Mathieu van der Poel Olympic Crash: He Didn’t Know Ramp Had Been Removed

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Talking about the incident on Twitter, Mathieu van der Poel confirmed he didn’t know the ramp had been removed for the race. Talking to journalist, Thijs Zonneveld, MVDP confirmed he didn’t know anything about the ramp.

In the Twitter exchange, Thijs says, National coach Gerben de Knegt: “Mathieu said something about the fact that he thought the board was still there.” In reply, MVDP said, “I was not aware, that plank was there during the reconnaissance. Only received that he was removed at the test event.”

Thijs then asked if anyone had told Mathieu before the race and asked how his hip was.

On his Instagram, MVDP posted a photo of the crash sharing his disappointment.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by MVDP (@mathieuvanderpoel)

He also shared his disappointment, with a shot of the ramp on his Instagram stories.

Tokyo mtb

The ramp was left in for the women’s race. You can see in his crash he pumps down as if he’s going to be pushing down a ramp. The Eurosport video shows it in detail.

It has been reported that he has suffered no breaks or fractures according to Wielerflits who spoke to Mathieu’s coach. He pulled out of the race after a few laps due to the pain. We’re wishing him a speedy recovery and hope he’s at least taking some pleasure in the hundreds of memes that have popped up following his Olympic crash.

MVDP Becomes Crash Meme

From shots of him diving, to actual paintings of his crash. The internet has taken the crash photo and run with it. There are MVDP diving photos, ones with him breakdancing, skating, surfing and more. Just one look at his tagged photos on his Instagram account will bring up so many images.

Here are a few of the best.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ArtNouvélo (@artnouvelo)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by #dadwatts (@dad.watts)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cycling Meme Queen (@cruella_derailleur)

We look forward to seeing MVDP back on a bike in future, and as Tom Pidcock said on Mathieu’s Instagram post, “We all know you’ll be back.”

Featured image: SWPix.com


Who is Tom Pidcock?

Who Won the Women’s Olympic XC MTB?

Did Tom Pidcock win the Men’s Olympic XC? Or Did Nino Schurter? Spoilers!


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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 62 total)
  • Mathieu van der Poel Olympic Crash: He Didn’t Know Ramp Had Been Removed
  • Premier Icon qwerty
    Free Member

    Vader told him to “feel the force”

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    How did everyone else know ….

    Premier Icon Stu S
    Free Member

    Glad he’s ok, looked like a nasty crash. We’ve all had those horrible OTB moments but that one looked especially vicious. As has been mentioned though, every other rider hit that feature correctly so questions need to be asked about why he didn’t know the ramp had been removed.

    BTW, how those guys ride features like that on 100mm travel carbon whippets amazes me. Kudos for those good enough to compete at that level.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    How did everyone else know ….

    Exactly.

    Still, does seem a bit odd they have a ramp there during practice, only to remove it for the race. Is that normal in elite XC racing?

    Premier Icon Clink
    Full Member

    Exactly. Pidcock wasn’t at the test event, he seemed to know.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Still, does seem a bit odd they have a ramp there during practice, only to remove it for the race. Is that normal in elite XC racing?

    also it was back for the women. as a result of the vdp issue or due to some of the lowerdown women not being able to do the drop?

    there looks to be a chicken line a few metres to riders left (for significant time penalty) that nobody has taken in either race

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Still, does seem a bit odd they have a ramp there during practice, only to remove it for the race. Is that normal in elite XC racing?

    I guess practice was open to men AND women at the same time and kept the ramp in for the benefit of the women (it was left in for the women’s race this AM).

    Makes sense in that context, especially since some of the women were clearing it.

    Edit: sort of beaten to it

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    If the ramp was there in reconnaissance then he has a valid reason to be exceedingly upset….

    Premier Icon Clink
    Full Member

    If the ramp was there in reconnaissance then he has a valid reason to be exceedingly upset….

