Vacansoleil DCM withdraws 19 year old Danny Van Poppel from Tour de France
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Vacansoleil DCM withdraws 19 year old Danny Van Poppel from Tour de France

by VeloNation Press at 2:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Young rider performing solidly but heads home early in order to avoid damage

Danny Van PoppelAfter becoming the youngest podium finisher in decades earlier in the race, Danny Van Poppel’s first Tour de France has finally come to an end. The nineteen year old has shown considerable potential, netting third on stage one and later taking placings of eighth and ninth, as well as wearing the white jersey. His potential is also shown in surviving a very difficult race for so long.

With fifteen stages of the race covered, his Vacansoleil DCM team has now decided to pull him out. It wants to shield him from possible damage in trying to finish the Tour at such a young age.

“There is a hard week ahead. There is more than just the Tour, and that also has to be taken into account,” said Van Poppel. “I think my performances and coming so far have been a pleasant surprise to many.”

Team directeur sportif Aart Vierhouten said that he considers the rider to be ‘normally fatigued’ after two weeks in the Tour, rather than utterly drained. He gives an example to illustrate this. “On Mont Ventoux yesterday he finished even before the grupetto, despite a wheel and a bike change,” he stated. “For a 19-year-old he has performed exceptionally well, and we have enjoyed having him here for two weeks.

“He was here to learn the ropes and he has more than done so. He may very well be capable of reaching Paris, but there are still heavy stages ahead. That’s why we prefer to protect him and carefully set new targets.”

The team’s approach is a prudent one. Van Poppel was 105th out of 181 yesterday and was 145th overall, so he was far from being the most fatigued rider. Indeed, he was a solid tenth overall in the points classification. However the team wants to ensure that he has a good future, and so it is playing it safe.

“There is no added value in continuing the race for Danny”, said the Vacansoleil-DCM team manager Daan Luijkx.

Once he has recovered, he will look to his next targets. Vierhouten has said that these will likely include the Eneco Tour, which begins on August 11th.

His older brother Boy Van Poppel continues in the race. Their father, Jean Paul Van Poppel, clocked up nine stage victories in the Tour de France and was the Maillot Vert winner in 1987.

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