Pascal Ackermann: 'Ralph Denk did not keep his word' on Tour de France selection

The German missed out on Tour de France selection for Bora-Hansgrohe after a winless season so far

Pascal Ackermann at the Volta ao Algarve 2021
(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Pascal Ackermann has publicly voiced his disappointment with his Bora-Hansgrohe team boss Ralph Denk after he apparently promised the sprinter a place on the Tour de France team; a place he did not get.

The German was due to get his first go at the French Grand Tour in 2021 as team leader Peter Sagan looked to add the Giro d'Italia points jersey to his collection. He succeeded in this and then decided to ride the Tour in search of an eighth green jersey.

Ackermann, who has already won the points jersey at the Giro, has struggled for form in 2021 and has not managed a win this season. The highest place he has managed is third, which he has achieved five times this year.

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In an interview with RadSport-News, Ackermann said: "I was just about to go to motorpacing and get the final touches for the tour when Ralph [Denk] called me. Until then, I assumed that I would be doing the tour. But then I stopped first, and you can imagine the rest.

"I am more than disappointed, I have to say. Ralph was always a man who kept his word. But this time he definitely did not. It was said that I will be doing the Tour for three years. And that is always the case that I shouldn't worry about it. Without this promise, I would not have signed the contract back then. You have to see that too. That's why I am extremely disappointed."

Ackermann has been linked to a move away from the German squad to join UAE Team Emirates, according to Ciro Scognamiglio, a journalist at Gazzetta dello Sport with further reports saying that Sam Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) will rejoin his old team.

In a press conference, Denk said: "In the end, we decided against Pascal because we think that he is simply not in the form at the moment to give a successful Tour premiere"

But Ackermann contradicted his team boss and said: "Of course there was no victory now, but that is no reason for me not to be allowed to participate if the form is right. And it was right.

"If I knew that I'm not in shape, I would understand. But everyone knows, and you can see that from the data, that it's definitely not the shape. I can't understand this reason. He knows that and the team knows that too. That's why I'm so disappointed."

Bora-Hansgrohe's team does look far more focused towards Sagan and the mountains. Sagan has key domestiques around him with Nils Politt, Daniel Oss, Lukas Pöstlberger, and Grand Tour debutant Ide Schelling all making the team.

The climbers in the team include Wilco Kelderman, who finished third in the Giro in 2020, along with Patrick Konrad and Emanuel Buchmann, who returns to racing after crashing out of the Giro earlier this year.

Another rider who has shown excellent form this season is former German champion, Max Schachmann, but he has not been selected for the Tour as he puts all his focus into the upcoming Olympic Games.

The Tour de France starts on June 26 in Brest for the Grand Départ before meandering its way around the country with a brief dip into Andorra, then finishing in Paris on the Champs-Élysées three weeks later.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.