With twelve kilometers to go, Politt bravely races off to victory
With several courageous attacks, Nils Politt drives to the most important success of his career so far: a stage victory in the Tour de France. At the finish, the German lifts his bike and celebrates with a friend and training colleague.
Nils Politt kept shaking his head in disbelief, forming a heart with his hands and roaring with joy as he drove across the finish line. “It is a dream to win a tour stage. This is the greatest victory that can be won, ”said the 27-year-old, after he had achieved the greatest coup of his career on Thursday with a victory of the day at the 108th Tour de France. In the finish area, Politt still couldn’t believe it, lifted his bike in disbelief and let his “very good friend” André Greipel celebrate him.
The German misery at the Tour of France is over, Politt won the first victory since Lennard Kämna’s furious solo last year. “Nils did an excellent job”, praised his sporting director Enrico Poitschke. The Bora-hansgrohe professional duped all competitors from a breakaway group and drove away from the rest of the team twelve kilometers from the finish line. “That it was now a victory is unbelievable,” said the euphoric Politt, whose greatest success so far was a second place in the classic Paris-Roubaix.
Politt had downplayed his chances before the start, and a renewed triumph was expected by record hunter Mark Cavendish. “Today and tomorrow would be good chances for outliers. But the wind throws a spanner in the works, it gets quite nervous – then it’s not for the outliers, ”he said before the start of the stage, which led from Provence to almost the Mediterranean. But it turned out quite differently. The courage and the steps of the tireless German were rewarded in the end. “Cycling is my passion.”
Greipel, also represented in the group of outliers for a long time, could no longer keep up in the hectic finale. “It’s very emotional when your training colleague wins a stage,” said the 38-year-old. When Politt left, Greipel was immediately certain: “I told him I wouldn’t hunt him.” He said that he gave Politt training clothes for the winter as a child. On Thursday Politt was beaming like a child again, this time on the podium with flowers and a medal.
Take a deep breath for Eddy Merckx
Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx, on the other hand, was able to take a deep breath. His age-old record of 34 stage wins in the world’s largest cycle race will remain for the time being, because the British veteran Cavendish (33 victories) had no further chance of victory on the way to Nimes – unlike in 2008. Because many other teams were represented in the breakaway group alongside France’s world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Cavendish’s teammate), no follow-up work was carried out. The lead of the group grew and grew, in the end Politt duped the competition.
On Friday, however, “King Cav” already has the next chance on the 219.9 kilometers from Nimes to Carcassonne. The profile is flat and Deceuninck-Quick-Step should do everything possible to bring about another mass final for the previous sprinter king Cavendish before the impending Pyrenean torment. Surprisingly, he had already booked three daily victories.
The Sorrows of Tony Martin
If this succeeds, the fast professional cyclist from the Isle of Man would also have one less competitor in the final. Because Peter Sagan, three times world champion and record winner of the green jersey, dropped out of the race on Thursday. “It is a difficult decision. My knee is swollen again and I cannot bend my leg. If you can’t move your leg, there’s no point, ”said the man from the Bora-hansgrohe team. The team at least received some consolation several hours later when Politt raced away from everyone. The stage winner revealed that tactics had been changed a little after Sagan’s retirement.
The forced end will hurt the Slovaks, but physically it didn’t hit him as hard as the German veteran Tony Martin. He got out on Wednesday and now described his physical condition to “Bild” for the first time: “The scar from my elbow injury burst open, as did my collarbone. Fortunately, that’s not broken. And the knee was also bloody. ”The Cottbus man nicknamed“ Panzerwagen ”also has loose teeth and was sewn with 15 stitches. Still, he hopes to be back on his bike soon.