FRANKFURT/MAIN (AP) — Nils Politt smiled like a winner, then hugged fellow triumphant Sam Bennett in the finish zone.
The Irish top sprinter spoiled the German cycling party at the classic Eschborn-Frankfurt, but at least allowed German racing team Bora Hansgrohe to celebrate his success.
Phil Bauhaus was the best German, finishing fourth in the group sprint race at the Alte Opera in Frankfurt am Main. John Degenkolb had to admit defeat. “I have nothing to blame myself for. I did my best. The race track wasn’t so much that it played in my hands,” Diggie said. “I still totally enjoy it, it was a beautiful Labor Day.”
The runners win victory among themselves
The second and local champion realized last year that too many riders made it to the last lap. “In the end I didn’t have a chance anymore,” 33-year-old Degenkolb frankly admitted after a tough 183.9 kilometres. Instead, the stage was for top runners Bennett, Fernando Gaviria of Colombia and Alexander Kristof of Norway. “I had really good legs. Thank you for the team that has supported me over the past few months. It’s great to have this win for a German team,” said Bennett.
It was finally the first success of the season for the two-time Tour de France stage winner. “I think a whole sack of stones is going to fall from his heart,” former runner Marcel Kittel said of Bennett, whose former boss Ralph Dink had predicted despite a weak spring.
Dink also prophesied “Traditionally, it would be a game of cat and mouse between runners and mountaineers trying to escape in Taunos.” It was the same in previous years, but the runners and their teams have always excelled over the years. The well-known scenario was repeated in 2022 – on a difficult but not very difficult path. This time, too, there were brave and brave splinter groups whose attacks were not crowned with success.
Ackermann is the last winner so far in Germany
The traditional race was held for the first time in three years as usual on May 1. In 2020, the Corona pandemic caused a cancellation and a hypothetical alternative event. In 2021, there was a Corona-related postponement to the fall, when the race was held as a rehearsal for the World Cup. Runner Pascal Ackermann, the last German winner so far in 2019, missed this time with a broken coccyx. The top German pros were not there as they are already preparing for the Giro d’Italia, which kicks off May 6 in Budapest.
The mood was the same as before. Tens of thousands of fans lined the streets in Taunus, climbing like Feldberg and especially through the main city of Maine, which the cycling scene is already accustomed to on May 1st. This time, fans from Eritrea made themselves especially noticeable, celebrating exciting Gent-Wevelgem winner Biniam Girmay loudly with songs, flags and drums – and even before Eschborn started at noon.
Lisa Brenauer Women’s Racing
It is not expected whether the current classic program in Frankfurt will remain in the future. Olympic cycling champion Lisa Brenor expressed her desire for the women’s race during a broadcast on Hessischer Rundfunk. “Of course that would be crazy. It used to be a women’s race here. It might just be a matter of time. I would be very, very happy to see another big event in women’s cycling in Germany,” said Brennor.