“Less solidarity in the gruppetto”

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Since the start from Nice, Pierre-Luc Périchon has been RFI’s eye inside the peloton. In this 6th episode of his diaries, the road captain of the Cofidis team, just shortlisted for the World Championships, talks about life in the gruppetto, the mini peloton where those who cannot follow the best meet. mountain climbers.

In the small papers of the coach

“I learned yesterday (Wednesday) my preselection for the road race for the World Championships (note: in Italy, September 27). It had been in the pipes for a few days, Cédric Vasseur, my sporting director mentioned it, and Thomas Voeckler (the national coach) then told me. I’m not excited, because the final list of 8 riders will be known next Saturday, but it’s already a mark of confidence, a recognition of the work done since the start of this Tour de France alongside my leader Guillaume Martin . Physically, I may not be the strongest in this first selection, but as Guillaume should be part of the adventure, he will need to be supported. We are used to working together, my condition is good, so it could be interesting. If I go, it will not be to play my card, but as on the Tour in a role of team member, for my usual leader and for all the leaders of the France team. I’m ready to take to the plank! “

A day in the back

“Today, the stage reached the Col de la Loze, an unprecedented and terrible climb. I knew her for having scouted, but in the race it’s even harder! I finished in a little group very supplied, with more than half of the peloton. The little group brings together different types of riders, mainly team members who can no longer support their leaders at the front, and of course sprinters, who have difficulty passing the passes and must protect themselves in view of the more favorable stages. The goal is to arrive together on time. There is a form of mutual aid that takes hold in this group, but less than in other years. Today, the race is harder, and when it is harder, solidarity has its limits. If a rider needs a can, and his car is not nearby, we’ll get him one, but we’re not going to drive for him either. It’s still different when we find ourselves in a small little group :yesterday (Wednesday), for example, I found myself with about fifteen runners, everyone was passing their batches to reach the finish. That’s the number one goal, and when you hear that a runner is out of time, it’s always a bit sad. It happened to Jérôme Cousin yesterday, and I was really disappointed for him because he is a warrior. “

In the gruppetto, not always la dolce vita

“There is an atmosphere that can be relaxed in the little group, but with limits. I’m a pretty talkative and joker, and not the least comfortable in general, so I sometimes let go of little nonsense, but not everyone likes it. I collect “Ta gu …!” “From those who are more to block and who do not want to joke. A little anecdote: in the Pyrenees, I was having fun with Pierre Latour, telling him: ‘I didn’t come here to suffer, OK’, and I thought about a runner who was really suffering. More generally, there are fewer and fewer teasers in the peloton. I get along well with a lot of runners, but I mess around especially with Pierre Latour, we share the same delusions. “


Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez wins stage 17, Roglic retains yellow jersey

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Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez took the lead at the Col de la Loze after the 17th stage. Slovenian Primoz Roglic took second place and keeps his yellow jersey.

The Tour de France reached its highest point on Wednesday 16 September: at 2,304 meters above sea level, at the conclusion of the 17e 170 km stage, part of Grenoble for the Loze pass. Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez won, during this unprecedented arrival, ahead of Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who consolidated his yellow leader’s jersey.

The leader in the general classification left Pogacar 15 seconds behind, in a final knife, on a dizzying slope. In the provisional general classification, Roglic is now 57 seconds ahead of his compatriot four days from the conclusion in Paris. Miguel Angel Lopez for his part on the podium. Before the start of the stage on Wednesday morning, the title holder, the Colombian Egan Bernal, had abandoned the race.

Thursday, the last day in the Alps includes three classics (Cormet de Roselend, Saisies, Aravis) and a rare and very steep climb, to reach the Plateau des Glières, in the 18e 175 km long stage between Méribel and La Roche-sur-Foron.

To relive the day’s step, minute by minute, follow the Liveblog below.


The Col de la Loze, summit and high point of the 2020 Tour de France

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On Wednesday, for the 17th stage, the riders of the Tour de France will rub shoulders for the first time in history at the Col de la Loze, between Courchevel and Méribel. The highest point of the 2020 edition (2,304 meters) has everything to become a legendary summit of the Grande Boucle. A stage that the Colombian Egan Bernal, winner of the 2019 Tour, who abandoned before the start will not see.

It is the queen stage of the Tour de France 2020. The 17th stage, between Grenoble and Méribel, looks like a torture carefully thought out to make the runners suffer. After having taken the Col de la Madeleine, a classic of the Grande Boucle, they will bang their heads against the Col de la Loze, an unprecedented 21.5 km climb, an average slope of 8% but with passages at 20% . It will be the roof of the 2020 Tour with its arrival at 2,304 meters above sea level.

