images

And the 26-year-old says he crashed in such a manner because he thought there would be a ramp there.
"I was not aware of it – that plank was there during the reconnaissance,” wrote Van der Poel.
"I only knew that it had been removed at the test event,” Van der Poel added.
"I did not know anything [about it not being there].”
The Dutchman subsequently revealed that he was in hospital for scans.

Mathieu van der Poel crashes as Tom Pidcock looks on

Image credit: Getty Images

Van der Poel’s team-mate Milan Vader revealed that they had discussed how to negotiate that particular section of the course prior to the race.
Mathieu said: ‘Gosh everyone jumps there’. I asked: ‘Won't you, then?’ He said, ‘No, I'll roll off that plank’.
"Then I told him they had removed that board at the test event in 2019 for the competition.”
Van der Poel has won a host of honours across a number of disciplines during his already stellar career. But will have to wait for Olympic recognition, with mountain bike gold at Paris 2024 the next target in that discipline.

IZU, JAPAN - JULY 26: Mathieu van der Poel of Team Netherlands suffers a fall after jumps off a boulder during the Men's Cross-country race on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Mountain Bike Course on July 26, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan.

Image credit: Getty Images

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