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“The German riders are enormously successful: Marcel Kittel is an exceptional sprinter and an outstanding ambassador for his sport, Tony Martin has taken the most beautiful stage win in the last Tour, John Degenkolb triumphed at the V...

Photo: Sirotti










23.11.2014 @ 14:58 Posted by Joseph Doherty

At a media meeting for Team Bora-Argon 18, team DS Andres Schulz spoke to Christian Prudhomme, race director of the Tour de France in great detail. In an In-depth interview wth, Prudhomme spoke on the development of the German cycling, the new anti-doping law in the country and he explained why Tony Martins stage win in Mulhouse was the highlight of this year's Tour for him.


Christian Prudhomme was full of praise for Bora-Argon 18 team manager Ralph Denk and what he has achieved with the team, from Continental status to Grand Tour top tens and stage wins. “It's amazing what Ralph Denk has put together. He has built the team step by step and brought to a higher level - first the Giro and Vuelta up to the Tour de France. From our first meeting, we have had a relationship of trust. And he has held high the flag of Germany during difficult times. Not many people can say that.”


“It is very important to have this German team with a German sponsor. Furthermore, Germany can gain importance in cycling again. The German riders are enormously successful: Marcel Kittel is an exceptional sprinter and an outstanding ambassador for his sport, Tony Martin has taken the most beautiful stage win in the last Tour, John Degenkolb triumphed at the Vuelta four times…”


“But not only that: they produced two junior world champions this year, showing that we can probably look forward to in the coming years to new German top riders.”


Prudhomme is also hopeful that the Tour can return to Germany as a Grand Depart in the future. The last time Germany hosted the Tour was West Berlin in 1987.


“The ASO is very active and has brought in recent years races in many countries, projects on the way: Qatar, Oman, Norway, Japan. Now we have a German team, German top riders, hopefully soon again transmissions on ARD, the interest of German cities, and I hope for a return of the race to Germany - but we should not take the second step before the first.”


The new German anti-doping law will imprison future dopes in an attempt to discourage doping in the sport amongst German cyclists. Does Prudomme see this as fair? “It's very hard. It is difficult, someone who cheats in sport, to treat in the same way as someone who has committed an assault or rape. The fact that an athlete must pay back money, I think is quite normal - but a prison sentence? But I am also aware that such a law is submitted by a Minister of Justice who appreciates the sport of cycling, can contribute to that, that is once again developed in Germany confidence.”


When asked which moment of the Tour 2014 stood out the most, Prudhomme did not hesitate: “Tony Martin in Mulhouse! And I say this, even though a Frenchman,Tony Gallopin, rode himself into the Yellow Jersey that day. The performance was incredibly impressive: Vincenzo Nibali was elegant and confident on all terrain but what Martin has shown on that day was incredible. How did he do so weel and put out that much power on that tough terrain? That was without question the most beautiful stage win in the Tour this year.”





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