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Trek Factory Racing is bolstering its lineup for 2014 with some young guns.
Brothers Boy and Danny van Poppel of the Netherlands, along with Italian Fabio Felline, have signed with the squad, it was announced in a press release. Formerly called RadioShack-Leopard, the team was taken over by Trek Bicycle for the start of next season.
The van Poppel brothers have bike racing in their blood, as their father Jean-Paul won the points classification at the 1987 Tour de France. The 25-year-old Boy has been in the pro ranks since 2006 and rode for Rabobank and UnitedHealthcare before signing with Vacansoleil-DCM for 2013. With that squad folding, he was able to hitch a ride with Trek.
“This feels like another step up for me,” Boy van Poppel said. “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.”
At age 20, Danny van Poppel is a sprinter who wore the white jersey as the best young rider for one stage at this year’s Tour de France. He was 19 at the race, which made him the youngest rider since World War II to compete in the grand tour. He was also the youngest member on the UCI WorldTour this season, riding with his brother on Vacansoleil.
“I’m very happy to join the Trek team, which looks like one of the most professional teams out there,” Danny van Poppel said. “It’s a beautiful project with very strong riders and also an important focus on developing young riders like my brother and myself.”
The 23-year-old Felline has been on the Pro Continental circuit since turning professional in 2010, most recently competing for Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela since 2012. He started but withdrew from the 2010 Tour de France before finishing the last two editions of the Giro d’Italia, placing 50th and 43rd.
“I’m super motivated and happy to come to Trek Factory Racing,” Felline said. “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. It’s very exciting and special for me to join a team of this level.”
The trio joins a large group of riders already confirmed for Trek next season: Fabian Cancellara, Andy and Frank Schleck, Jens Voigt, Stijn Devolder, Yaroslav Popovych, Jesse Sergent, Markel Irizar, Gregory Rast, Hayden Roulston, and Matthew Busche.