Mathieu van der Poel close to pulling the plug at Tour de France

Mathieu van der Poel has suggested he will abandon the Tour de France if he doesn’t soon show signs of improvement after a long day of suffering on the road to Longwy.

The Dutch star has been below his swashbuckling best at this Tour, and his troubles have intensified in the past couple of days. After placing fifth in the opening time trial and then helping to set up sprints for Jasper Philipsen, Van der Poel was expected to come to the fore on the cobbles on Wednesday, but fell away with nearly 50km remaining.

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