The 22-year-old said that he would have liked to have stayed with the team and his brother Boy. “However, he was offered a new contract and I was not. They want to keep Boy there to lead out the sprints. The team manager (Luca Guerlina) didn’t have much confidence in me any more,” he told the Brabants Dagblad.
“I had to go. None of the rest of the team gets it. I don’t understand it myself.”
Ironically, he had the biggest win of his young career at the recent Vuelta a Espana. After flatting with only 10km left on stage 12, he surged back to the front, and the field caught a breakaway within the final kilometer. Van Poppel then took the best line and a burst of speed sent him across the line as first.
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