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Nils Politt has never recaptured his best form for Bora-Hansgrohe, especially in the Spring Classics
Nils Politt's results didn't match his salary, says Bora-Hansgrohe boss
'As a strong support rider and road captain, he was too expensive for us' Ralph Denk tells GCN as German departs for UAE Team Emirates
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Nils Politt’s three years at Bora-Hansgrohe produced mixed results, with the German winning a stage in the Tour de France and picking up two national titles, but ultimately failing to impress in the Spring Classics.
The German joined the team in 2021 on the back of second and fifth places in the 2019 editions of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, respectively. Although he had a quiet spring in 2020 as part of Israel Start-Up Nation, the 29-year-old wasn’t able to successfully lead the line for Bora on the cobbles.
So when UAE Team Emirates came calling with the offer of a lucrative contract for the start of 2024, Bora-Hansgrohe happily stepped back from any possible contract negotiations.
"Nils is a really nice guy, and I like him as a person. For sure it was a sad moment when he informed me that he would leave but, on the other hand, he joined the team on a really good salary after second in Paris-Roubaix and fifth in Flanders,” Bora-Hansgrohe general manager Ralph Denk told GCN.
"So the salary was quite high and the results in the Classics for the last three years – not just one season – were not at the same level from when he joined us. He performed better in the Classics with Katusha."
Politt’s results tailed off in the Classics during his time at Bora-Hansgrohe, with just one top-20 result in the Spring Monuments. Denk didn’t put all of that responsibility onto Politt’s shoulders, admitting that it was a collective effort, but he also acknowledged that the team needed to balance their books and build a roster that was both successful and economical.
The team have recruited several high-profile riders for 2024, with Primož Roglič, Dani Martínez, and Sam Welsford all joining the team. Politt’s horsepower and experience will no doubt be missed in the coming months but Denk is adamant that the right decisions have been made and that Politt has made the right move for his own career.
"Maybe we had not the support at times but, for sure, in some situations, Nils did not have the legs," Denk told GCN.
"My philosophy isn't to make him downgrade the salary and for me it wasn’t an option to stay on the salary. As a strong support rider and road captain, he was too expensive for us.
"I’m happy for him, he found a good contract, a high contract, at UAE. But it was a fair case with all the respect there. It was big for us to have him on our team."