Tour de France: Emanuel Buchmann aims for top ten
Anyone who writes about Emanuel Buchmann can not do without the following words: quiet, calm, reserved, shy, shy. They can be found in every description about him, the "taz" called him a "Leisetreter" Buchmann is obviously not one of those who lead the big word in the cycling scene. One could also say that the 26-year-olds prefer to act. For example, at this year's Tour de France, in which the German has worked its way up to fifth place in the overall standings.
How he managed to join the lead is typical of Buchmann: he has not won a stage, he has not started any spectacular break-out attempts, he has retired at the finish sprints. Instead, he was simply always present when it got down to business.
On Monday, on the way to Albi, as the merciless wind tore the field to pieces and favorites such as Richie Porte and Jakob Fuglsang lost valuable time, Buchmann was attentive and ahead. When it came to the first mountain trials, he played his climbing skills and hung as well as possible to defending champion Geraint Thomas. Until now there was no decisive situation on this tour, which would have slept Buchmann. This is more important for the classification than to shine at a single stage.
"I do not have to do crazy things, I do not have to attack myself," said Buchmann on yesterday's day of rest, when he has to appear in front of the press. On the tour, he is the captain of the Bora team, for the crazy things in the team others are responsible: Peter Sagan, the sprint superstar from Slovakia and undisputedly one of the largest speakers in the industry. The ostentatiously self-confident Sagan as a contributor to the silent Captain Buchmann - there were some who did not think that would be okay for a long time. But the two complement each other so far.
From Thursday it goes to the Pyrenees, later over the Alps. Buchmann says: "For me, the tour is really starting now." The mountains, which are his profession, that is already unusual enough for a German professional cyclist. In Germany, they usually focus more on the sprints as Bora teammate Pascal Ackermann, who convinced the Giro, or on the day's races like Tony Martin or John Degenkolb. Germany is not the land of the mountain goats, the climber, Buchmann is the exception.
Only one minute and 45 seconds Buchmann is currently behind the front runner Julian Alaphilippe back, this is in view of the upcoming mountain stages, virtually nothing, but the yellow jersey Buchmann does not even think. The dream of the overall victory is "not really," he says. Just no euphoria.
No comparisons with Ullrich and Klöden
What is also quite reasonable in German cycling. The last German to make it to the top five in the Tour is Andreas Klöden - a name that stands for the dark side of the sport, for the times when Team Telekom first caused national drunkenness and then the big hangover came. Comparing with Jan Ullrich or Klöden, Buchmann wipes off the table quite quickly: "I do not want to follow in any footsteps, I drive my own race." There are good reasons not to compare with the Ullrichs and Klödens.
It should be a rank among the top ten, the motto has spent Buchmann before the tour. He is on schedule.
His cycling life so far follows a plan. Piece by piece on the ladder further up: victories in the juniors, the cycling league, then the first small round trips. In 2014 he briefly considers whether he is studying mechanical engineering better than riding a bike. He already has the place to study, then he is seventh at the Tour de l'Avenir. The decision has been made. Germany has one less mechanical engineer.
Two years ago, he finished the Tour de France in 15th place. At the Vuelta last year he is for the first time from the beginning team captain on a big tour. Now he leads the team also on the tour. Step by step, step by step it goes up for him. He is just a climber.
The top favorites for the overall title of the tour are still different: Geraint Thomas, the Briton, his teammate Egan Bernal from Colombia, Alaphilippe wants to keep the yellow jersey as long as possible. The Germans are still pretty much no one on the list. Emanuel Buchmann will be very right. Only the rest.