Tour de France

Danny van Poppel sixth on the Champs Elysées

The 108th edition of the Tour de France ended this Sunday with the traditional stage towards Paris, with a finish on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. As usual, the riders covered the first part of the course at a relaxed pace from Chatou (Yvelines), before entering the capital after 30 kilometers, where a total of eight laps on the most beautiful avenue in the world was to result, most likely, in a bunch sprint. The only change introduced by the organization for this edition, the finish line being located 150 meters further than in previous years.

Belgian Jan Bakelants, who was about to complete his sixth Tour – and complete the 14 Grand Tours in which he has participated – got involved in the first attacks after the riders went over the finish line for the first time. But the sprinting teams had a stranglehold on the peloton, and left no room to the fleeing candidates, who briefly followed one another at the front of the race.

As the final lap approached, the riders of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team were gathered around sprinter Danny van Poppel, fifth in the bunch sprint in Carcassonne on stage 13. To lead him out, the Dutchman could rely on his brother Boy, himself ninth at Fougères in the sprint on stage 4.

After squeezing his way to the front of the peloton, Danny van Poppel negotiated the last corner in the top ten positions, and started his sprint in the wheel of Philippsen (Alpecin). He launched his effort at 200 meters from the line, and ended in sixth place, clinching the seventh top 10 for the team on this edition of the Tour de France. In the general classification, Louis Meintjes finished 14th, his best result on a Grand Tour in four years. Danny van Poppel, the Italian Lorenzo Rota and the German Georg Zimmermann have meanwhile concluded the first Tour de France of their respective careers with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert.

Sprinting on the Champs-Elysées was a dream. I am happy to have been able to make it happen for the first time with intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. My legs were overwhelmed with lactic acid on the home stretch, but I was determined to defend my chances. Unfortunately, I had to move to the right, into Philippsen's wheel, which forced me to stop pedaling for a moment. That split second caused me to lose speed, which is irreparable in a finish like this. But so much can happen in a sprint. I must be delighted with this result. The level was extremely high, we are on the Tour. I completed my first Tour de France, in three participations. I'm proud of it.

Today, I finished the Tour de France in 14th place, on Mandela Day. This is a special moment for me, and I hope that my performance on the Tour will inspire people from my country, South Africa, to ride their bikes as well. I want my result to show that great things are possible when you are willing to work hard. I would like to thank the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team for the trust they placed in me, and for making my return to the Tour de France possible.

We were betting on Danny van Poppel and he performed very well in this prestigious sprint. When you look at the his competitors, you can be proud of this result. I look back on this Tour de France with satisfaction, because the team had a difficult first week, marred by crashes, and we also lost two riders. Despite this, we arrived in Paris with six riders who each finished in the top 10 of a stage. Louis Meintjes is 14th overall, a tremendous performance knowing that he has come a long way. We have a bright future ahead of us, because this Tour has been a big learning experience, and everyone comes out of this adventure improved on all aspects. The good atmosphere that prevailed throughout the three weeks was the key to our rise in the second and third week. I am proud of our riders, the staff, and our sponsors who all contributed to the success of our 4th Tour de France.

Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director) Tweet

RESULTS

1.Wout Van AertJumbo-Visma2:39:37
6.DANNY VAN POPPELIntermarché Wanty Gobert+0DANNY VAN POPPEL

General Classification

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