John Degenkolb sprints to second place despite pain
Jul 12 2017 01:44 am CET

John Degenkolb sprints to second place despite pain

Trek-Segafredo rider John Degenkolb is happy with his second place at the tenth stage of the Tour de France, in which he was beaten only by his compatriot and former teammate Marcel Kittel.

"Super hectic, super crazy," said Degenkolb about the final of the stage. "I was always focusing, together with Koen (de Kort), to stay on Lotto Soudal's train because they were strong and organized. They did a great job. With 2kms to go I lost a good position, and I had to come from very far. Luckily Marcel (Kittel) was also this far back, and out of the last corner I was in his wheel. I think we were in position 25 or something. I was just trying to stay on his wheel, trying to hang on."

The second place can be considered a surprise as only a week ago Degenkolb was one of the victims of the infamous crash involving Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan.

"I still have a lot of pain from the crash," explained the German. "On the bike I am the most comfortable, but I still cannot really lift my arm, and during the race I cannot really get bidons or musettes from the side of the road. My teammates have to take it for me because I still cannot put a lot of pressure on the shoulder as there's still a lot of pain.

"I tried to stay in a good position, but it was super hectic, super nervous. When I was going into the last kilometer, I thought actually that the sprint is already over, but then a small miracle happened that Marcel overtook me on the right side and I could get on his wheel. I had to do a full sprint to just stay in his slipstream, but that gave me the opportunity to get second in the end.

"I am happy with second; it is my best place so far in this Tour. After all that has happened, this is pretty good, and we still have some more opportunities. It's a good boost of confidence; I am optimistic, my shape is good, and I will fight again tomorrow and the days after. Like I said, the Tour is the Tour, and everything can still happen."

Degenkolb took to Facebook shortly after the stage to celebrate his second place with his fans. "I am today more than happy. This finale today feels pretty much like a win," he wrote.
Photo of John Degenkolb by Mary Cárdenas /



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