Nils Politt breaks away to win Tour de France stage 12

Tadej Pogacar retained his five-minute lead over his yellow jersey rivals.

Politt celebrates his first Tour de France victory.
Politt celebrates his first Tour de France victory.
Image: Christophe Ena

GERMANY’S NILS POLITT won stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday after early winds helped a breakaway build up a convincing lead over the main pack in the Rhone Valley.

An escape group finished the short stage to Nimes some 15min 52sec ahead of the chasing peloton, with the defending champion, UAE rider Tadej Pogacar, retaining his five-minute overall lead over a clutch of rivals.

Ireland’s Dan Martin, whose target for the race is a win on one of the mountain stages, finished safely with the peloton and now sits 65th in the GC.

Politt attacked from within the reduced group for a dominant solo victory.

“Directly after the start was the wind and it turned into a Tour de France win, it’s unbelievable,” said Politt, who rides for the Bora team.

“I attacked and opened up a gap from the other guys in the escape. This is my passion, and this is the biggest thing,” he said referring to the stage win.

Only 157 riders pulled out of Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateau on Thursday after a sore knee ended seven-time green jersey winner Peter Sagan’s adventure early, the first time the Slovak has failed to finish the 21-day, 3000km haul.

While Mark Cavendish himself refuses to talk about equalling Eddy Merckx’s 35-year-old all-time record of 34 stage wins, it appeared to be a feasible scenario ahead of stage 12 and when the peloton rolled into the red-roofed town of Nimes, Cavendish made a statement of intent by racing to the head of the main pack in a mock sprint.

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© – AFP, 2021

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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