    Not if teams were aware it would be removed for the race, which appears to be the case (including his team).

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    I guess practice was open to men AND women at the same time and kept the ramp in for the benefit of the women (it was left in for the women’s race this AM).

    Makes sense in that context, especially since some of the women were clearing it.

    I suppose that could be the case. Definitely does seem to be a major communication error in the Dutch camp – no idea if it was MVDP not listening, his coach failing to tell him, or what.

    Premier Icon Convert
    Full Member

    When I saw it there for the women’s race it all made a bit more sense. However, you’d want to have had a chance at riding it without too. Perhaps they removed it for part of the recon times but that nuance was lost in the simplification for the media.

    He rocked up V late for the race – somewhere in this I’d say he needs to take a good heft of the blame. The other dutch male riders had no such issue.

    Again, humbled by what these men and women manage on bikes built for speed not gnar.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Full Member

    If the ramp was there in reconnaissance then he has a valid reason to be exceedingly upset….

    Again though, he appeared ot tbe the only rider in the entire field who made this mistake.

    To win the Olympics you need to be the best in the world on that day. Being the best is not just the being the fittest but also the best prepared. He was not the best prepared, for whatever reason. He can not, and should not, blame anyone else.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    said elsewhere that the course was altered for the women’s race because of the overnight rain making it more difficult

    Not just the ramp back in, other bits were different too.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    there looks to be a chicken line a few metres to riders left (for significant time penalty) that nobody has taken in either race

    That’ll be for me to push my 160mm endurosledge down*. Very thoughtful people the Japanese.

    *To be honest I might make that drop/jump but I’m not betting on it.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    from the VitalMTB forum, which in turn was quoting another source:

    Here are a few key facts:

    • The ramp was placed during practice sessions for safety reasons so that a rider who made a mistake during practice could still make it to the race.
    • There were 2 communiques sent to each team informing them that the ramp would be removed during the race. Each communique was given both as a paper copy and sent over email to team managers.
    • This was mentioned during the team managers’ meeting the day before the Men Elite race.
    • The slides shown during the meeting was also sent as a pdf to the inboxes of every listed team manager.
    • The organizers and the commissaires did the exact same procedures above at the test event 2 years ago (which he missed because he chose a road race in Belgium instead).
    • In other news reports, his coach and his teammate (M. Vader), both claim that they spoke multiple times to MVdP and mentioned the ramp would be removed.

    Premier Icon mrpottatohead
    Free Member

    Got to say I’m disappointed but not surprised that people are suggesting it was there for the benefit of some women implying that all men have the skills to ride without it but not the women.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Got to say I’m disappointed but not surprised that people are suggesting it was there for the benefit of some women implying that all men have the skills to ride without it but not the women.

    That might (not unreasonably) be aimed at me as I think I was the first to introduce the idea that it was there for the benefit of the women. Mea culpa, I hadn’t taken overnight rain into account, but in my defence I was just reporting it as I saw it e.g. it wasn’t there for the mens, it was there for the women’s. Not defending any organiser’s decision in this respect and certainly not picking a side in the argument, but it’s hardly unusual to water down a course for the women (see also: road race).

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Did Olly Wilkins tell him to ‘Just roll it’ 🙂

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Got to say I’m disappointed but not surprised that people are suggesting it was there for the benefit of some women implying that all men have the skills to ride without it but not the women.

    Got to say I’m disappointed but not surprised that people are suggesting that suggesting that is sexist.

    Everyone knows that their smaller bikes with pink components can’t cope with gnar and that it’s nothing to do with the riders.

    Also the issue that whilst some women are faster/stronger than some men, at the elite end of the bell curve the men are actually faster and stronger*. So if you want to design a course that just the right level of difficulty to differentiate between the top three in the world then it’s going to look different in either race.

    Although having said that, isn’t the BMX going to remove gap jumps for the next cycle so that the men race the same track as the women?

