Politt hails 'strong, well-prepared' new-look Bora-Hansgrohe Classics team

Bora-Hansgrohe Nils Politt 2022
Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) at the team's pre-season training camp (Image credit: Bora-Hansgrohe)

Nils Politt has hailed the new additions to Bora-Hansgrohe for 2022, saying that the squad is "well-prepared" for the Classics despite the loss of Peter Sagan and Daniel Oss over the winter.

Politt, who finished second in Paris-Roubaix in 2019, also taking fifth in the Tour of Flanders the same spring, is now in place as the team's main Classics leader following Sagan's move to TotalEnergies after five years at the German squad.

The 27-year-old German has welcomed the transfers of Marco Haller, Sam Bennett, Danny Van Poppel, and Ryan Mullen for 2022, noting that they can all contribute during the Classics in March and April.

"I think we have a strong team. I think we are well-prepared for the Classics," Politt said during a virtual press conference earlier this week.

"For sure, Peter Sagan, Daniel Oss and Matej Bodnar have left but now we have Marco Haller, who I was already racing with in Katusha. Then we have Lukas Pöstlberger and a new rider in Danny Van Poppel, who is always good in the Classics. Sam is also a guy for Gent-Wevelgem. Ryan Mullen is also a really strong man."

Bennett and Van Poppel both finished in the top five at semi-Classic Scheldeprijs last spring, while strongmen Haller and Mullen have regularly raced through the spring as domestiques for their team leaders.

Politt, who last year took three of his four career victories, said that 2021 was by far the best year of his career so far. He soloed to a stage victory from the breakaway at the Tour de France in Nîmes and then took a stage and the overall at his home race, the Deutschland Tour, a month later.

He added that his final race of the season, the rescheduled Paris-Roubaix, was his main letdown of the year – he didn't finish the rain-hit race – but added that he'll be back to target the Hell of the North this spring.

"For sure it was by far my best season," Politt said. "I mean 2019 was already good but you can really say 2021 was way better. Winning the stage in the Tour, winning the overall at the tour of Germany, a lot of good results.

"Only one big thing was missing and that was Paris-Roubaix where I had bad luck. I was sick a little bit before and it wasn't my day there, but I will be back for this."

He said that the off-season since that disappointment has been a good one, adding that he's looking forward to getting back to racing at the five-race series, the Mallorca Challenge, next week. Then it's on to a fairly standard spring programme through the Classics.

"Normally the programme looks more or less the same as in other years. I'll go from Algarve to Opening Weekend, Paris-Nice, San Remo and through the Classics again.

"It's a goal for sure," he added, referring to aiming for a big Classics win this year. "It's always hard. It's not like the Tour de France where you have 21 stages you can try for. It's just about five races. But I'm really motivated, and I will go for it, for sure."

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