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Press Releases | 18.07.2021

BORA-hansgrohe celebrates hard-fought Tour de France with two stunning solo stage wins and GC fifth

After almost 3,500km of incredibly tough riding, the 108th edition of the Tour de France was coming to a close. The start of the 108.4km parcours would take a sedate pace, more an opportunity for the winners of the four leaders’ jerseys to celebrate and for the rest of the peloton to reflect on the race they had spent three weeks contesting, rather than the attacking riding of the past twenty stages. For BORA-hansgrohe, the race had been bittersweet, starting with Ide Schelling’s hold on the polka dot jersey of best climber for much of the opening week, and the Slovak national champion, Peter Sagan, coming close to taking stage wins before he was forced the abandon the race before stage 12 with a knee injury sustained when he was brought down earlier in the race. However, on stage 12 following Peter’s abandon, Nils Politt went on to win with a stunning late attack, before a second, equally-impressive win on stage 16 for the team, when Patrick Konrad attacked from 35km out to take a second solo stage win. In the race for the Maillot Jaune, Wilco Kelderman put in an excellent performance to confirm fifth place in the GC standings. Wilco’s strong finish was made all the more notable given the Dutch rider was brought down by a crash on the very first stage and had to fight through pain over the following weeks. For the peloton, there was one last finish line to cross, the world-famous Champs-Élysées and, while the bunch had stayed together for the opening 60km, once the race hit this beautiful boulevard, the attacks started from the first of the eight laps. Taking position at the head of the race, Patrick Konrad went out with two others with 51km remaining, building a slim lead of thirty seconds as the race tore through the French capital’s streets. This trio managed to hold out for 20km before they were caught by the chasing peloton, only for Ide Schelling to make the jump accompanied by two others, making sure BORA-hansgrohe were represented in the two main breaks of the day. Like Patrick’s group, Ide’s trio were unable to build more than thirty seconds over the chasing peloton, the catch finally made with a little less than 10km remaining. From here, the sprint trains formed ready for the predicted fast finale, and with the sprinters deciding the outcome on the Champs-Élysées and even Daniel Oss and Lukas Pöstlberger getting in the mix for the finale, Wilco Kelderman crossed the line with his teammates to confirm his fifth place in the overall standings – the Dutch rider’s best-ever finish at La Grande Boucle. 

 

Results 

 

01        W.van Aert                 2h39’37” 

02        J.Philipsen                  + 0:00 

03        M.Cavendish              + 0:00 

... 

11        D.Oss                          + 0:00 

16        L.Pöstlberger              + 0:00 

 

General Classification

 

01        T. Pogacar          82:56:36 

02       J. Vingegaard           + 5:20

03       R. Carapaz               + 7:03

05       W. Kelderman        +10:13

 

From the Finish Line 

 

"I'm happy with fifth place and particularly happy with my performance over the past three weeks. The entire team provided me with great support, everyone did a great job and the team spirit was simply fantastic. I think that was the key to our success, because even though it was a tough race and we had to deal with some setbacks, we enjoyed ourselves and everyone was there for each other. In the end it was a very successful race for BORA-hansgrohe and I am proud that I was able to contribute to it. I normally have one or two fantastic days during a Grand Tour, and maybe that was missing this time. It's hard to say what that was due to, but I already have one or two points in mind where we can still improve. So, there's still room for improvement and I'm keen to continue working on this together with the team. I feel very comfortable here and I'm sure we can continue to be successful in the future." – Wilco Kelderman 

"It was a very successful race for us and we are really very satisfied with it. This race was certainly special, the aggressive racing style, the intensity demanded everything from the riders, but was really exciting for the spectators. We also contributed a lot, we were in many attacking groups and almost always represented at the front. Of course, it was a tough setback when Peter had to leave the Tour with a knee injury, but the team didn't let itself feel down and found the right response to that situation, and I'm very proud of that. We won two stages with Nils and Patrick. However, it was the way that we won these stages which was impressive. Then, at the beginning of the Tour, we also had the mountains jersey for a week with Ide, so one cannot forget about that either. As a Tour rookie, the emotion with which he fought for the points in every lead group for three days was particularly impressive. In the overall classification, our goal was the top five and in the end that also worked out. Wilco was one of the most consistent riders over the past three weeks and was always at the front, although he was not always lucky and had to cope with a few crashes. He showed a lot of spirit, never let himself down and was rewarded in the end. To achieve all this, we worked together as a team and stood up for each other. That was great to see and everyone did an amazing job. As a Team Manager, one can only say thank you to all involved." – Ralph Denk, Team Manager

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