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Cycling | 30 augustus 2018

Van Poppel nearly wins 6th Vuelta stage

Danny van Poppel finished second in the sixth stage of the Vuelta a España today. A bunch of 50 riders sprinted in San Javier Mar Menor for the victory. Nacer Bouhanni was just a little too quick for Van Poppel. 


Steven Kruijswijk and George Bennett were also in the first group, just like Lars Boom, and profited in the GC. Kruijswijk moved up from 10th to ninth and Bennett from 14th to 11th.


Van Poppel sprinted with panache, but wasn’t rewarded with flowers. "I hate it, because I was very close. Second is not bad, but this was really a chance to win. I had to beat Viviani. That worked well this time, but anyway I’m still second. I knew I had to be positioned well before the turn. I arrived at the right time and I almost finished it off. I was on my way to pass Bouhanni, but no cigar”, Van Poppel said.


Just like Van Poppel, the rest of the team was aware of the opportunities and the dangers. "We had to be attentive”, Bennett said. "Our sports director Grischa Niermann had done his homework well. We are lucky with our big engines, such as Bert-Jan and Lars. When it broke up in echelons, they worked amazingly. Thanks to them we were in a good position and in the good group. We knew it would be nervous because it could possibly break up. And that happened!"


"That Danny was beaten so closely is promising but also a pity”, Niermann said. "We came to win. There will be more opportunities, but we would have liked to have it in the pocket. It was a good day for us because George and Steven did a good job in the classification. But it could have been a perfect day."

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