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Benelux Tour

Second consecutive podium for Danny van Poppel

After finishing 3rd in Ardooie on Thursday, Dutch sprinter Danny van Poppel took a second consecutive podium this Friday at the fifth stage of the Benelux Tou (2.WT). Despite a more hilly profile than the preceding days, the race was again concluded by a sprint after 192 kilometer in Bilzen. Fifteen hills were spread over the parcours with start in Riemst.

Three riders lead the race for a long time at a reasonable distance ahead of the peloton. Several counterattacks were formed on the Letenberg with 43 kilometer to go, without eliminating the sprinters. The riders from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert stayed united around Danny Van Poppel, except for Taco van der Hoorn, who had to abandon the race due to illness.

Other attacks on the fourth and last passage of the Letenberg, 5 kilometer before the finish, didn’t surprise Danny Van Poppel who was in the first positions of the peloton. The Dutch rider sprinted to 3rd place from a bunch of 50 riders on a slightly uphill finish in the streets of Bilzen, behind winner Caleb Ewan. Van Poppel is now 14th in the provisional general classification and second in the points classification.

The sixth stage between Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve and Houffalize is considered as “a mini Liège-Bastogne-Liège” thanks to its numerous hills in the second part of the parches, among which the Saint-Roch, Bois-des-Moines and Achouffe.

I drew on all my resources to take this 3rd place. The outcome of this stage was unpredictable, nobody could affirm with certainty that the race would be concluded by a bunch sprint. In the end, it was a demanding race because of the numerous turns, hills and small roads. Thanks to the help of my teammates, I was well positioned for the final climb from where it was full gas until the finish line. It was a battle between the strongest survivors and I'm happy to be one of them. It is a nice feeling to sprint for the victory, especially at the end of a hard race like this. I'm only two points away from the points jersey, this will be my goal for the stage in Geraardsbergen.


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