    *This is why I can’t out lift them women’s weightlifting champions, but some guy called Thor from Iceland probably will.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Got to say I’m disappointed but not surprised that people are suggesting it was there for the benefit of some women implying that all men have the skills to ride without it but not the women.

    May also have been aimed at me. In which case I will attempt to defend the point that while the top riders of both genders are more than capable of these things, there is a greater drop off in talent towards the bottom of the field for the women – for which I assume is due to the lower participation. As in, the fourtieth best woman has a far greater deficit to Neff, than the fourtieth best man has to Pidcock.

    Also, in the case of the world cup races, but not so much here, the mens field go near flat out from the start, while the women seem to have more tactics and nuance with sometimes a slower start. This can have the effect of more traffic around the big features especially in the early laps, which can make them appear less skilled as the other riders are causing them to slow up and therefore take the easier lines.

    I’d personally love to try this course, including that drop, on my skill compensating trail bike. Would I do it half a wheel behind somebody else, whilst redlining my heartrate? no chance.

    Premier Icon Nigel Leech
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    Apologies if I missed where someone has said it but if one of the world’s most famous riders appeared to have almost crippled himself on a course I was responsible for I’d want to be seen to have done something about it for the next race, whether strictly necessary or not…

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    I’d want to be seen to have done something about it for the next race, whether strictly necessary or not…

    Signage, course needs far more of it. Skull and crossbones for the dangerous stuff. Or the smiley for downhill, sad face for uphill slogs that old trail maps used to have.

    Premier Icon mrlebowski
    Free Member

    from the VitalMTB forum, which in turn was quoting another source:

    If that source is true then the blame lies solely with MVDP..

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    That’s why there are A,B,C and even in some cases D lines. Can’t ride it, take a time penalty for an easier obstacle.

    There’s no need to dumb down the A or even B lines, the best ladies are more than capable.

    if one of the world’s most famous riders appeared to have almost crippled himself on a course I was responsible for I’d want to be seen to have done something about it for the next race, whether strictly necessary or not…

    The fact no-one else did, and the fact it seems to have been a failure of management / communication / inability to listen and assimilate the info properly – I’d leave it as it was an make sure the briefing is reiterated. There’s a chuffin’ big penalty for failure on this obstacle, don’t like it, take the B or C line.

    It’s also being confused because the change in conditions made replacing it sensible.

    Also as I said yesterday. If Pidcock had been a bit closer, he’d have hit VDP, caused a pile up and could have taken himself and several others out. I know a crash can happen but if that had, and if it had then turned out the error is basically because VDP can’t assimilate some basic information given to him, I’d have been livid, ‘cos that’s not a racing incident, that’s dangerously incompetent.

    ultimately it’s a shame not to see how the race might have panned out with MVDP potentially sparring with Pidcock…

    MVDP said he could ride the course with his eyes closed, so to me, he had every line, rock and root all mapped out into some managed plan. my guess is in the heat and stress of it all, this minor change to the racecourse turned into a major oversite.

    it’s a shame but there’s a hard lesson learned.

    overall, he’s still not had a bad year!

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    if one of the world’s most famous riders appeared to have almost crippled himself on a course I was responsible for I’d want to be seen to have done something about it for the next race, whether strictly necessary or not…

    If the dozens of other riders could do it lap after lap without issue, and an injured MVDP could do it in the subsequent 4 laps before he retired, I would say the course is fine.

    Conversly, the wood section at Albstadt a few years back became literally impossible in the wet, it was changed the following year.
    Les Gets this year (again, in the wet) had a corner that everyone dismounted for, I would expect it to be altered in the future.

    Another counterpoint – video in link below – put the ramp in, and look what happens when the person in front (PFP) chooses to roll it. Excellent save from Neff.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/jolanda-neff-the-team-invested-in-skills-and-technical-training-and-it-paid-off.html

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    That’s a ridiculous save from Neff there.

