Mathieu van der Poel stepped out of the 2021 Tour de France a week ago to focus and prepare for the Olympic Games. The Dutch stage winner received the necessary criticism and is still a topic of conversation. The failed Cofidis leader Guillaume Martin called his decision to step out of the Tour ‘disrespectful’.
“When Roger Federer skipped the 8th finals of Roland Garros to prepare for Wimbledon, he was heavily criticized,” Martin told l’Equipe. “When Mathieu did the same, nobody said anything, while everyone applauds him for his spectacular way of racing.”
Nice and easy, thought Martin. The 28-year-old rider and philosophy student thought that everyone can recharge for a week before the Tour. “Knowing that you will get out after a few days? Then you can certainly give everything. That is disrespectful to the Tour.”
It doesn’t bother him that Martin doesn’t get any support from fellow riders or other people involved. “It’s in my nature to say it like it is, without losing nuance. I’m at a point in my career where I’m asked for advice without putting my career on the line.”
Van der Poel from the Tour
Van der Poel was in charge in the first 8 stages of the Tour. He wore the yellow jersey for no less than 6 days. Before the start of stage 9, he announced that he would not continue racing.