“A different pass”

In October 2019, during the presentation of the route of the Tour, the director of the event, Christian Prudhomme, enthusiastically affirmed that it was the “prototype of the pass of the 21st century”.

This route was only paved in the spring of 2019. It was previously a simple dirt and gravel road allowing machines to go and repair the ski lifts in the Domaine des 3 Vallées. On the last kilometers, no vehicle is allowed: only bicycles have right of way.

A game-changing closure to road traffic, as the Tour director underlined during an interview with the Dauphiné:

The profile of the ascent of the Col de la Loze. © ASO

“It is a pass totally different from anything that we can know in France and this for a very simple reason: it was not made for cars but tarred for bicycles. The consequence is ruptures of incessant slope while the road passes are more smoothed “, he explains,” This pass is really crazy. It is a succession of walls between 1700 and 2300 meters of altitude. We hope for a crazy arrival in a enchanting setting. “

Between the Madeleine, the Tourmalet, the Grand Colombier (climbed during the 15th stage), the Alpe d’Huez… The Tour de France is not stingy with legendary passes but with the Col de la Loze, the Grande Boucle holds Is this her Zoncolan or her Angliru, the terrifying mythical climbs of the Tour of Italy and the Tour of Spain?

“I don’t know if we can compare them but it’s a really different pass,” says Christian Prudhomme.

A really difficult pass, especially in terms of breath

For the moment, the pass has only been used once in official competition: it was in August 2019 during the Tour de l’Avenir, which each year brings together the best hopes of world cycling.

And it was Bernard Hinault, the last French winner of the Tour de France (1985), present during this race, who recommended him to Christian Prudhomme:

“When I came, I was expecting something great and found something even better,” recalls the latter.

That year, the young rider of AG2R La Mondiale, Clément Champoussin, was present.

“It’s a really difficult pass. As soon as you pass the Méribel altiport, the slope quickly becomes very steep. The difficulties follow one another and the final, at a rather high altitude for cycling, adds to the difficulty in terms of breath. It’s really very intense, “he recalls, questioned by the Parisian.

“A butcher shop”

The municipality of Brides-les-Bains, already famous for its thermal cures in the heart of the 3 Valleys ski area, wants to capitalize on this new Tour de France pass to attract en masse amateur runners in need of thrills. Three days before the passage of the Grande Boucle, she organized a cyclosportive hike to offer amateurs the possibility of climbing the Loze pass. Two hundred and fifty nine people answered the summit’s call.

“The cyclists have found the climb full of surprises. We constantly wonder when we will finally reach the end. The group ‘Donnons des elles au Vélo’, an association of women who do the stages of the Tour before the riders to give visibility in women’s cycling, told me bluntly: ‘it’s a butcher’s shop’ “, smiles Bénédicte Breuls, director of the tourist office of Brides-les-Bains, interviewed by France 24.” The decor is wonderful. The participants arrive exhausted but happy. “

“The coach of the France Team and consultant for France TV, Thomas Voeckler, came to recognize the pass for a report. He spoke of an atypical and surprising climb. He is in a hurry to see how the riders will react to it” , she continues.

On paper, this playing field should be favorable to pure climbers, but could be the opportunity for one of the favorites in distress like Thibaut Pinot to offer himself a prestigious stage victory, for lack of a jersey yellow. Unless Primoz Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma again padlocked the race to prevent the Slovenian yellow jersey from being overtaken by his compatriot Tadej Pogacar, second in the overall standings just 40 seconds behind.

In any case, it will not be for the Colombian Egan Bernal, winner of the Tour in 2019, who announced his retirement on the morning of this 17th stage. He was 16th in the general classification, more than 19 minutes behind the leader.

>> Also read: The insolent superiority of the Jumbo-Visma and their “total cycling”

The French cyclist Julian Alaphilippe believes that it will be the occasion for an explanation between the favorites of the Tour.

“For me, [ce col] has every chance of being the scene of a victory for the favorites in the general classification “, considers the rider of the Deceunick-Quickstep.

Emmanuel Macron, for his part, did not miss the date. It is this stage that he chose for his annual visit to the event. During his previous visit in 2019, Thibaut Pinot, won. A sign ?


the Alps in the colors of Slovenia

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With Primoz Roglic in yellow and Tadej Pogaçar in 2nd place at the start of the 17th stage, the Slovenian flag has been flying high in the general classification, and for a few days on the edge of French roads. Like their runners, the country’s supporters are much less discreet than usual, especially in the Alps.

