Think: “We want to win a stage”

Think: "We want to win a stage"

Bora Bose Ralph Deng talks about the goals of the Tour of Spain starting on Saturday, the generational change in the team and his personal dream of winning the Tour de France

The cycling season is still active, with the third big tour of the year starting with Vulta on Saturday. But at Rowlinger racing team Bora-Hansgro, officials have been planning for the coming season for a long time. Most recently, weeks later, prominent newcomers were announced: sprinter Sam Bennett (winner of Ireland / Green Tour jersey 2020), climbers Alexander Vlaso (fourth in Russia / Zero 2021), Jay Hindali (Australia / Zero 2020) and Sergio Higuain (paragliding). Third in 2021). Peter Sagan (Slovakia) has announced that he will be leaving the team and sprint specialist Pascal Ackermann. Team Manager Ralph Denk talks about the causes and goals of these drastic changes.

Mr. Denk, you rarely move your team inside. Are you planning a strategic rearrangement with this?

I will not talk about a new strategy. But this is a generational change. As Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackerman are known, we could not achieve an extension. So we thought: What do we want in the future? Sprint continued to be the focus. There was an offer to bring back an old friend with Sam Bennett. He is considered one of the fastest men in the world. In terms of sprinting, it definitely has the same position as we had with Pascal so far, and maybe a little better.

You will lose your star with Peter Saga.

Yes, we achieved an incredible amount with Peter. We are very grateful for that too. He won the Paris-Roubikes and became the world champion. They are milestones. Of course, we knew what we had in Peter. That’s why we made him an offer. We wanted to keep him busy. Peter has a charisma for the whole team and he always knew how to inspire his teammates and he is in good spirits. Of course, he hasn’t won more races lately. But he had a charm to keep him on the team. But he decided differently.

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Most of the new signatures with big names are excellent climbers. It implies a rethink.

We found ourselves enjoying great tours. Two years ago at the Tour de France, Emmanuel Butchman finished fourth and Wilco Kelderman finished fifth this year. So there is still some room for improvement. That’s where we look now.

Mountaineers must be the draft horses on the updated team.

Of course, a basic requirement to be at the forefront of the Tour de France. This year we saw how fast it was going and how fast people were shooting at each other. I especially think of Emmanuel Butchman who fell in Giro di Italia – everything went from one second to another. If you have a plan B, it is already helpful. Several falls in the Tour de France this year showed that you have to go with three captains, so one is finally there. You need a broader team – you know that from football.

Per person

Ralph Denk Bora-Hansgro, captain of the German team, will begin his tour of Spain on Saturday. His team is considered the national cycling team. Best German Pedals for Team Manager’s Racing Team. However, the 47-year-old plans to rebuild the team — along with several proven mountaineers. FR

Thadej Pagakar and Egan Bernal currently have two excellent, hard-to-touch, leading cyclists in cycling. Do you think strengthening is enough to attack them and fight for tour success?

My personal dream is to win the tour one day. The entire management is working hard for this. But it remains to be seen whether that will be possible next year or the year after. Our newcomers like Alexander Vlaso or Jai Hindali are not as strong as Pogakar or Bernal yet. But they are still very young and we hope that our new signatures will add a shovel and then compete at a higher level.

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Vlasov, 25, is considered an extraordinary genius …

… undoubtedly one of the biggest rough diamonds in road cycling. We would like to further develop this to make it a little better and perhaps more active over time. We have learned more and more recently about bonus seconds in Target Sprints. We have a lot of work ahead of our performance team. Anyway, I’m sure we’re on the right track. Basically, I see it this way: when a door closes – that is, Sagan and Ackerman – then new doors open at the same time. I am very optimistic about the change.

What does Emmanuel Butchman say about the big domestic competition now?

I have not spoken to him yet. But I have known Emmanuel for a long time, so I believe this situation inspires and inspires him. It’s good for him that he doesn’t have all the pressure on his shoulders like he did last time in Zero.

The Bora-Hansgrohe team was recently seen as a kind of team in Germany, with almost all national leaders. Interested in more of this unique sales proposal?

Yes, we strive to have the best German racing cyclists on our team. This path will not be left. We still have two or three places on the racing team. German youth may still have the opportunity there. The list is not yet final. We are currently with 28 men and we plan to have 30 and 31 drivers next season. The package may still contain young German drivers. Tour de l’Avanir is still available at the Tour de France for U23 riders. I think it would be nice if one or the other was imposed on me.

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What’s going on with your team starting at Vulta on Saturday?

We want to get in the top ten with Felix Grosschartner; He was ninth last year. Maybe he could get better. We want to succeed one step at a time. I especially like Max Schachman, who made a good comeback from the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Young sprinter Jordy Muse also has a chance, and he has developed well in his first year as a professional. Maybe one of the helpers will be surprised. At the Tour de France, Nils Polit and Patrick Conrad may not be stage winners – yet both have won. Maybe we can do it with an aggressive driving style on the Vulta.

Interview: Armin Comics

Bora-Hansgro Team Leader: Ralph Denk.

© Imago Images / Beautiful Sports

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