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"After that, I was too nervous, had lost my composure and made the mistake of doing too much. I paid the price on the last climb."

Photo: Sirotti






28.09.2015 @ 11:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

49 years after Rudi Altig’s Worlds title, the Germans again had to leave the battle for the rainbow jersey from empty-handed. Captain John Degenkolb rolled across the line 15 seconds behind winner Peter Sagan.


The winner of Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix and one of the favourites could not follow Sagan's attack on the penultimate climb, the cobbled 23nd Street, and like everyone else had to let the four-time winner of the green jersey at the Tour de France go.


"After that, I was too nervous, had lost my composure and made the mistake of doing too much. I paid the price on the last climb," Degenkolb told Radsport-News. He had nothing left for the climb of Governor Street where the chasers were fighting for the final two podium places.


Although the German team had worked a lot right on the 16 laps in Richmond, Degenkolb had to realize that it was "simply not enough.”. But perhaps the German captain had already done too much on Libby Hill, the first of th three final ascents, as he without any hesitation followed the attack of Zdenek Stybar.


If the two got away, Degenkolb would have the best chance at the gold medal, but their Rivals  caught them after the top. "On Libby Hill, I had no problems at following but then the engine had more or less exploded," said the 26-year-old who then used his energy in the pursuit of Sagan between 23nd Street and Governor Street.


In contrast, the three medalists were all on the offensive only once. Sagan attacked on 23nd Street, Matthews and Navardauskas saved some energy for the final climb. "I was between Van Avermaet and Kristoff and the field. Degenkolb was there at the top and brought me back,” the silver medalist from Australia said. Navardauskas explained after the race that it was important to wait and not attack too early on the final three because everyone only had one attempt. That was confirmed by Sagan who said, "I have only attacked once and I think it was the right attack."


Degenkolb failed even though he was always well positioned and left a very strong impression. "It is clear that the disappointment is big," he said. "I think we did a great race and were always in the mix.”


When a very strong group with defending champion Michal Kwiatkowski and former world champion Tom Boonen went clear in the penultimate lap, the Germans had no riders there and therefore had to react. "We could not join them in the situation as they are not bad riders," explained André Greipel, who sacrificed himself at this point of the race. "We lost four men, but if we had not chased, the group would have been gone," he added.


The chase was completed successfully, but now Degenkolb was alone in to the finale.  "We have done our best, I think John also did so. And, yes, we had hoped for more and are now naturally disappointed,” Greipel said.


"We rode very strongly together – I have to thank the guys for their support. I did my best, but it was not enough,” Degenkolb concluded.



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