Cycling | 15 juni 2018
Bad luck for Van Poppel in the hunt for a podium place in Hageland
A puncture in the last four kilometres of Dwars door het Hageland has thwarted a strong Danny van Poppel in his battle for a podium place. Van Poppel, who was sovereignly in second place at that moment, eventually finished seventh.
In the Belgian race, with twenty-five kilometres of unpaved roads, Van Poppel was very active from the start. In the first part of the race, a large breakaway got established with Van Poppel, Elia Viviani and last year’s winner Mathieu van der Poel. The breakaway was taken back by the peloton, after which the later winner started his solo. From that moment on, Van Poppel showed that he’s more than just a top sprinter and that he’s able to compete with the best in all kinds of races.
“Danny and Gijs van Hoecke have ridden a great race here. A pity about Danny’s puncture, because the podium was definitely possible”, Grischa Niermann said. “In a tough race like this, you have to be focused from the start. Danny was immediately part of the large leading group and that was very good. He could easily maintain himself in the front and he seemed on his way to the second place, but unfortunately he had a puncture on the last unpaved section. It’s a pity, but that’s cycling. Nonetheless, his shape is good regarding the national championships which will be held in two weeks.”