That was the plan: Klement and her two young children – a boy, a girl – were to spend a quiet vacation in Italy, in the Milan region. And then the echo of the Tour crossed the Alps, bringing with it unexpected news: two compatriots at the helm of the greatest cycling race in the world. Neither one nor two, the little family, flanked by a large white-blue-red flag, sets out.

« We made up our mind on Friday morning, and after the next day, after lunch, we were gone », Says the father, who in addition carries out an old project:« I’ve wanted to go see the Tour for a long time, and this year, thanks to Primoz and Tadej, it was really the perfect opportunity. As it was not planned, I could not book anything so we sleep in the car, but the children are super excited: for them, it’s adventure ! “. An adventure, and to tell in the playground, the funny story of this funny summer: two kids from their small country hazing the entire international peloton.

High profile performances

As big as Picardy, populated by two million inhabitants, Slovenia therefore provides the two best current riders of this Tour, and that with part of the atmosphere. When they step off the podiums, Roglic and Pogaçar are now escorted by heavy applause, especially since the race is approaching the borders of neighboring Italy.

Along the roads, the country’s flags, absent, or very discreet, from Nice on August 29, are more and more visible. ” We are proud », Says Inès in a slightly hesitant Frenchman. On a business trip to the Lyon region, she extended her stay to see these cyclists the whole country is talking about.

« Every day, there are live television broadcasts, articles in the newspapers. Cycling was already a fairly popular sport, but now it’s stronger “, Says this woman of forty years, for whom the secret of the talent of her compatriots is easily explained:” We are small, so we want to show that we are at least as strong as the others. And for her, between Pogaçar and Roglic, impossible to choose. It will be necessary, however, in front of the fratricidal duel which is announced.

Inès and her companion attended the passage of the Tour de France in Ain, Sunday, September 13. Thomas de Saint-Léger / RFI


Lennard Kämna wins on stage 16, Primoz Roglic still in yellow

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The young German Lennard Kämna won in Villard-de-Lans during the 16th stage of the Tour de France. The runner of the Bora-Hansgrohe was able to give up company to his breakaway companions in the penultimate difficulty of the day. The Primoz Roglic yellow jersey was not endangered.

Second at Puy Mary in the 13e stage of the Tour de France, Lennard Kämna this time raised his arms. At the 16e stage in Isère, between La Tour-du-Pin and Villard-de-Lans, the runner of the Bora-Hansgrohe managed to give up company to his breakaway companions in the penultimate difficulty of the day, leaving the Carreau including Richard Carapaz and Julian Alaphilippe.

Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, winner of the last Giro, took second place, almost a minute and a half behind, ahead of Swiss champion Sébastien Reichenbach, third at more than two minutes.

The victory of the stage was played between the members of the breakaway-river of 23 riders formed in several stages in the first half of the race. The French Quentin Pacher, who took the lead of the group 35 kilometers from the finish, presented himself in the forefront, at the foot of the climb of Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte, with an advance of the order 13 minutes on the peloton. As the summit approached, less than 21 kilometers from the finish, Kämna gained the upper hand and then widened the gap on the Vercors plateau. He thus brought the Bora team its first success since leaving Nice, the first also by a German rider since John Degenkolb during the 2018 Tour.

Primoz Roglic in control

The favorite peloton, with the Slovenian yellow jersey Primoz Roglic, crossed the finish line more than 16 minutes after Lennard Kämna. The leader of the Tour de France spent the day well surrounded by his teammates who brought back the timid attacks of Guillaume Martin, first Frenchman in the general classification.

Primoz Roglic’s runner-up, Tadej Pogacar, tried to attack him in the final ascent but failed to make a difference.

With AFP


“I had taken Roglic and Pogaçar in my virtual team”

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Since the start of the Tour de France, Pierre-Luc Périchon gives us his impressions of the inside of the peloton. In this 5th episode of his diaries, the road captain of the Cofidis team evokes the domination of the Slovenes and the difficult week of its leader, Guillaume Martin, who fell from 3rd to 11th place in the general classification.

