Popovych The New Merckx?
POPOVYCH THE NEW MERCKX?
The Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team has never been so famous as when Yaroslav Popovych has joined the team. The Italian/Belgian team got many invites from many races to have him at the start line.
Yaroslav Popovich, the guy that has been called “the strongest U23 of the last 40 years”, or just…the “new Merckx”.
“It has been the hardest season of my life. I went in a different world from the one that I knew. Different in speed, different courses, different strategies: I payed it
on my skin at the Giro, where some times I thought to were going to win the stage but I lost it near the finish. I gained experience that I will use next year, because I
understood that in the pro group if you’re not the strongest you must sprint at 1km from the finish, and not at 3-4 kms at the finish as I did. Here a mistake costs very much and you don’t have the time the fix it. I made many (mistakes) and for this I say that my first year hasn’t been what I was hoping for.
“I knew that it was difficult, but I was ready for it because in the U23 I could win as I wanted, at the spint or alone. I think that next year I’ll try to be competitive everywhere, at the Roubaix and also at the Giro. My team, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago took riders likeTom Steels that bring us points and so we will be able to take part
at all the World Cup races. We’re stronger and I want to have an important place in the team: I already started to train in gym, I don’t wanna be in late at the start of the season?.
And a funny thing happened before the start of Giro.
Many media said that Popovych was sick but…it wasn’t true. Because the team didn’t present him at the start of some races with the excuse of “…I’m afraid but he’s sick!..” .
After the end of Giro the team manager Locatelli explained that it has been just a way to “save” his body from too many competitions: “he’s very young, at his first year many people asked me for his presence but…I couldn’t satisfy everybody. So, we said a little lie”.
That’s just an example of how much interest this young rider has generated.