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"Giacomo was a bit sick last night with stomach problems so he abandoned in the first feed zone. Also Jasper came to the car during the race for medication for stomach problems, and Kristof was also feeling it."

Photo: Sirotti


04.10.2014 @ 19:55 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Trek Factory Racing delivers fantastic team effort in sprint finale, but Dannny Van Poppel was left disappointed by a 12th place finish. Danny van Poppel, 21, continued his frustration in the bunch sprint finishes with an 12th place in the 174.7-kilometer third stage at the Tour de l'Eurométropole Saturday. 


Trek Factory Racing delivered a perfect lead out for the young Dutch rider but he was unable to capitalize after starting his sprint early.  


An exasperated Danny is feeling the full effect as he was unable to crack the top 10 for the second straight day after showing a strong finish in stage one in fifth place.


“At the end it was a sprint again and the team did a perfect lead out. Stijn [Devolder] was there, Kristof [Vandewalle], Jasper [Stuyven], and Fabio [Silvestre] all put Danny in perfect position. Danny started his sprint from quite far and he said at the end they passed him like he was standing still. But today they gave it a real good try and Danny of course is very disappointed again. It’s a pity, but c’est la vie – that is how it is. Let’s see what tomorrow brings,” Director Dirk Demol told the Trek website.


Stage three began with a five-man breakaway escaping in the early kilometers, and they gave the top sprinters’ teams some stress by holding off the catch to the last kilometers. Finally, with three kilometers remaining the sprint trains rolled over the last remnants of the escape group, giving the fast men in the peloton their third successive battle for stage victory.


This time Theo Bos (Belkin) outfoxed his rivals, taking the win after a second place yesterday. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) sprinted to second and race leader Arnaud Démare ( rounded out the top three ensuring his lead in the overall classification.


Giacomo Nizzolo was forced to stop early in the race with an unknown stomach ailment (he was already showing signs in yesterday's stage) and a few others in the team were feeling similar symptoms during the race.


Despite reduced to six riders and thwarting off sickness, Trek Factory Racing pitched a perfect game today as wind wreaked havoc on the peloton mid-way through the race.  All six riders were in the front split when the winds picked up, and later again when the gales forced the peloton into three groups.


Once the breakaway was caught the team then led Danny to perfect position to the final kilometer; Danny pulled the trigger but was unable to deliver the team its much-needed home run.


“There was a lot more wind today than in the past days and this caused a lot of stress in the peloton. An early breakaway went away and they had eight minutes but then halfway in the race we had more crosswinds and the peloton split in two, but we had the whole team in the first bunch,” Demol continues.


“Giacomo was a bit sick last night with stomach problems so he abandoned in the first feed zone. Also Jasper came to the car during the race for medication for stomach problems, and Kristof was also feeling it. It could be that the food was not super good – we are not sure.”


“After the split the group was around 80 riders and we had all six still there. Then Boy [van Poppel] had a puncture and we could not do anything for him because it was a barrage. He got neutral support but was unable to come back to the first peloton.”


“But I have to say that the team was very good today. Tomorrow it is pretty certain to end with a bunch sprint again and we will have one last chance.  I keep saying it, but all we can do is keep our heads high and keep trying,” Dirk Demol said. 



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