Imola (dpa) – The general satisfaction of the German cycling team was accompanied by a bit of frustration. Although German captain Maximilian Schachmann had achieved a strong result in ninth place in the World Cup competition in Imola, the 26-year-old had 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 tough kilometers through Emilia Romagna.

Only on the very last climb did the hopefuls have to let go, eventually 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 medallion-less 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. “There was not much 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’s amazing what the Italians came up with 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 again as World Cup hosts until 2028, as UCI president David Lappartient explained in Imola.

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