Mathieu van der Poel's arrest this night was a huge cause for alarms within the World Championships and the Dutch team, as an altercation in the team's hotel as led the Dutchman to be arrested and later unable to compete in the race he had targeted for the season finale.
“That was about half past seven. My wife already said that he had given up, the Dutchman's dad Adrie van der Poel told Wielerflits shortly after the ending of the road race where Remco Evenepoel took the win after a dominant late solo attack. "...I just hope he doesn't suffer too much. But that will also be okay.”
“How I know Mathieu and how I see him in that interview with the NOS, that suits him. He must have been very angry, but I don't think he's pushing kids or anything else you can think of. So I don't believe that at all. And it's a word against a word,"he added. “Of course I know Mathieu through and through. He can sometimes yell loudly or throw a door. But he will never attack people.”
The leader of the Dutch team is said to have been disturbed by two teenage girls who repeatedly knocked at his door during the night, and has pushed both after having gotten up. He was later arrested and spent a large part of the night in jail and without sleep. Although that didn't prevent him from taking part of the start of the race, he abandoned in the early phases of it, only 35 kilometers into the day.
"I don't know much about it either. I've seen the interviews and info and that must be the truth. You sleep in hotels and then something like this sometimes happens," van der Poel senior said. “I think that was also the frustration. Mathieu has worked hard for two months. I've never seen him work that hard. In the race, but also with extra training after a race. Do distances.
"I think he was in very good shape. Yes, I said I didn't think he would be ready to compete with the best at this World Championship. I'm not going to change my mind about this incident, just to say that I've thrown sand in my eyes. But now that I've seen the course of the race, I don't believe they would have knocked him off. Even if Mathieu was not 100%" he continued
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“Mathieu was cheerful again, he was really looking forward to this World Championships. It's annoying for us, but for him it's a minor disaster. Especially when you see how the course has gone," he pointed out. Although it is not yet confirmed, it is possible that the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider will be unable to travel back to Europe for six weeks due to the problems with his passport - which was taken - which may put in a serious dent into his winter and spring preparation.