Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) has called time on the 2022 Tour de France after struggling through ten whole stages. The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider got into the early breakaway on stage 11, but was dropped on the second-category Laces de Montvernier and abandoned the Tour soon after.
It’s not been anywhere close to Van der Poel’s remarkable debut at the Grand Boucle in 2021, winning a stage and spending several days in the yellow jersey. The Dutchman has been struggling since the first week, even hinting at a possible withdrawal last weekend.
But he stuck around, hoping to rally as the days wore on, and it was beginning to look hopeful. Van der Poel was seen at the front of the peloton on stage 8, helping lead the bunch into the final ramp through Lausanne for co-leader Jasper Philipsen, and he’s been looking more perky still since the weekend. An early attack with his old nemesis Wout van Aert on Wednesday showed signs of a return to form, but it wasn’t to be.
More to come…