"Popeye" was his nickname, and not only was he one of The Netherlands most successful cyclists, he was also one of the most exciting. Winner of the green jersey at the 1987 Tour de France, and with a total of 9 stage wins overall, he would often claim victory from seemingly futile positions. His four stage wins in the 1988 Tour made him the most successful Dutch sprinter in a single tour, a year which included an inspired victory at the illustrious closing Champs Elysee stage, charging round the outside of Guido Bontempi & Malcolm Elliot to take the number one spot (check the amazing video below). He's also credited with four stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and four in the 1991 edition of the Vuelta a España, tallying his total up to 22 Grand Tour stage victories in his eight year professional career.
We were lucky enough this year to get our hands on Van Poppel's team bike from his amateur years with the Gazelle-Vredestein-Campagnolo team, the very bike on which he would have developed his discipline as a sprinter. He can be seen here posing for a team photograph in 1984, and we also have a photogtaph below of him racing to victory in Stage 3 of the Ster van Brabant in his home nation that same year.
The Gazelle-Vredestein Amateur Team of 1984 with Jean-Paul Van Poppel on the back row.
Jean-Paul Van Poppel racing to victory for the amateur Gazelle-Vredestein team in 1984 - Stage 3, Ster van Brabant, NL.
The bike has been thorougly cleaned & tidied up, but otherwise remains true to the way we discovered it. Built from Reynolds 753 tubing & sporting the great J.P. van Poppel name on the top tube, it's a great honour to have this piece of cycling history for sale. It's times like these we wish we could keep the bikes for ourselves.
Poppel would retire from professional cycling in 1995, continuing to work as a sports director for womens cycling and the Cervelo test team in 2010, currently working alongside former pro-riders Eric Bruekink and Michael Boogerd at the helm of Pro-continental Team Roompot-Oranje Peloton. The Poppel cycling legacy is carried on by Danny van Poppel who currently rides for team Sky and Boy van Poppel who rides for Team Trek-Segafredo, the former credited as the youngest rider since WWII to take part in the at the Tour de France at age 19.
See the full gallery of photos for Van Poppel's team Gazelle Champion Mondial here.
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There are a number of parts you’ll need to put a bike together that can be slightly complicated if you don’t have the old part to hand, and one that we are often asked about is headsets.