Politt storms to home victory around Cologne

Van Poppel and Arndt complete the podium

Nils Politt (Bora – hansgrohe) won the Cologne Tour. | Photo: Cor Vos

22/05/2022 | (rsn) – With a unique achievement, the local hero Nils Politt (Bora – hansgrohe) won the 105th edition of the Rund um Köln (1.1). The 28-year-old Hürth won over 199 kilometers around the Rhenish city as a soloist with a 13-second lead over his Dutch teammate Danny van Poppel, 18 seconds behind Nikias Arndt (DSM), who also lives in Cologne, completed the podium for the Rhenish classic, who celebrated his comeback after a two-year hiatus.

Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange – Jayco) decided the pursuit of the pursuers ahead of Polit’s teammate Sam Bennett in the battle for fourth place 48 seconds after the winner, who had already broken away from the first field along with van Poppel and Arndt 55 kilometers before noon. finish and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin – Fenix). In tenth place, Ryan Mullen rounded out the dominant performance of Bora – hansgrohe.

“It’s something nice to win at home. It’s always been a dream, now it’s over I won around Cologne,” Politt commented on his fifth professional victory, of which he could win four in Germany.

At his home race, however, he had always come empty-handed from there, and this time Bora – hansgrohe also had a sprinter with him in Sam Bennett, the winner of the 2018 edition, who would have had a chance in case of a fair. Exit.

But then the big teams already went on the offensive in Bergisches Land. “We actually did not want to make the race difficult until later, but then DSM went relatively early in the offensive at Agathaberg. Then we made the race a little faster down there for a short time, and a nice group of 30 men was formed, and the field no longer came from behind. We had six men in this group and could then play our cards, ”said Politt, describing the crucial phase.

“It was a great race, but I had two tough opponents with the boys from Bora. Nils deserved to win, although of course I would have liked to have won my home race. But I’m happy with the race, I’m on the podium and I’m happy for Nils’ victory, “said 30-year-old Arndt, who finished third in the Rund um Köln in 2016, which has now also become his home race after the move to Cologne.” Huge, I could walk here yesterday, my home is only three kilometers “I was looking forward to my home race. I think it was a really good race,” stressed the native of northern Germany.

This is how the race went:

At the first meet after a forced two-year break, it took about 15 kilometers for a leading group of seven consisting of Joshua Huppertz (Lotto – Kern Haus), Miguel Heidemann (B&B Hotels), Jon Knolle, Per Münstermann (both Saris Rouvy) . Sauerland), Jan-Marc Temmen (Dauner Akkon), Michael Peter (Santic – Wibatech) and Mario Gamper (Felbermayr) and managed to achieve a maximum lead of almost four minutes.

After about 40 kilometers, the pace of BikeExchange – Jayco, Alpecin – Fenix, Bike Aid and Team Vorarlberg increased in the field, so the gap quickly narrowed. When Bora – hansgrohe also went on the offensive, the large group of pursuers overtook the front runners after 60 kilometers, which now consisted of about 40 drivers.

Most of the favorites were also involved, such as Politt, Bennett, Groenewegen, Philipsen and Arndt, and their helpers then made sure that the lead over the second field was increased to more than two minutes. About 65 kilometers from the finish, some riders like Max Walscheid (Cofidis) were not able to follow an attack from Arndt on a climb, but everyone was able to catch up at least temporarily.

Bora – hansgrohe takes the reins

After that, the big teams like Bora, represented by five drivers in front – hansgrohe, DSM or Alpecin – kept the Phoenix pace high, so the lead grew. On the next climb in Overath, Politt blasted the leading group with his attack 55 kilometers from goal and pulled away along with Arndt and his teammate Danny van Poppel.

After this, Philips’ teammates, BikeExchange – Jayco and Arkéa -Samsic tried to recapture the trio. When there were also three of Politt’s teammates in the hunting group – including sprinter Bennett – and the driver trio worked well together, the lead rose to almost 40 seconds before the next climb.

In the approach to the last crossing of the climb at Bensberg Castle, the last mountain classification of the day, the lead even grew to one minute, the beaten field followed almost four minutes after the trio, but at the castle only about 30 seconds ahead of Philipsen, Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa – Samsic) and Tom Bohli (Cofidis), who had withdrawn on the climb but was caught again.

Van Poppel and Politt play with Arndt

In front, Politt went on the offensive, before van Poppel countered after Arndt had closed the hole. Shortly after, the local Bora hero chased after his Dutch teammate and inadvertently neutralized his start as Arndt refused to be shaken off.

16 kilometers from the finish, the Philipsen group was again captured by the hunting group. Thanks to Maurice Ballerstedt’s (Alpecin – Fenix) subsequent speed work, the pursuers reduced their distance to the top three to 20 seconds. But on the last ten kilometers, the train suddenly got out again and the distance grew again to 45 seconds.

Five kilometers from goal, Politt kicked again and this time shook Arndt off. Shortly after, Van Poppel also attacked twice, but then interrupted his attempts, even though his competitor was visibly exhausted. With a lead of about 15 seconds, Politt was able to enjoy the last kilometer through the center of Cologne in anticipation of his victory and raise his arms jubilantly well before the finish line.

Van Poppel left Arndt in the third attempt and secured in glorious sunshine a double victory for Bora 13 seconds behind Politt. DSM captain Arndt, who also lives in Cologne, was 18 seconds behind in third place.

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