Pro cyclist Nils Bullett claimed a shocking surprise victory in the 108th Tour de France and ended the drought in Germany.
Colon of Bora Hansgrohe cheated on members of the escape group on Thursday and celebrated the biggest success of his career as a soloist. Sprint oldie André Greipel, like Politt and one of his 13 outliers of the day, was dropped prematurely and couldn’t play to his sprint strengths. The “gorilla” came in sixth place at the end.
“It’s a dream to win a Tour stage,” said Bullitt. “The fact that Peter Sagan was no longer there completely changed our tactics. I felt so good, I tried everything. Winning a tour stage is the greatest thing that can happen.”
Greipel was delighted with Paulette: “I saw how he grew up. I trained with him. It’s very touching to see. He was the strongest out there, and he deserved to win.”
Bullitt made the decisive attack twelve kilometers from the end. Roubaix’s 2019 runner-up knocked out remaining competitors Emanuel Erfiti (Spain/Movistar) and Harry Sweeney (Australia/Lotto-Soudal) with a strong start. With his mouth wide open, the 1.92-meter-high giant made its way toward the goal. When he was sure of victory, he shook his head in disbelief, clapped his helmet and threw up his arms in glee. His lead was 31 seconds at the end.
It was Bullett’s second professional success and a total of 91st stage victory for a German driver in the Großer Loop.
Peloton split after start
Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish’s record-breaking lead has been postponed. The British star sprinter, who had just one success separating him from legend Eddie Merckx’s theatrical record (34 wins), followed far behind. Before climbing in the Pyrenees for several days on the weekend, “King K” gets another chance on Friday. The thirteenth stage leads over 219.9 km from Nimes to Carcassonne and should finish with another group race.
The twelfth stage started with the start at Saint-Paul Trois Chateau frantically, the edges of the frightening wind caused tension immediately after the start. The peloton split into several parts at high speed, before the race finally calmed down and the escape group stood up for the day. 13 drivers, including Greipel, Politt and French world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), were represented at the top.
As a result, the race was not surprising for a long time. The group around the German duo made significant progress, in the meantime it was more than a quarter of an hour.
Bullitt finally settles down
50 km from the end, Bullitt’s first attack created a new dynamic. The classic hunter quickened his pace and ripped a gap, Greipel was also left behind at first, but like the rest of the group he found connection again. More attacks followed almost every minute. With 40 km remaining, Bullitt and his comrades succeeded.
The trio around 27-year-old Bullitt distinguished themselves from Greipel and Co. Then the elimination race began – with a happy ending for Paulette.
Seven-time green jersey winner Peter Sagan was unable to interfere with the event. Der slowakische Star von Politts Bora-Team leidet immer noch unter den Sturzfolgen der ersten Tourwoche und stieg nicht mehr aufs Rad. Für den 31-Jährigen könnte es die letzte Tour im Bora-Trikot gewesen sein: Sagan soll vor einem Wechsel zum französischen Team TotalEnergies Stand.