Imola (dpa) – The general satisfaction of the German cycling team was accompanied by a bit of frustration. German captain Maximilian Schachmann had achieved a strong result with a ninth place finish in the World Cup in Imola, but the 26-year-old thought more was possible.
“The result is solid, but I had hoped to get further forward. Unfortunately I missed a bit in the end,” said Schachmann after 258.2 kilometers through Emilia Romagna.
The hopefuls had to let go only on the very last climb, in the end the French world champion Julian Alaphilippe and another group of five around silver winner Wout van Aert from Belgium and Marc Hirschi from Switzerland were clearly ahead. “The leg stopped working. But we did a good race, the team did a great job,” said Schachmann. The race was a bit in keeping with the overall German performance around the “Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari”: always brave, always at the front, but ultimately without luck.
The first medalleless cycling world championship since reunification reads as a historically negative return, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, there were only four decisions this time and no junior races. Jens Zemke, as sports director, was more than satisfied with the completion of the seven-man team in the men. “Not much was missing to compete for a medal. But Max’s ninth place is one of the best World Cup results in recent years,” said Zemke.
The athletes gave the Italian host an excellent report. Imola jumped in shortly after the cancellation in the Swiss municipalities of Aigle and Martigny and organized the event in a very short time. “It is amazing what the Italians have evoked in three weeks. You can see the enormous enthusiasm for cycling,” said German starter Georg Zimmermann. Aigle and Martigny will not be able to play as World Cup hosts again until 2028, as UCI president David Lappartient explained in Imola.