Home > News

Mathieu van der Poel in hospital following Olympics crash

The Dutch rider did not finish the race

Photo by: CBC

Mathieu van der Poel, a favourite for the Olympic gold, had his dreams crushed Monday morning when a crash on the first lap left him injured. He is now in a Japanese hospital and undergoing examination for his injured hip.

RELATED: Pidcock stuns with Olympic mountain bike performance 

The crash

The Olympics have been on van der Poel’s jam packed multidisciplinary calendar for years. Although he wore the yellow jersey for six stages of this year’s Tour de France, he pulled out of the event to focus on his prep for this Tokyo event.

Despite his planning, the 26-year-old Dutch rider miscalculated his landing off the Sakura Drop feature and crashed just nine minutes and 45 seconds into the men’s cross country mountain bike race.


Van der Poel flew over his handlebars and landed on his back, almost taking out Tom Pidcock who was right behind him. While Pidcock went on to win the race, van der Poel struggled to get back on his bike and pulled out on the penultimate lap of the seven lap event.

No ramp

During the training runs, the Sakura Drop feature had a ramp. Van der Poel claims he was not aware it would be removed for the race, although he knew it was removed for the test event.

His teammate Milan Vader said to AD Sportwereld: “It might be harsh to say but we talked about this during lunch. Mathieu said: Gosh everyone is jumping there. I asked: won’t you? And he said ‘no, I will roll down that ramp’. I said then that at the 2019 test event they had removed the ramp during the race.”

In hospital

Image: CBC

In another Tweet, van der Poel said he was not told by anyone that the ramp would be removed. He is currently in the hospital undergoing testing, as his hip took a lot of the impact of the fall.