Mathieu van der Poel retired from the UCI Road World Championships elite men’s road race following an overnight arrest after reportedly being disturbed by a group of teenagers outside his hotel room.
The Dutch favourite began the race on Sunday morning, but abandoned his pursuit of victory after about 25 kilometers of racing.
Van der Poel's preparations for the biggest single-day event on the cycling calendar were hugely disrupted by his overnight incident. The Dutch star was arrested and charged with common assault by Sydney police, not returning to his hotel room until 4am.
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The affair occurred on Saturday evening, when two teenage girls allegedly repeatedly knocked on Van der Poel's door.
Van der Poel recounted the events to Belgian outlet Sporza. He said: "There was a small dispute. It was about noisy neighbours and they are quite strict here. I went to bed early and many children in the hallway of my room found it necessary to knock on the door continuously. After a few times I was done with it. I didn't ask so nicely to stop. Then the police were called and I was taken."

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What followed is less clear, but New South Wales police released a statement in an attempt to clarify things.
The statement reads: "It’s further alleged the man then pushed both teenagers, with one falling to the ground and the other being pushed into a wall, causing a minor graze to her elbow. Hotel management were notified of the incident, who then called police. Officers from St George police area command attended and arrested a 27-year-old man shortly after.”
The incident occurred at around 10.30pm.

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Van der Poel was charged with two counts of common assault, bailed, and will now face court on Tuesday.
Australian television coverage added additional details on Sunday morning.
Presenter Mike Tomolaris said: "He started from Helensburgh, but has since withdrawn, and we do have further news – the police from the St George Command in Sydney have taken Mathieu van der Poel's passport and he is due to appear in Sutherland Court on the 27th of September, so that's on Tuesday. He can't leave the country until he faces a court. Rather dramatic circumstances for this Dutch rider who was expected to challenge for a gold medal rainbow jersey."
Speaking to Sporza before racing on Sunday, van der Poel was understated. He explained: "That’s certainly not ideal. It’s a disaster but I can’t change anything anymore. I’m trying to make the best of it. It is on little sleep that I will race, hopefully on adrenaline. It was certainly not fun. It is what it is, I have to deal with it."
Alpecin-Deceuninck team boss Christoph Roodhooft was more forthcoming. Speaking during the race, Roodhooft said: "He was mentally broken. He was expecting a lot of this day, and he did all he could in the last two months after his bad Tour de France. He found joy and happiness again in cycling, and he was hoping to have a nice race today."
Eurosport pundit Adam Blythe understood van der Poel's decision to drop out of the race. He said: "His head would have just been on the floor. Everything that's happened that night. Not knowing what the outcome's going to be. It's no surprise that his head fell off. "
While he did set off on the 266.9km race, van der Poel dropped out after around 30 minutes of racing.
In his absence, Belgium's Remco Evenepoel won gold, ahead of Christophe Laporte of France and the local favourite Michael Matthews.
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