Nils Politt left his pursuers with his mouth wide open and celebrated the greatest success of his career on the fast rush to the Mediterranean. The classic specialist won the twelfth stage of the Tour de France as a soloist in Nimes and thus finally ensured the first German success of the day. On the 159.4 kilometers from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nimes, the Bora-hansgrohe professional cyclist made it into a breakaway group, which he gradually reduced with his courageous attacks. Twelve kilometers before the end, he hung up the last adversaries and drove into the history books of the tour.
Politt had downplayed his own chances before the start, and a new triumph was expected by record-breaking record holder Mark Cavendish. “Today and tomorrow would be good chances for outliers. The wind throws a spanner in the works, it’s getting pretty nervous. Then it’s not for the outliers, ”he said before the start of the stage that led from Provence to the Mediterranean.
Second and third place went to the Spaniards Imanol Erviti and Harry Sweeny from Australia on the nervous stage. André Greipel, who had been in the group of outliers for a long time, could no longer keep up in the hectic finale. The sporting director of Politt, Enrico Poitschke, commented on ARD: “Nils did an excellent job.” It was the first German win of the day since Lennard Kämna in 2020.
Next chance for “King Cav”
Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx, on the other hand, was able to breathe deeply. His age-old record of 34 stage victories in the world’s largest cycle race remains 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.
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, left the tour 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 Sagan from the Bora-hansgrohe team.
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 the “Bild-Zeitung” 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 with the nickname“ Armored Car ”also has loose teeth and was sewn with 15 stitches. Still, he hopes to be back on the bike soon.