The withdrawals are linked on this 108th edition of the Tour de France. Like Primoz Roglic, Mathieu Van der Poel has decided to give up and will therefore not be at the start of the 9th stage of the Grande Boucle, this Sunday, between Cluses and Tignes.
The Dutchman had given himself until Monday and the first day of rest to know whether or not to withdraw from the Tour de France. His decision finally came sooner than expected. While taking part in the Tour de France for the first time in his career, Mathieu Van der Poel preferred to leave the roads of the Tour before the 9e step. The loss of the yellow jersey, Saturday, at the end of the first mountain stage, to the benefit of Tadej Pogacar, has surely accelerated things.
Relegated to 23rd place in the general classification, Van der Poel had cast doubt on his desire to continue. “I had a good week and I don’t want to force myself,” the four-time mountain bike world champion said on arrival. With this choice, Raymond Poulidor’s grandson wishes to save himself for the Olympic Games in Tokyo (Japan), where he will be the big favorite to win the gold medal in the mountain biking event scheduled for July 26.
Mathieu Van der Poel will remain one of the main players in the first week of the race. Winner of the 2e stage, he had seized the yellow jersey, paying homage to his grandfather who had never worn the leader’s tunic on the Grande Boucle. He wore this jersey for six days before handing it over to Tadej Pogacar on Saturday and then giving up going until the finish in Paris.