Cycling | 25 maart 2018
Eager Van Poppel misjudges circumstances in final Gent-Wevelgem
An eager Danny van Poppel has misjudged the circumstances in the final of Gent-Wevelgem regarding the direction of the wind. About twenty kilometres before the finish, Van Poppel ended up on the edge in the back of the echelon, after which he dropped from the decisive break. “In my head I was already preparing my sprint”, Van Poppel said afterwards. Due to this error of judgement no one of Team LottoNL-Jumbo was represented in the front in the end.
For a long time, all was going according to plan, with six riders in front. After the 'Plugstreets', the offroad sections at Ploegsteert and the second ascent of the Kemmelberg, only Van Poppel was on the right side of the break in the peloton.
Van Poppel realized that he had made a mistake in the final. “I thought it was going to be a sprint. I misjudged the circumstances in the wind and ended up on the side, which resulted in me being dropped from the group. From the car they tried to slow me down, but in my enthusiasm I did not respond well. It was a good lesson.“
Sports director Nico Verhoeven saw a strong Van Poppel, but also a Van Poppel who was too eager. “He could have taken advantage of the fact that Dylan was in the second group, but he was too enthusiastic. He must take the positive things into the next race. He climbed the Kemmelberg with the best twice, which is good for his confidence for the coming races.”