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Mathieu van der Poel cuts training camp short due to back pain

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Olimpiadi Tokyo 2020 Mens MTB Race Izu Mountain Bike Course 41km 26072021 Crash Mathieu Van Der Poel NED AlpecinFenix photo Anton VosCVBettiniPhoto2021
Van der Poel crashed in the MTB race at the Olympics (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Mathieu van der Poel has suffered a setback, reportedly cutting short a training camp in Italy due to back pain. 

The Dutchman travelled to Livigno on August 3 to pick up his preparations for the rest of the season, a week after dramatically crashing out of the mountain bike race at the Tokyo Olympics.

However, he is now back home, having left Italy earlier than expected. 

According to a report in Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Alpecin-Fenix management confirmed that the decision was made due to back pain, but did not elaborate. 

It is unclear whether it's a direct consequence of the Tokyo crash, where Van der Poel, unaware that a landing ramp in place in practice had been removed for race day, went head over heels off a big drop. 

Although his race, which was his major season target, was immediately over, scans revealed he had no fractures and he was cleared to get back to training within a week. 

Despite the back pain that has now disrupted that training, Alpecin-Fenix insisted that Van der Poel's race programme would remain unchanged. 

He is set to seek mountain bike redemption at the World Championships on August 28 in Val di Sole, before switching back to the road for the remainder of the season. 

He name is down for the Benelux Tour from August 30-September 5, which he won last year when it was known as the BinckBank Tour. 

After that, he is set to be one of the favourites for the Road World Championship road race crown in Leuven, Belgium in September 26, as well as for the postponed Paris-Roubaix on October 3.

Van der Poel has had a typically all-action year so far, winning a fourth cyclo-cross world title before turning to the road and winning Strade Bianche and two stages at Tirreno-Adriatico, although he didn't taste victory on the cobbles, finishing runner-up at Tour of Flanders. 

He won two stages at Tour de Suisse before marking a memorable Tour de France debut with a stage win and a week in the yellow jersey. He left the Tour after that first week in order to turn his focus to Tokyo.