The bad luck of Guillaume Martin

“Guillaume was caught in two falls and he had a mechanical problem today (Sunday, September 13), at the foot of the Grand Colombier, the last difficulty of the day. It’s part of the game, but it’s infuriating when it happens in the Tour de France, and at that point in the race. We can also look at the glass half full and say to ourselves that it has managed to limit the breakage, while others, like Bernal, have sunk (note: the defending champion has lost, all his chances of final victory in conceding more than 7 minutes to the winner of the stage, Tadej Pogaçar). By losing time on the Top 5 riders, Guillaume also becomes less dangerous and this could allow him to obtain an exit ticket for a breakaway. “

Premier French

“With the abandonment of Romain Bardet, Guillaume is the only French representative in the match for the general classification, but that does not mean more pressure for him or for the team. Our goal is not to finish ahead of all the other French riders, but to show that Guillaume can compete with the best riders in the world, and I believe he is doing it. “

The Slovenia Championship

“The performances of Roglic and Pogaçar are not that surprising. We’ve known them for some time. Roglic’s evolution has been observed for several years, and his young compatriot had marked the Vuelta last year (3 stage victories, 3rd overall). What is surprising is that they dominate at this point. For the record, I participate in the online game of the Tour de France, and I had selected them both in my starting team. We already knew before the Tour that they were going to be present. “

The third week

“After this big week, I’m rather focused on my recovery, I don’t think about what to expect yet. I know the menu is pretty tough, but at the same time it’s the runners who dictate the tempo and decide the intensity of the race. I just hope that we will arrive in Paris with a stopover in the bag. If you also participate in the online game and I have to give you a hint, I advise you to bet on Guillaume Martin for a stage victory. We also have Jesus Herrada and Nicolas Edet who are in good shape and can do well in a breakaway on the roads of the Alps. “


the insolent superiority of the Jumbo-Visma and their “total cycling”

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Author of yet another demonstration Sunday on the slopes of the Grand Colombier, the Dutch team Jumbo-Visma and their leader Primoz Roglic crush the Tour de France 2020. Thought to beat the favorites of Ineos, the success of the yellow and black team no wonder but still raises eyebrows in the peloton.

When the Tour de France arrives in the final ascent of the 15e stage, Sunday, September 13, the peloton has already gone through the wringer and is reduced to around thirty individuals. Among them, one team is still over-represented: the Jumbo-Visma of the Primoz Roglic yellow jersey, which still has 5 team members to support it while the other teams are content to try to survive the demanding Jura stage.

This demonstration is not the first of the Jaunes et Noirs on the Tour, but it is the very illustration of their overwhelming superiority. In two weeks, their record would already make most teams green with envy: a yellow jersey firmly anchored on the shoulders of Primoz Roglic for seven days, three stage victories (one for the leader and two for the prodigy Wout Van Aert ), three podiums and a tenth place in the general classification a little more anecdotal for Tom Dumoulin. Above all, the voracious Jumbo-Visma seems to crush the race with all her weight, leaving her opponents only the crumbs.

A “total cycling”

In an interview with the Team, Richard Plugge, the team manager since 2015, developed at the beginning of September his vision of cycling. With the Jumbo-Visma, he hopes to set up a “total cycling” in reference to “total football” designed in the 1970s by Ajax Amsterdam and the selection of the Netherlands under the leadership of Johan Cruyff.

“You can be in front, all the time. The Dutch national team was playing together and everyone was at the highest level, that’s what we want to do,” he explains.

Since 2019, the team has endeavored to analyze at the cost of hundreds of hours of video sessions what made the supremacy of Ineos Grenadiers (formerly Ineos and Sky), whose riders have won seven of the last eight Tour de France.

The Jumbo-Visma wanted to proceed by copy and paste by aligning a triumvirate of leaders capable of winning the event: Primoz Roglic, Steven Kruiijswik (3e last year) and Tom Dumoulin (winner of the Giro 2017). But the injury of the second forced him to review his plans by betting everything on the Slovenian, just like the relative poor form of Dumoulin transformed into equipping four stars for Roglic in the last mountainous slopes.

Unusual collective and marginal gains

The rest of the Dutch collective is just as impressive: Amund Jansen, strong driver to protect the team on the flat, Tony Martin, road captain able to impose respect to the whole peloton as during the 1st stage when he asked for a tacit neutralization of the race due to the chaotic climatic conditions, Robert Gesink, the former hope of Dutch cycling, George Benett who in many other formations would claim the place of leader, Wout Van Aert, the Belgian prodigy who has shone on the classics in August and finally Sepp Kuss, the young American, bodyguard of Roglic in the mountains.

