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Brothers in arms. Danny and Boy Van Poppel of Vacansoleil-DCM.
WorldTour team adds more young talent
The new Trek WorldTour team announced today the addition of three more riders to its 2014 roster: brothers Boy and Danny van Poppel (both from Vacansoleil-DCM) plus Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli).
The van Poppel brothers, whose father Jean-Paul was a renowned sprinter and points classification winner at the 1987 Tour, both already have a year of WorldTour experience and will provide depth for races finishing in sprint finales. Boy, the elder brother, has seven years of experience at the professional level. The 25-year-old Dutchman spent four years with the Rabobank Continental Team (2007-2010), two years with the US-based Pro Continental UnitedHealthcare squad (2011-2012) followed by 2013 with Vacansoleil-DCM.
"This feels like another step up for me," said Boy van Poppel. "Already last year was fantastic, with my selection for the Tour. I'm also happy I get to stay in the same team as my brother. Racing with your brother is always special and I'm proud to help him, because he's a natural. I know my place is to lead him out. It's more motivating to lead your brother out than another rider."
Younger brother, Danny van Poppel, has quickly made a name for himself, having already worn the Tour de France's white jersey after finishing third in the first stage of this year's edition. At the age of 19, van Poppel competed as the youngest rider on a WorldTour roster in 2013 and became the youngest rider since World War II to compete in cycling' s premier event. 2014 will be his third year as a professional after spending 2012 with the Rabobank Continental Team followed by 2013 with Vacansoleil-DCM.
"I'm very happy to join the Trek team, which looks like one of the most professional teams out there," said Danny van Poppel. "It's a beautiful project with very strong riders and also an important focus on developing young riders like my brother and myself.
"In terms of my ambitions: everyone thinks I'm a pure sprinter, but I believe I can do more than that. I think that I can be good in the semi-classics in the medium term as well. Personally, my goal is to become a better rider. This year was a breakthrough year for me. I was very proud to be selected for the Tour and taking third place in the opening stage and wearing the white jersey was huge for me."
Making the jump from the Pro Continental level is Fabio Felline who spent the previous two seasons with Androni Giocattoli and 2011 with Geox-TMC. The 23-year-old Italian made his professional debut in 2010 with Footon-Servetto and has won races in each of his four seasons in the professional ranks. Additionally, he's twice finished the Giro d'Italia (2012-2013) plus started the Tour de France in 2010 where he abandoned after eight stages.
"I'm super motivated and happy to come to Trek Factory Racing," said Felline. "This is certainly a big opportunity for me to be able to ride the races of the WorldTour and to do so on the same team as some of the greatest riders in the peloton. I believe I still have a lot to learn, so it will be my ambition to gain experience and work for team's goals. I'm anxious to see how far I can come with good training and counseling."
"The van Poppel brothers are very talented sprinters that have a big potential for the future," said Trek Factory Racing general manager Luca Guercilena. "They are both still young and we believe that they can make a big progression with our team. Fabio Felline has already posted some nice results in the recent past. His capacities reach very wide and I'm curious and confident to see what he's capable of with the support, program, and equipment that our team can offer him."