I have heard my French friend use the expression like “il a lâché son maillot” if I heard it right. The context was the Tour de France. I am not sure if it is an expression or just different word usage (as compared with English).
The maillot here refers to le maillot jaune, which in cycling event Le Tour de France is awarded to the currently leading competitor (in matter of time).
Knowing that, the expression prêt à lâcher son maillot can be translated to ready to (give up/lose) his (leading position/leader status).