"I feel as confident as I’ve ever felt" - Nils Politt going from strength to strength after UAE Team Emirates move

One of the most recognisable riders in the peloton, German powerhouse Nils Politt has been one of the lowkey stars of the Classics season so far in a very impressive start to life at UAE Team Emirates.

Having spent three years with BORA - hansgrohe, Politt made the move to UAE Team Emirates over the winter off-season and it has almost immediately proved fruitful with a 2nd placed finish at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, a podium at the Tour of Flanders and just last Sunday, a 4th placed finish at Paris-Roubaix. "When the number one team in the world comes calling, you stand up and listen," Politt recalls of his move to the official website of UAE Team Emirates.

"Opportunities to rub shoulders with the very best don’t come around too often, so upon hearing UAE Team Emirates’ interest in me, it was something I simply couldn’t turn down. The timing of the move has come at a point in my career where I feel as confident as I’ve ever felt on the bike," the 30-year-old continues. "I’m coming into what should be my best years, so I wanted to make the most out of this time to race at the highest level. Not only do we possess the best group of riders in the world, but the support ­staff and management are second to none. We are given all the tools that we need to perform, and we share a collective desire to win for each other as much as we want to win for ourselves."

As mentioned, in both Flanders and Roubaix, Politt has already proven his worth. "Securing a podium place in the Tour of Flanders was an incredibly special moment for me. World Champion Mathieu van Der Poel was in a league of his own and produced a spectacular ride, but I felt our team was strong enough to work together and push for a podium," he recalls. "It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster given I originally finished fourth, but I was then promoted to third after Michael Matthews was relegated to eleventh. Whilst I felt sorry for Michael, I was so proud of the team, and I think we deserved the result."

"The Tour of Flanders is a special race, but I think Paris-Roubaix, or ‘Hell of the North’ as it is rightfully known, possesses the biggest challenge of them all. I managed to secure another top 5 finish after 260km of some of the hardest racing I’ve ever known across the cobbles, before finishing in the Velodrome," Politt says of last Sunday. "Again, this result wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates. Even though we haven’t produced that one spectacular win, we’re all incredibly happy with the way we’ve worked together over these last few weeks, and I think we’ve done a really good job against the very best riders in the world."

So the question now is, what more is to come? "The big goal is the Tour de France," Politt concludes. "This race holds a special place in my heart, and winning Stage 12 in 2021 is still one of the proudest moments of my career. However, we’ll be going into the Tour with the sole focus of riding for Tadej as he tries to reclaim his crown. Having raced against him for a number of years, I’ve always admired him. But now as his teammate, I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like him. His performances in Strade Bianche, followed by his win in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, was some of the most dominating racing I’ve ever seen. He can beat anyone over the cobbles, over a week’s racing, or over three weeks of Grand Tour racing in the mountains. Riding alongside him as his teammate is much nicer than riding against him – let me tell you!"

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