Tour de France: Danny Van Poppel not in last week

After a strong performance in the first two weeks of the Tour de France, Danny Van Poppel won’t start in tomorrows 16th stage. The youngster sprinted to three top ten places, wore the white jersey and took a few giant leaps in his development as a rider. “There is no added value in continuing the race for Danny”, Vacansoleil-DCM team manager Daan Luijkx explains. The decision was taken on the morning of the second rest day after deliberation with the rider, the medical staff and the team management. “He has reached his goals, and has gone even beyond that. We will be focussing on new targets now, starting with the Eneco Tour.” Van Poppel’s team Vacansoleil-DCM had planned several moments of evaluation during the Tour de France, each time carefully assessing the continued participation of the young talent. DS Aart Vierhouten: “Physically speaking, Danny is ‘normally fatigued’ after two weeks in the Tour de France. On Mont Ventoux yesterday he finished even before the grupetto, despite a wheel and a bike change. 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.” Today was also the day of Vacansoleil-DCM’s traditional mussels party. Van Poppel was still present to conclude his first participation in the Tour de France in style. The son of Jean-Paul and brother of Boy Van Poppel will be returning home tomorrow. “There is a hard week ahead”, the rider himself explains the decision. “There is more than just the Tour, and that also has to be taken into account. I think my performances and coming so far have been a pleasant surprise to many.”

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