Ackermann insists there's room for him, Sagan and Bennett at Bora in 2019

Pascal Ackermann smiled at the question as he picked at a foil container of rice outside the anti-doping control truck in Qinzhou. The German champion was still digesting his victory minutes earlier on stage 2 of the Tour of Guangxi, but at this time of the year, thoughts tend to turn quickly to next season.

The 24-year-old has claimed nine wins in 2018, including six at WorldTour level, singling himself out as one of the coming men of world sprinting. His Bora-Hansgrohe team, however, also features two men who might be said to have already arrived: three-time world champion Peter Sagan and triple Giro d’Italia stage winner Sam Bennett.

Even on a top-flight team riding a full quota of WorldTour races, three sprinters can be a crowd, though Bennett, Sagan and Ackermann have dovetailed well this year. But will there still be enough room on Bora-Hansgrohe for all three fast men in 2019, particularly when the season just gone by has seen Ackermann and Bennett hit top speed?

"Up to now, yes," Ackermann laughed. "I think we have a lot of strong sprinters. We always work well together, and we split all the races between us. We have to see what happens in the next years."

"For sure there is one Grand Tour in the programme next year but I don’t know which one yet," said Ackermann.

"I don’t think we did that much different this year, but I had a lot more opportunities. Now I have my own lead-out train, too, and I think that works really well. We look forward to next year."

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