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"Today was a good day, it was tricky to be smart enough and not waste too much energy while marking the important moves but we did a perfect job- Yesterday I felt still a bit tired after the Worlds, but today I felt better and I a...

Photo: Sirotti






04.10.2013 @ 20:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

John Degenkolb benefited from perfect teamwork to win the second stage of the Eurometropole Tour in a sprint finish and move into 3rd on GC. With teammate Ramon Sinkeldam up the road in a break that was caught inside the final kilometre, the German could stay calm in the bunch until it was time to launch his devastating sprint.


John Degenkolb continued the strong run of late-season form that has seen him win the Vattenfall Cyclassics and finish 2nd in the Brussels Cycling Classic and GP d'Isbergues when he won today's 2nd stage of the Eurometropole Tour. Having lost each other in the hectic finale on stage 1, the team made everything right today and delivered their perfect sprinter perfectly to the finish line.


The team found itself in the perfect position when Ramon Sinkeldam had joined Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha) to form a front trio that had a 24-second gap with 3km to go. With Sinkeldam being the fastest of the escapees, his Argos-Shimano teammates could stay calm in the peloton, confident that they would have a shot at the stage win regardless of the breakaway's fate.


Ultimately, the group was brought back and so it was time for the famous Argos train to kick into action. Bert De Backer and Roy Curvers made a perfect lead-out and Degenkolb didn't disappoint.


"Today was a good day, it was tricky to be smart enough and not waste too much energy while marking the important moves but we did a perfect job," Degenkolv said. "Yesterday I felt still a bit tired after the Worlds, but today I felt better and I am very happy that I could finish off the excellent teamwork today."


"When Ramon was in the break we knew he had a good chance as he was the fastest, but unfortunately the other guys in the break didn't want to ride with him. It would have been good if he could have battled for the win himself."


With the win, Degenkolb takes 10 bonus seconds that elevates him to 3rd on GC, 4 seconds behind leader Jens Debusschere. In a race that is usually won by sprinters, he has a good shot at the overall victory but refuses to look too far ahead.


"From now on we will take it stage-by-stage and see how we get on in the GC," he said. "It will be a fight with bonus seconds, but hopefully we can repeat today's success."


Coach Marc Reef was impressed by his team that did most things right throughout the race.


“It was a perfect race from the team today," he said. "We started to help chase the break mid-race, and then Belkin split the bunch into echelons. We were in a good position with Ramon and Roy [Curvers] in the front group."

"After a few kilometres the groups came back together and Ramon, together with two others, attacked. They stayed away till the final kilometre meaning that all the other guys could group around John, react to attacks and prepare John for the sprint."


The team is famously known for its lead-outs and the team lived up to its reputation in today's sprint.

"The train waited until the race came back together, then Bert De Backer and Roy Curvers started the lead-out for John," Reef said. "It was a perfect lead-out and the kind of lead-out that suits John best."

"You can really see the trust in each other and the communication between the guys which makes a real difference. It is always difficult to lead-out with different sprint trains, but all the guys are experienced and professionals and know what to do."


The race continues tomorrow with the 3rd stage which is expected to end in a bunch sprint.



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