106th Tour de France: "Next big German star": Buchmann continues to shine

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Foix Prat d'Albis (AP) - Emanuel Buchmann has reached the absolute top in the world with an outstanding climbing show, his colleagues even trust him to win the Tour de France.

One day after his impressive fourth place finish at the legendary Tourmalet, the 26-year-old Ravensburger took fourth place on the 15th stage after Foix Prat d'Albis, reinforcing his claim to a top 3 place in the largest and most important cycling race in the world ,

"It was going very well again. I'm very satisfied with the result, "said Buchmann on ARD. In the yellow jersey, France's crowd pleaser Julian Alaphilippe remains even after the heavy Pyrenees sections, who suddenly is one of the absolute elite in the high mountains - but on Sunday lost almost a minute to Buchmann and other top riders.

Buchmann is now more than ever hoping to become the first German professional cyclist since Andreas Klöden to climb the podium in Paris in 2006. «He proved on what level it is. With him you can definitely win the tour. I think he is the next big German star, "praised his colleague Gregor Mühlberger the ever-triumphant lightweight.

On Sunday the favorites let a group pull, which belonged beside some strong mountain drivers also the German Simon Geschke. The 33-year-old Berliner drove with day winner Simon Yates until the final climb, but was then suspended. Ranks two and three were in the fog and rain of Foix Prat d'Albis winner of the previous day Thibaut Pinot from France and Spaniard Mikel Landa.

In the overall standings Buchmann is currently sixth, his backlog to Alaphilippe is 2:14 minutes. In a duel with direct rivals like last year's winner Geraint Thomas (second) and Egan Bernal (fifth), Bora-hansgrohe professional Buchmann showed how strong he really is. On Saturday, he had effortlessly started up with the world elite on the 2115-meter Tourmalet and had set himself an attack about a kilometer before the end. "That was a very good feeling," said Buchmann modestly to his famous ride through the Pyrenees. On Sunday he was again similarly strong.

Team boss Ralph Denk was noticeably proud of his captain's performance. "If Emanuel attacks and Thomas goes flying, that's a very balanced race. That's great for cycling and it's great that he is on par with the best, "said the Oberbayer, who called Buchmann" absolute world leader ".

In contrast to the Sky dominance from previous years, successor Ineos without the injured four-time Tour winner Chris Froome 2019 vulnerable. The British defending champion Thomas was on Tourmalet depend on a Buchmann attack, even super talent Bernal shows so far not expected of him dominance in the high mountains.

In addition to Buchmann, the Ineos duo must increasingly fear the French duo Alaphilippe and Tourmalet winner Pinot. Before the eyes of President Emmanuel Macron, the host tandem had flown on Saturday to a double success. In the case of the first French overall tour since 1985, Macron already promised champagne on the Champs Élysées.

The rest of the tour on the sofa, however, must follow the German champion Maximilian Schachmann. He broke three bones in the left-hand midfield during his fall in the individual time trial and flew back on Saturday. Zimmermann Buchmann will be missing in the Alps as a helper. The tour will continue after a rest day on Tuesday in Nimes, the next mountain stage is on Thursday on the program.

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