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“It was good to see the guys working together so well in just the first race of the season. They stuck to the plan and even if John couldn’t quite finish it off they did a good job and showed good form which bodes well for Bess&...

Photo: Team Giant-Shimano






03.02.2014 @ 17:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) was widely tipped as the favourite in the first race of the European season, the GP La Marseillaise. The German could only manage 4th in the final sprint but the Dutch team remains satisfied with their first outing on their own continent.


The opening race of the European racing calendar, the GP Marseillaise saw John Degenkolb kick off his own season with a fourth place. The 140km opener in the south of France came down to a sprint after breakaways dominated most of the race, as the front group came back together on the long descent off the final climb of the day in the run in to the finish.


Giant-Shimano had helped bring things back together and placed Degenkolb up at the front of the peloton in the closing kilometres from which point he powered through for fourth place in a hectic sprint showing that he is already on his way back up to race speed in his first race back after a hard winter’s preparation for the new season.


The result may not have been what the team expected but coach Christian Guiberteau was satisfied with the outcome.


 “We planned for two scenarios today, one being to set John up for the sprint and the other for Warren Barguil and Tobias Ludvigsson to go with the breaks given the unpredictability of this race," he said. “We took control in the final 30km and then Tobias went with a group on the final climb, but everything came back together and the guys got together to set John up.


“It was good to see the guys working together so well in just the first race of the season. They stuck to the plan and even if John couldn’t quite finish it off they did a good job and showed good form which bodes well for Bessèges in the week.”


On Wednesday, many of the same riders, including Degenkolb and Ludvigsson, will line up for the 5-day Etoile de Besseges while Marcel Kittel will lead another part of the team in the Dubai Tour.



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