Wout Poels had a heavy first Tour week. The 32-year-old Dutchman suffered a crash in the first stage, including a broken rib and a bruised lung. In the following days he had to unload more than once and his situation didn’t seem to improve much. Nevertheless Poels is back at the start today, he assured the Dutch cycling fans.
“In the days after the fall I did have some doubts if I should continue cycling”, Poels said in the evening stage on Monday evening. “But I noticed that I could follow the grupetto (the large group unloaded in a mountain stage, ed.) better and better. So I wanted to try it at least until the rest day”
The fact that the badly battered Poels rode on anyway, came in for quite a bit of criticism. “I didn’t get everything”, the rider of Bahrain-McLaren acknowledged. “But I had scans made and the team doctor and the Tourdokter looked at it. If they say it’s no danger if I continue, I’m the one who decides if I continue”
Most aggressive rider
The jury of the Tour de France decided to give Poels a boost in the fifth stage. He was awarded the prize for most aggressive rider because he struggled all day at the last wheel of the peloton, had to unload for a while, but still fought his way back.
Check out Poels’ reaction after he received the prize for the most aggressive rider:
Poels made it through the first rest day of the Tour. “I cycled the muscles for an hour and a half with the boys. I went to the physiotherapist, had a massage and had a good night’s sleep”
However, Poels isn’t top fit even after the rest day. “The people at home are hoping for a lot of wind, but for me it would be nice if the weather would be calmer. I hope for not too much wind. We’re going to see it from day to day.”