Home Madrid university Lost Boys: Jasha Sütterlin – The Strange Man Out

Lost Boys: Jasha Sütterlin – The Strange Man Out


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Throughout the Tour de France, former VeloNews editor John Wilcockson profiles the unlucky riders who are forced to quit, either through injury, exhaustion or bad luck. In this column, Wilcockson talks about the Dutch rider Jasha Sütterlin.

Jasha Sütterlin is a 28 year old German cyclist (just over 6 feet tall and weighing 171 pounds) from Freiburg im Breisgau. It is a university town of a quarter of a million inhabitants at the western end of the Black Forest – where Sütterlin often goes to train.

“I’ve been on my bike since I was a kid,” he recently told a German website. “Even then my biggest goal was to become a professional cyclist. Since my father was also a cyclist and competed in the Mexico Olympics in 1968, he was and is a great role model for me. From the under 11s, my journey was very regular up to the U23 level in the Thuringian energy team. Then the first thing I did was receive an offer from Movistar, which I finally accepted, and I was able to start my professional career.

Read also : Lost Boys: Robert Gesink’s bad luck during stage 3 of the Tour de France

Sütterlin spent six years in the Movistar team – and as a result, he says he is better known in Spain than in Germany. With the Spanish team, he won a bronze medal in the team time trial at the 2015 Richmond World Championships and won a stage (with a late solo attack) at the 2017 Vuelta Comunidad de Madrid.

He also finished second behind Tony Martin in three consecutive editions of the German national time trial championship. But, most of his time with Movistar has been spent doing household chores for Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, whether it be one day classics, weeklong stage races or big tours.

“There is nothing better for me than pushing the body to its limits,” he said. “It pushes me over and over again to see high speed on the speedometer. “

Sütterlin joined the Sunweb team last year and in the COVID season he has been in the top 10 in his last three time trials (Tour de Slovakia, BinckBank Tour and la Vuelta a España). His Vuelta ended with his teammate Max Kanter to take third place, behind top sprinters Pascal Ackermann and Sam Bennett, in the mass sprint in Madrid; Sütterlin hangs on to take fifth place.

Read also : Lost Boys: no back-to-school party for Cyril Lemoine

This year, in the renowned DSM team, he earned his place in the Tour de France team with a solid performance at the Tour de Suisse. It would be his second participation in the Tour; the first was with Movistar four years ago.

Speaking of this 2017 Tour, Sütterlin said: “When you’re at the start it’s an incredible feeling. But then, of course, you also want to go to Paris. I’m a year older and started cycling earlier than Rick Zabel. But we grew up playing sports together. And even though he rode for another team, we arrived together at the finish in Paris, and he was the first one I kissed because we were both there.

Sütterlin was the only German selected for the 2021 Tour team of the DSM team. His job on stage 1 was to help his team managers, leading perhaps to a first place for his Belgian. puncher Tiesj Benoot at the end of the stage at the top of a hill. But those shots suddenly dropped 151 kilometers into the special when Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin collided with a handwritten cardboard sign held by the infamous spectator and triggered a domino effect that wiped out half the field. Of the 188 runners, only one could not continue: Jasha Sütterlin.

Describing the incident on German television, Martin said he was at the front with all of his Jumbo-Visma teammates.

“I wanted to pass my teammate Robert Gesink on the right,” he said. “I saw that [the spectator] was holding something in his hand, but it happens a lot on the Tour. You have to assume that it will move sideways. Otherwise, we have to give every fan a big place, and then we won’t do anything else here. “

Martin said he noticed that the viewer’s attention was not on the pitch, but on the TV motorbike, but he could no longer avoid hitting the sign: “There was no space and no time. reaction for me. I ran there and I had no chance “

With around 90 riders and motorcycles spilled on top of each other, it was astonishing that no one was more seriously injured. This included Sütterlin, who suffered a badly lacerated wrist.

He told the hospital, “I can’t really move my right wrist, so it was impossible for me to continue today. It’s a good thing that nothing is broken, but I can’t say more than I am so disappointed to be coming home. I wish the rest of the guys the best of luck on the Tour.

A few years ago Sütterlin said: “I love cycling and this is my life. I have turned my hobby into a profession and I want to live it as long as possible. Cycling is the coolest sport of all because it takes place on the road and you don’t fight the others. The only opponent you have in cycling is yourself. And anything can happen. You never know exactly what to expect 100%.

Certainly, no one expected a fan holding a cardboard sign to drop half the peloton on the opening stage of the Tour de France.

* * *

The lost boys of the Tour: Three riders were forced to abandon the race during stage 1: Sütterlin; Frenchman Cyril Lemoine of B&B Hotels-KTM (four broken ribs, a cut behind the right ear and a collapsed lung); and Lithuanian Ignatas Konovalovas from Groupama-FDJ (concussion). Spaniard Marc Soler, one of the best climbers in the Movistar team, was unable to start stage 2 after bravely completing stage 1 (with two broken elbows). And three riders were forced to abandon the race during stage 3: Australian Jack Haig from Bahrain Victorious (broken collarbone); Dutch Robert Gesink from Jumbo-Visma (concussion and broken collarbone); and Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan from Lotto-Soudal (broken collarbone). As a result, the Tour’s starting peloton, made up of 184 people, was reduced to 177.


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