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“The plan was to ride for John again today but also to protect Warren in the difficult last five kilometres. In the end the final climb was too hard for John and Warren just got caught the wrong side of a split at the finish."

Photo: Sirotti

JOHANNES FRÖHLINGER

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JOHN DEGENKOLB

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KOEN DE KORT

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TEAM SUNWEB

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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25.08.2014 @ 21:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

John Degenkolb went into today's stage of the Vuelta a Espana hoping that he would be in contention for the stage win. Having been brought into the perfect position, the German faded backwards on the final climb.

 

Team Giant-Shimano took control of the peloton at just the right time late on stage three of La Vuelta a España as the roads became technical and required a cool head, however the final ramp to the finish line proved too much for John Degenkolb as he faded with the puncheurs coming to the fore.

 

The whole team moved to the front of the peloton in the fight for control ahead of a difficult and tight pinch-point in the closing kilometres and managed to safely negotiate their way through with John in a strong position but as the road turned upwards Degenkolb faded and Warren Barguil was eventually the first across the line for the team.

 

The race as expected all came back together in the final 20 kilometres with the peloton still together, and as the kilometres ticked by the fight for control of the head of the bunch heightened. With just over six kilometres remaining all nine riders came to the fore with the initial target of safely getting through a very tight right hand bend with just over two kilometres to race.

 

They did a great job coming around the turn with Degenkolb in the front five riders, and out of the corner the race headed into the final hill before the finish. It was going to be a tough task but Degenkolb was looking good at the front until the punchier climbers came over the top and shape of the race soon turned from a sprint to a battle not to lose second on GC.

 

As Degenkolb faded Barguil fought hard to make up ground and not get caught behind any splits. As he came across the line in 44th place a gap between riders ahead left him seven seconds down on the front sixteen riders on the day.

 

Team Giant-Shimano coach Christian Guiberteau said after the stage: “The plan was to ride for John again today but also to protect Warren in the difficult last five kilometres. In the end the final climb was too hard for John and Warren just got caught the wrong side of a split at the finish.

 

“Despite this we can be pleased with how the guys rode as a unit today, especially in the final and also then Warren had a flat tyre on the last descent. They didn’t panic and brought him back and held their position well when at the front. Also no one was in trouble on the climbs which is good to see.”

 

Johannes Fröhlinger added: “It was really really hot out there today, and with over five hours racing it made for a tough day. In the final we tried to go for John but it was a bit much for him, but it was good to try. Warren didn’t have the best legs today I don’t think and lost a bit of time but not much so this was OK.

 

“I am getting into the rhythm of racing here now after feeling a bit tired after the travelling with [the Arctic Race of] Norway. I felt better today than yesterday and am looking forward to the racing now.”

 

Koen De Kort, the last rider leading out John on the final hill, also added: “We planned on getting John as far as possible at the front into the last kilometre. We did a good lead-out for this and I managed to do the first part of the climb but it turned out to be a very tough finish.

 

“It was definitely worth a try though and the teamwork was good so that’s something we can build on.”

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