Van Poppel dominates Burgos sprint

Danny van Poppel bounced back from a crash on stage one of the Vuelta a Burgos to win the bunch sprint in style.

The Dutchman positioned himself brilliantly for the tight final turn and then rounded Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) a hundred metres from the line to win comfortably in Melgar de Fernamental, ahead of Drucker and Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step).

Van Poppel’s skinsuit was torn in several places after his earlier crash but he didn’t seem fazed as the pace increased in the final kilometres, and he timed his effort to perfection.

Explaining the crash, he said: “We were riding at the front and I needed a nature break, so I rode back with Christian [Knees] and he gave me some new bottles. I took them and had my hands on my handlebars, not on the brakes, and then when I looked up everyone was standing still! I tried to grab my brakes but it was too late. I crashed onto my back. I hurt myself, but I was fine, and I really wanted to go for the win.

“I’m not so good at travelling and I lost my suitcase before RideLondon – it’s still lost! – and I had bad legs on the day. I was really motivated for that race because it was important for the team but I was not going well after the travelling. Today I felt a lot better.”

“The team dropped me off really well, but as a rider you know if there’s a finish on a corner it can be really dangerous and chaotic. We lost each other a little bit, but I knew I had to be in the front for the turn. After that I was third wheel, and when we passed the 200m to go sign I went full gas.

“It’s possible to keep the lead tomorrow [during the team time trial] because we have a strong team, but I am not here for the GC. We’ve got other guys in the team for that, but there are more sprint stages – I’m really looking forward to them!”

Vuelta a Burgos 2016 – stage 1 results (Sasamón – Melgar de Fernamental):

  • Danny Van Poppel (Sky) 3:32:04
    2. Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) ,,
    3. Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step) ,,
    4. Wouter Wippert (Cannondale-Drapac) ,,
    5. Steele Von Hoff (ONE) ,,
    6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) ,,
    7. Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) ,,
    8. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) ,,
    9. Luka Mezgec (Orica-BikeExchange) ,,
    10. Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin) ,,