Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour de France on Sunday after a spectacular star turn in the overall lead came to a shuddering halt in the Alps.
The Dutch Tour rookie spent six days in the yellow jersey, but now heads to Tokyo, where he will go for gold in his preferred mountain biking discipline.
Grandson of French cycling legend Raymond Poulidor, Van der Poel set pulses racing with his gung-ho stage 2 win where he took the yellow jersey that his grandfather never wore despite eight podium finished on the Tour.
Van der Poel dug deep to maintain his lead until the Alps where his large frame means the all-rounder is unable to keep up with the lighter climb specialists.
On Saturday ‘VDP’ as fans call him pulled alongside champion Tadej Pogcar and spoke briefly before giving up the chase and the yellow jersey.