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"First I need to get stronger.  That comes with age. You have to be 24 or 25 years. I'm only 21."

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






18.01.2015 @ 11:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Danny van Poppel is only 21 years old but he has already started the Tour de France twice. After consultation with the team management, however, he rules out a third start in the race. “Now Kittel, Cavendish and Greipel are much faster,” he says.


Danny Van Poppel has finished his first full season at Trek Factory Racing. He has learned a lot, is now living alone (“it took some time to get used to that”) and has never had such a good winter.


But the real hunger for success has given way to realism. He is not yet ready to fight for stage victories in the Tour. "First I need to get stronger.  That comes with age. You have to be 24 or 25 years. I'm only 21,” he tells NOS.


What does he target in 2015? "Win a lot. More than last year," the younger Van Poppel says. He obtained two victories in 2014: the first stage of the Three Days of West Flanders and the prologue in the Tour of Luxembourg. And he achieved quite a few places of honor, like a third place in the Scheldeprijs.


But more was possible, according to his brother, teammate and lead-out man Boy van Poppel. "He made a lot of mistakes. When he was in a good position, he passed me too quickly,” Boy describes the sprints.


"But you learn from mistakes. The more we get together in the finale, the better he knows what he must do." 


Boy emphasizes that Danny can sprint for the podium places in the Tour de France. “He has proven that. I think he's already at a very high level. But he is young and will still have to learn a lot.”


Last year the youngest son of Jean-Paul van Poppel was sixth in the third stage of the Tour de France. One day later he was eighth before he left the race due to injury. One year earlier, he was third, eighth and ninth during his debut. But in 2015, he has his eyes on another grand tour. “This year I will do the Vuelta.” He begins his year with a training camp in Mallorca after which he goes to Qatar and Oman to prepare for the many races in Belgium.


Boy has with the same schedule but also sees himself as a domestique for Fabian Cancellara. “I will do almost all the classics. Depending on my form, also Flanders and Roubaix.”



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