After Tour and wedding, Danny van Poppel becomes the finisher again: "The reason is simple: our sprinter is not in good form" Cycling

After Tour and wedding, Danny van Poppel becomes the finisher again: "The reason is simple: our sprinter is not in good form"

After Tour and wedding, Danny van Poppel becomes the finisher again: "The reason is simple: our sprinter is not in good form"

Among the Dutch riders who have emerged from the Tour de France in good form, Danny van Poppel stands out. Although he didn't participate in a World Cup or European Championship event, he achieved an impressive record. In the fifteen race days following the conclusion of the Tour de France, he secured a top-ten finish a remarkable twelve times. In a conversation with, he shares the reasons behind his success.

We caught up with Van Poppel during the Münsterland Giro, a significant race for his sponsor, BORA-hansgrohe. The Dutch cyclist embarked on the final week of his season on the German holiday of October 3rd. This followed a series of notable achievements, including a second-place finish in the BEMER Cyclassics Hamburg shortly after the Tour de France, a third-place finish in the Deutschland Tour, and a stage win in the Tour of Britain. These accomplishments have been a source of great satisfaction for BORA-hansgrohe, which has already extended its sponsorship contract through 2027.

Van Poppel had the opportunity to witness his teammate Jordi Meeus win the final stage of the Tour de France on the iconic Champs-Élysées. Just three days later, he celebrated his wedding to his wife, Stephane Van Poppel-Kox. On August 20th, he clinched another victory, this time in Hamburg at the BEMER Cyclassics, where he narrowly missed out on first place as Mads Pedersen edged him out. Reflecting on his post-Tour performance, Van Poppel remarked, "I know that I'm often in good shape after a major tour, provided I have the right training and races to support it. While I've been able to train well, I've also noticed that my body feels fatigued after extended training sessions. Nevertheless, my mental determination is strong, and perhaps that's the most crucial factor." Van Poppel shared these thoughts before the start of the Münsterland Giro.

He continued his impressive form with a third-place finish in the final standings of the Deutschland Tour and five podium finishes, including one victory, in the Tour of Britain. "The past few weeks have been exceptional. After the Tour of Britain, I had a two-week break at home. Now we have the final races of the season ahead, and we'll see how they go," he commented, looking forward to Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours.

Van Poppel had to make switch from lead-out to finisher again this fall

Van Poppel had originally transitioned to a lead-out role at BORA-hansgrohe. However, the departure of Sam Bennett, who was also not in the best form, opened up opportunities for the 30-year-old Dutchman. He explained, "I had to make a mental shift because our sprinter isn't performing well. It's a mix of positive and negative feelings. Taking chances is nice, but at the same time, you want to win as a team, like Olav Kooij does."

"I had initially chosen to be a lead-out rider, but it's unfortunate when things don't go as planned. There's not much you can do about it. Next year, we will have a new sprinter," he added, referring to Sam Welsford, who he will be riding alongside. It won't be the same partnership as with Meeus, who speaks the same language. "Sam will be a new project for me. I don't know him well yet, but he seems like a great guy."

In Münster, Van Poppel was once again one of the driving forces. He spent the entire day at the front of the race and ultimately finished in sixth place. Reflecting on the race, he said, "It was a long and demanding day. As a team, we set the pace during the early stages. Towards the end, I attempted to launch an attack, but it didn't quite work out. Then, during the sprint, I found myself boxed in, which was unfortunate. I would have liked to secure a podium spot for the team."

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