Cycling | 23 februari 2018

Van Poppel ninth in last sprinters' stage Abu Dhabi

Danny van Poppel has not been able to give yesterday’s second place a follow-up in the third stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour. He did not get further than the ninth place in the expected mass sprint. The victory went to Phil Bauhaus.

In the general classification, Van Poppel dropped to fifth place. He also had to relinquish the white jersey, awarded to the leader in the youth classification.

Sports director Sierk Jan de Haan explained that the same tactics were deployed as during the first stage. “We knew that we would be going over a wide stretch of road during the final kilometres, so we wanted to push forward as late as possible. We succeeded, except that there were two pelotons at that moment. One on the left side of the road, the other one on the right. We moved up in the peloton on the right, but then everything came together and we ended up right in the middle of the action.”

This made it difficult to form a good lead-out for Van Poppel. “Gijs Van Hoecke brought Danny forward, but he had to put in too much effort to make up for the lost places. The ninth place turned out to be the best possible. We are going to evaluate the past few days with a view to the upcoming sprint races.”

Though the team will first focus on tommorow’s individual time trial in Abu Dhabi. According to De Haan, Jos van Emden is one of the favourites. “It is his goal to score at every time trial. He has trained hard for it. The course suits him and he is in good shape. We have much confidence in him.”