Just like the Ineos, the Jumbo-Visma is also a follower of “marginal gains”, these small details at the level of nutrition, recovery or even mechanics which do not seem to affect the race but which, put together, allow a difference in performance. .

“We try to be as professional as possible in all areas and get the maximum involvement of all team members,” explains Richard Plugge. “We must progress in know-how and experience. The Ineos are ahead in these areas. They know how to win a grand Tour. We have not yet won the Tour de France. It is a long march. cross and it is high. All small mistakes pay for themselves … “

The peloton grinds its teeth

A steep step to take but which seems more than ever within reach of the Jumbo-Visma less than a week from the outcome of the Great Loop. But, in a sport whose history is marked by doping scandals, such superiority makes people cringe. Especially when you see a simple puncher like Wout Van Aert, however talented he is, being able to land the best climbers in the Grand Colombier. And that at the same time we see one of the favorites of Ineos, Egan Bernal, winner last year, finish the stage of Puy Mary curled up in a ball on his bike while according to his words, his figures are at least as excellent as last year.

“We all dream of knowing their secret,” comments bitterly a runner who prefers to remain anonymous in Liberation. “Hopefully they go to bed in the third week [du Tour de France]. Normally they should fold. Normally… “another sighs.

“We have a very strict anti-doping policy. I think everyone has learned from the past,” corrects Richard Plugge. A past that can be heavy to bear. The Jumbo-Visma is the heir to the very sulphurous Rabobank, the Dutch team in which doping was institutionalized between 1996 and 2012. And bad tongues remind us that confinement has undermined the anti-doping strategy of the Union international cyclist.

The team refused – just like half of the World Tour teams (10 out of 19) – to join the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC), which is committed to “clean” cycling in the pure respect of the ethics of the UCI. The Slovenian yellow jersey, Primoz Roglic, is itself surrounded by a climate of suspicion. This former ski jumper has never been directly cited in a case but the big boss of Slovenian cycling Milan Erzen, his former manager at Adria-Mobil, has been cited in Operation Aderlass, a vast investigation into a doping ring .

Asked by journalists about the credibility of his victory, the Slovenian leader did not get angry, keeping the same impassive mask he displays in the worst percentages in the mountains. “I have nothing to hide, and as far as I’m concerned, you can trust me,” he said, guaranteeing “that we don’t have to worry about his credibility” before recalling the severity controls.

“We pass a lot of checks,” said the Slovenian. “At 6 o’clock this morning (before the 15e step, Editor’s note), I had complete control. I had another one after the arrival of the stage. Seen from my side, things are going very well “.


Slovenian Tadej Pogacar wins in the 15th stage

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Slovenian Tadej Pogacar beat Primoz Roglic in a sprint on Sunday at the finish of stage 15 at the top of the Grand Colombier, where the winner of the previous Tour, the Colombian Egan Bernal, lost his footing.

Slovenia wins in this 15th stage. Tadej Pogacar won, Sunday, August 13, the 15th stage of the Tour de France in front of the yellow jersey, his Slovenian compatriot Primoz Roglic, who nevertheless took advantage of the work of his teammates to eliminate several candidates for the final victory.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) got closer thanks to bonuses 40 seconds from Primoz Roglic (Jumbo) in the general classification, one week before the arrival in Paris. The two Slovenes had already confiscated the first two places in the second Pyrenean stage, last Sunday in Laruns, already in that order.

Egan Bernal, winner of the 2019 Tour, who let go 13 kilometers from the finish, gave up more than 6 minutes. In other words, a stinging failure, the first since 2014 in the Tour, for the British team Ineos led by Dave Brailsford, formerly Sky.

A stage with three difficult climbs

Tadej Pogacar, 21, took off his second success in the Tour, for his first participation, on the eve of the second day of rest, scheduled in Isère. In this 174.5 kilometer stage which included three difficult climbs, another Colombian, Nairo Quintana, also lost a lot (3 min 50 sec), although he gave up less time than Bernal.

For Colombia, the first rider in the standings is now Rigoberto Uran, third at 1 min 34 sec behind Roglic. The decision was made in the final ascent of the Grand Colombier, over 17 kilometers long, mastered from start to finish by the Jumbo formation of Roglic (Wout Van Aert above all, George Bennett, Tom Dumoulin finally).

The wearer of the yellow jersey started 600 meters from the finish without being able to take the gap on Pogacar who beat him in the sprint. Australian Richie Porte took third place, 5 seconds behind, and Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez fourth, 8 seconds behind.

