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“We planned to do what FDJ did and it worked well for them. It’s frustrating not to take this good opportunity but there will be more chances and we can learn from it and get stronger."

Photo: Sirotti








24.08.2014 @ 20:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

John Degenkolb showed amazing speed to finish second behind Nacer Bouhanni in the first road stage of the Vuelta a Espana but lost out due to poor positioning. The German revealed that his Giant-Shimano team had planned to enter the final turns in the first position but they were passed by the FDJ train.


John Degenkolb came up just short of taking the first sprint opportunity of the Vuelta a España on stage two, coming from a long way back to take second place.


The team had to work hard in the final kilometres to hold their position through the technical approach to the line but into the final kilometre Degenkolb sat in around sixth wheel and looked in a good position. As the sprint was launched Degenkolb had to come from a way back passing riders all the way to the line but not managing to get past Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) who took the stage win.


A break of six riders formed straight after the drop of the flag and that was the situation set for the majority of the day. Six became for after the one and only categorised climb of the day and behind the chase was well organised and steady to keep a check on their advantage out front.


The team kept out of trouble with the focus to protect Degenkolb and get him into the best position possible for a fast finish. The catch was made and into the final ten kilometres the pace continued to rise as different teams prepared their trains for the sprint.


The final few kilometres were technical and the high pace in the bunch made it hard to move up as a team. The team were slightly boxed in as the closing kilometres ticked by and as a result Degenkolb was isolated as the race flew under the red kite.


Degenkolb had to come from a long way back to get up to Bouhanni who opened up the sprint and held on to win, with John closing in fast behind.


“We tried to come to the front too early and this meant that when it really mattered we were lacking power,” said Degenkolb after the finish. “This left us too far back and boxed in. I also missed Ramon [Sinkeldam] at the finish too after he got sandwiched in the final kilometres.


“We planned to do what FDJ did and it worked well for them. It’s frustrating not to take this good opportunity but there will be more chances and we can learn from it and get stronger.”


Ramon Sinkeldam said: “It was harder than expected today, mainly due to the heat. We were together riding well but then at the end it didn’t come together.


“At 800m to go someone rode into me from behind and I only just managed to stay on the bike. This meant that I lost ground though and couldn’t be there to help John. I think without this I could have helped John up a few places for the sprint.”


Team coach Lionel Marie added: “It was a good result but the victory wasn’t far off. The final was difficult to negotiate and the team struggled to move up at the end. John did a great sprint to take second but it was an effort that could have won him the stage.


“The guys are young here and can learn from days like this.”



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