Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Nils Politt, 25, took a second-place finish in Thursday’s individual time trial in Barbentane, France, marking a breakthrough performance in the career of the young German rider.
Nils Politt: “This was a pretty good time trial today and I’m really happy with my performance. It’s my first time to earn a podium placing in a big, big time trial and I see that my condition is good. I train every winter on my TT bike, but this time I went probably only five times, so maybe that’s the key.”
The course featured a climb halfway through before a slightly rolling final into the finish line. Asked which sections of the route caused the most concern, Politt said, “The last 5km were very hard. There was a tailwind and it was a little bit up and down, plus I was already going all in, so I was really suffering.”
Team director Dirk Demol assessed the day’s performance from Politt: “I’m very satisfied with this effort from Nils. Second place in a time trial at this level of racing proves again that he’s made a step up from last year. He was top 10 in the time trial in Algarve and since then he has put his focus on the TT for today. His main focus is still on the classics, of course, but the result today proves he’s moving in the right direction with his condition and I look forward to the next weeks with him.” Politt took seventh place last year in Paris-Roubaix.
Stage 5 of the 77th Paris-Nice was 25.5k in Barbentane and was won by Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) with a top time of 30:26 (50.274km/h). Politt’s time was seven-seconds off the pace and race leader Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky rounded out the daily podium another four seconds behind.
Kwiatkowski leads by 19-seconds to teammate Egan Bernal with three stages still to race. Friday’s stage 6 returns to the road at 176.5k from Peynier to Brignoles.
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