The Dutchman played a vital role in Chris Froome's overall victories in the last two editions of the race but a knee injury has disrupted his 2017 campaign. After a nearly five months on the sidelines, Poels returned to racing at the Route du Sud last week and said he was 'confident' he'd make the Tour team, but the Sky camp clearly felt the question marks over his shape were too great.
"Dave Braislford called me on Wednesday," Poels told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. "If you get that call and you hear that you're not going, it hits you. In recent months I have done everything to get to the Tour. I was confident that I was going. I think I was ready.
"I'm not angry, but certainly disappointed. As I understand it, I could not help it. Because of that knee injury I am of course a bit of a question mark."
Asked if it had changed his attitude towards his team, Poels added: "No, this does not necessarily mean that I want to get away from Sky. I'm fine at the team and have another two years on my contract after this year. Disappointments are part of sport, I am very well aware of that."
Poels will now have to readjust his season, with the Vuelta a España coming in as the big target, though it is likely to be a case of helping Froome try and win the Spanish Grand Tour for the first time.
Rather ironically, he will now fly to Düsseldorf, where the Tour de France will kick off next weekend, on his way to the Dutch national championships road race on Sunday.
"That way I can check out the opening time trial of the Tour," he joked, adding: "No, seriously, that's closer to home than Schiphol airport, and from there I can go to Montferland to ride the nationals. Now I'm not doing the Tour, I'll do the road race.
"In July I'm going to prepare for the Vuelta. What my race programme will be prior to that, I do not know. I'm at least happy that I have no pain in my knee, which is actually the most important thing of all."