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Press Releases | 28.02.2021

Nils Politt praises BORA-hansgrohe teamwork after pushing hard to place seventh in punishing Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

Over the years, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne has developed a reputation as a sprinters’ race, with a flat finale often taken by the fast riders, but with 197km between the start and finish, along with twelve tough climbs – including the famed Oude Kwaremont – to contend with, there was no telling who would take the win today. Within the first 15km, a four-man attack saw no fewer than two BORA-hansgrohe riders get themselves in the mix – Maciej Bodnar and Patrick Gamper. Within just a few kilometres, this group built a lead of more than five minutes, before a duo joined them on the front, only making them stronger and driving the gap out by another minute. Maciej – the Polish powerhouse – helped keep the tempo in this breakaway group and held this lead before dropping off as the race hit the Kruisberg, leaving just Patrick in this lead group of five. The peloton was chipping away at the leaders’ advantage and the gap was dropping steadily as the race approached the Oude Kwaremont – the day’s penultimate climb – and it was here that the fast pace and hard efforts split the peloton. While the escapees were maintaining their slim lead over this newly-formed chasing group, Ide Schelling and Nils Politt had made it into this select group and were joined by Maciej to represent BORA-hansgrohe here. With 5km to go, the Austrian was holding his own in the lead group, the gap holding steady at twenty seconds, but a late burst from the chasers in the final 1,500m saw this slim lead disappear and it was all together for the finale. Eager to improve on his finish in yesterday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Nils Politt pushed around the outside to take seventh in the bunch sprint after a strong ride by the whole team.

 

Results 

01        M.Pedersen                4h37’08” 

02        A.Turgis                      + 0:00 

03        T.Pidcock                   + 0:00 

... 

07        N.Politt                       + 0:00 

 

From the Finish Line 

"Today we showed yet another example of fantastic team work, with Maciej and Patrick in the leading group. Patrick rode very well there and looked to be very strong. This allowed Ide and me to save our energy somewhat in the group behind, and to let the other teams do the chase work. Ultimately, I have to say that the guys supported me very well today, and I think that we can be satisfied with the seventh place that I was able to take as a result. It was quite close in the end, but it was a successful weekend, and I’m happy with not only my own performance, but that of my teammates who worked hard the whole opening weekend. I’m sure we can continue along this path at our upcoming races." – Nils Politt 

"Our tactic was to get someone in the breakaway, and Maciej and I ended up making it together into the leading group. That ended up working out well. It was unexpected that it came so close in the end, and it was also a shame to have missed out by such a small margin. However, we can look towards the next time and always hope to improve. We played the tactics well and didn’t make any errors, so we can be satisfied with our performance." – Patrick Gamper 

"Our plan, first and foremost, was to make it into the breakaway group and dictate the race from there, and also to be present on the Kwaremont with Nils, Ide and Daniel. We also had a card to play with Jordi, should it come down to a sprint from a larger group. The race was, however, pretty tough with winds and several climbs in the first 130km, and on the Kanarieberg, van der Poel rode away and caught the leaders. In my opinion, he then proceeded to do damage a little too early in the leading group, but Patrick was able to hold on and rode a great race. Unfortunately, his group was caught 1.5km ahead of the finish. But with Nils, we took a top 10 finish in the sprint from the chasing group." – Steffen Radochla, Sports Directo

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