    Assuming the statements are true it seems 100% on MVDP, and tbf it all ties together better that way- the statements from the organisers and the team and the other riders all line up and so does the fact that everyone else seemed to know it.

    But still, it seems weird to have the ramp there for all of practice- it just seems a bit more sensible to remove it before the end so that riders have a chance to see/do the feature in the exact race format. It’s not just a skill thing, riders visualise and prepare differently.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    weird to have the ramp there for all of practice- it just seems a bit more sensible to remove it before the end so that riders have a chance to see/do the feature in the exact race format.

    This x 10

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Full Member

    The ramp and, more importantly, the drop.

    Premier Icon simonchan
    Full Member

    I think what we all forget is just how different the Olympics are to normal World Cup racing – the organisers, team manager, teammates and environment are all a one-off. Small changes in routine and preparation seem to have had a pretty big impact on a lot of riders depending on their country’s race program and overall investment in MTB. Add in the limits around training, travel and what not because of Covid and it must be pretty hard to be 100% on race day.

    I’m just happy that there’s serious injury was avoided!

    Premier Icon bearback
    Free Member

    I’m going with the theory that both MvdP and PFP were using slightly shady race tactics in speed checking their biggest threats at the drop.

    Premier Icon mrlebowski
    Free Member

    That’s a ridiculous save from Neff there.

    & then the pass on the rock ramp -if you watch it closely she’d obviously decided to carry speed into the ramp to give her a chance of blasting past her rival when they hit it. Full commitment from her. Mightily impressive!

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    & then the pass on the rock ramp -if you watch it closely she’d obviously decided to carry speed into the ramp to give her a chance of blasting past her rival when they hit it. Full commitment from her. Mightily impressive!

    yep – doubling up the rollers perfectly gives her the speed to fly up the rock ramp, and at the top starts pedalling again at full speed. contrast to PFP who brakes in the corner, tries to start pedalling earlier and messes it up – wrong gear, weight too far back?

    Brilliant move, superb skill from Neff, and also excellent course design.

    TBH, this is kind of what I was expecting from world cup short track when it started – features that allowed technical riding side by side for exciting overtakes, kind of like fourcross but with pedalling.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    edit. double post

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Neff not happy with Prevot it appears.

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/jolanda-neff-criticises-rivals-riding-after-tokyo-2020-olympic-mountain-bike-incident

    I think these two have previous, going back years.

    I also suggested yesterday that MVDP may have been attempting to do the same to Pidcock.

    Premier Icon Convert
    Full Member

    TBH, this is kind of what I was expecting from world cup short track when it started – features that allowed technical riding side by side for exciting overtakes, kind of like fourcross but with pedalling.

    Got to say the mens and women’s races have been a bit of a revelation. XC has moved on so much from 15-20 years ago that I ‘think’ for me it’s becoming a more appealing watch than downhill or enduro. Proper skillful and technical riding, with some lumg busting AND tactical mixing it up with others on the course. A tiny bit more technical and we’d probably have the nirvana of what I’d pay good money to watch.

    Premier Icon lovewookie
    Full Member

    Multiple cross-discipline Prévot world champion said after the race that she and Neff arrived on the rock climb at the same time, and that if one did not brake they would hit each other. Prévot opted to brake, causing her to slip on the rocks.

    from the article linked.

    Prevot suggesting that Neff pretty much blocked her on the rocky climb after the doubles. didn;t look that way to me. Sounds like sour grapes.

    Premier Icon mrlebowski
    Free Member

    Prevot suggesting that Neff pretty much blocked her on the rocky climb after the doubles. didn;t look that way to me. Sounds like sour grapes.

    +1. Didn’t look like that at all to me!
    edit: Just watched it again – Neff gets to the ramp at least 1/2m in front of Prevot & more than that to the side, secondly Prevot doesn’t brake at all. Sour grapes to go!

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    It was exciting viewing… and so damn fast!

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