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No fractures for Van der Poel after Tokyo Olympics crash

Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) after crashing in the Tokyo Olympics MTB event
Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) after crashing in the Tokyo Olympics MTB event (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Mathieu van der Poel has been cleared of fractures after undergoing medical examinations following his crash in the men's cross-country mountain bike event at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday, the Dutch national team coach Gerben de Knegt confirmed to Wielerflits.nl.

Van der Poel suffered a dramatic fall from a high drop-off on the first lap of the Izu City course and although he remounted his bike and continued racing, moving up to as high as 13th place, but then dropped out with the final two of seven laps remaining because of the pain in his hip.

The Dutch rider blamed the crash on a misunderstanding surrounding a safety plank which had been present on the drop-off during the training sessions. Van der Poel assumed the plank would be in place during the event and went into the drop-off assuming he could ride down it. With the plank not in place, Van der Poel's balance was off and he landed hard on the front wheel and crashed down the hill.

After being cleared of fractures, Van der Poel posted a photo to Instagram, writing simply "I'll be back".

Milan Vader told NOS.nl that he warned his Dutch teammate that the ramp may be removed. "It may be hard to say, but we talked about that during lunch today," Vader told NOS.

"Mathieu said: ‘Gosh everyone jumps there.’ I asked: ‘Won't you, then?’ He said, ‘No, I'll roll off that plank,’ Then I said that they had removed that board at the test event in 2019 for the competition.”

Van der Poel said on Twitter that he thought the board would be in place. “I was not aware of it – that plank was there during the reconnaissance. I only heard that it had been removed at the test event."

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