With AFP


towards a greener Grande Boucle?

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The 14th stage of the Tour de France connects this Saturday, September 12, Clermont to Lyon. The “capital of the Gauls” welcomes the race a few days after a remarkable outing by its new mayor, Grégory Doucet. The ecologist councilor in particular qualified the race as “polluting”. An old criticism, partly justified, even if the Grande Boucle has for several years started a “responsible” turn.

When it arrives in town, the Grande Boucle peloton takes a real procession on its luggage rack: team coaches, following cars, trucks: around 2,000 vehicles, not counting either the spectators or the caravan.

On arrival, the ecological bill is steep, it is undeniable, but probably less than before. Every year, small steps are taken. Thus, for this 107th edition, the organization of the race is using a hybrid. From the director to the riders, invited for several years to throw away their waste (cans, cans, packaging, etc.) in planned areas, the Tour seems to want to take the wheel of societal changes: ” Intrinsically, our sport has to think about environmental issues “, Judge Guillaume Martin, the leader of the Cofidis team,” it is an ongoing process, which does not happen all at once, but the dynamics are good and it is perhaps a little easy to cast shame as on an event. It would be better to work with the organizers to help improve things », Continues the French in reference to the media release of the Mayor of Lyon.

Rethinking the caravan

In the sights of detractors of the Tour, the advertising caravan is a target of choice, polluting in two ways, with its line of vehicles and its millions of small gifts launched to the public. Here too, efforts are being made: some also use hybrid vehicles, single-use plastic packaging is eliminated and brands are adapting, like Senseo, which today distributes “goodies” made from materials. less polluting, like bamboo spoons. A necessary step forward: ” It’s a bit ambiguous, explains Leon, employed by the brand of coffee makers on this Tour. On the one hand, we have this environmental awareness that slows us down a bit when we throw the gifts, and on the other the public happy to receive them. We try to reconcile these two considerations as well as possible by making efforts to reduce our impact. », Concludes the young man, who discovers the Grande Boucle and its caravan. This may be just the beginning, but despite not being totally green jersey, the 2020 Tour does not forget that celebrating a territory also means respecting it …


Lennard Kämna, burnout, virtual races and visual memory – Tour de France

He lived in the Hanseatic ports

He was born in the great suburbs of Hamburg, in Wedel, on the banks of the Elbe, one of the most beautiful marinas in the country, where the big fortunes of Hamburg moor their yacht … But it is on the on the other side of the Elbe where he lived, on the Lower Saxony side, in Bremen, the other great Hanseatic port. He has become one of the emblems of the city, like the footballers of Werder Bremen after his first participation in the Tour de France last year (40th) which earned him the 2019 Bremen sportsman’s trophy.

He has Tony Martin as a model

It was while watching the Tour live on TV that he wanted to ride a bike, especially to look like Tony Martin. From the first years, he focused on working the time trial like his idol. At the age of 15, he left the family home to join RSC Cottbus, one of the most famous clubs in the former GDR which trained the greatest trackers like Lutz Hesslich or Jens Glücklich, before welcoming after the reunification in the 1990s, young hopes on the road such as Andreas Klöden, Danilo Hondo or Heinrich Haussler.

He doesn’t recognize other runners

He has to work a lot on his visual memory to track his opponents. From his first junior races, he was fishing reactively because he could not recognize at first glance who was in danger. He was thus trapped at the World Cup in Bergen Espoirs in 2017 when Benoît Cosnefroy had come back to him just before the finish. He had not known how to put a name on his face and therefore did not know his qualities. The Frenchman had beaten him and since then he has been studying the starting lists, the names and the faces of his opponents.

He had an early burnout

Everything went very quickly for the young German, turned pro at 18 in the continental team of Team Stölting where Nils Politt was racing at the time, then in the World Tour at 20 at Sunweb in 2017. In 2018, after discovering Milan-San Remo, he broke down psychologically and asked his leaders to take a break. Disturbed by health problems but also disturbed by the pressure that was beginning to weigh on his shoulders, he no longer felt the strength to continue. He could very well have stopped everything but finally reversed his decision five months later.

He hates virtual races

Despite his young age, he did not develop a passion during the break of the season for virtual roller races from the garage where we faced his rivals via various applications. He didn’t like the concept at all, regretting the lack of tactics and feeling he could never find on this exercise during confinement. The life and excitement of the peloton are essential for him to practice his sport. He was also depressed after taking over eleven minutes against Rohan Dennis in one of those early online confrontations.