NIMES, France — Accustomed to settling for second, Nils Politt struggled to consider victory was his when it lastly got here on the Tour de France.
After dropping his final remaining rivals on the street resulting in the town of Nimes in southern France, the German rider hit his helmet a number of occasions and shook his head as if to say, “I can not consider it.”
After the unusual feeling sank in, with the end in sight, Politt made a giant coronary heart signal together with his palms and crossed the road on his personal to submit solely the second stage win of his skilled profession.
Politt was half of a bigger group that jumped out of the principle pack within the early levels of the windy 159.4-kilometer (99-mile) Stage 12 between Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux and Nimes.
The German rider from the Bora-Hansgrohe crew had attacked with three different rivals from the 13-man breakaway group about 40 kilometers from the end. He then went solo with 12 kilometers left with a sudden acceleration that was left unanswered.
“There have been various sprinters in our group, so I needed to make the race arduous and assault fairly early,” Politt stated. “I made first assault. I gave every thing. To complete solo is unbelievable.”
Imanol Erviti and Harry Sweeny completed second and third, respectively, 31 seconds behind.
A one-day traditional specialist, the 27-year-old Politt has posted many honorable outcomes at prestigious occasions previously, together with a runner-up end at Paris-Roubaix two years in the past. However regardless of his combative abilities, Politt had by no means tasted victory on the largest stage.
“Profitable a Tour stage is a dream, it is actually one of the best second of my profession,” he added by means of a translator. “It is my second win, however right here it is totally different.”
Politt’s victory introduced consolation to his crew simply hours after chief Peter Sagan withdrew from the race earlier than the beginning of the stage as a consequence of a knee damage.
Race chief Tadej Pogacar rode with all different fundamental contenders properly behind the breakaway and crossed practically 16 minutes behind the winner. With not one of the breakaway riders a risk within the common classification, the defending champion loved a quiet day within the peloton after robust crosswinds created splits within the early levels.
There was no important change within the total standings. Pogacar stored his 5:18 lead over second-placed Rigoberto Uran, with Jonas Vingegaard in third, 5:33 off the tempo.
Friday’s Stage 13 to the medieval metropolis of Carcassone is an different flat trek suiting sprinters. Veteran sprinter Mark Cavendish can be chasing a thirty fourth profession stage win that will put him stage with five-time Tour winner Eddy Merckx’s all-time file.