Cycling | 2 oktober 2018

Van Poppel soloes to victory in Binche’s last metres

Danny van Poppel has become the glorious winner of Binche-Chimay-Binche. The fast rider of Team LottoNL-Jumbo didn’t wait for a bunch sprint in the cobbled finish street and surprised all others with a late, but impressive attack. The victory in Hainaut was Van Poppel’s third of the season and the 32nd for Team LottoNL-Jumbo.

Van Poppel started his season with a victory and concluded it in the same, successful way. “This is really nice and funny that I win my first and my last race of the season”, the winner said. The Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke, as the race in Binche is also called, was recently added to his program. “The shape is still good and I wanted to ride. It is nice to end the year this way. The team did a great job and everything fell into place. It is never easy, but this time, everything worked out well. That’s the difference with some other races this season. We were able to play two cards at the end, with Dylan (Groenewegen) and me. Dylan gave me the chance to go for it and I’m glad I could finish it this way.”

In the final, Team LottoNL-Jumbo had to put maximum effort to catch Stybar. The Czech rider had escaped from a leading group with Maarten Wynants among them. The Belgian won his weight in litres of beer along the way. “We were able to turn things around”, sports director Frans Maassen said. “We kept the faith. In the final we eliminated everyone else. That’s the merit of the entire team. We are excited about that, because this really is a nice victory.”