Knowing he was just four seconds off the overall lead after the opening stage of the Tour of Britain, Boy van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare) was motivated for a good placing on Stage 2. The Dutch sprinter took third in Knowsley behind winner Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) and Mark Cavendish (Sky) moving him into the gold jersey.
"I did everything I could to try and win today," said van Poppel. "The team helped me... saving my energy during the day, and they brought me into an ideal position to the sprint. I managed to take 3rd today, which was enough to secure the overall lead. I'm happy about the result and happy to have earned this for my teammates."
UnitedHealthcare team director Hendrik Redant said that they team had done their best to control the breaks, but despite their best efforts, no rider from the blue train could get ahead of the peloton. The ultimate goal of the stage for the team however, was to set up van Poppel for the final sprint.
"The boys were working well for van Poppel and kept him in the front of the race so he could preserve his power for the sprint," he explained. "Robert Förster took Boy to the front of the group in the final hectometers of the race, enabling Boy to sprint in ideal circumstances. He did a great job in the sprint and managed to get 3rd place."
Monday's result was van Poppel's sixth time on the podium this season, with runner-up placings at Singapore's OCBC Criterium, Nokere Koerse, Driedaagse van De Panne, Volta a Portugal and Sunday's 1st stage of the Tour of Britain.