Degenkolb and Argos Shimano derailed by gaps in finale of Giro d’Italia stage one
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Degenkolb and Argos Shimano derailed by gaps in finale of Giro d’Italia stage one

by VeloNation Press at 1:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Complex finish to race scuppers chances

John DegenkolbWinner of five stages in last year’s Vuelta a España, John Degenkolb’s intention to square up against Mark Cavendish and others in the hunt for the first pink jersey of this year’s Giro was frustrated today.

The German sprinter was caught out when a crash in the finale split the main bunch, with ten riders fighting it out for the win and Cavendish beating Elia Viviani (Cannondale Pro Cycling), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and seven others to the line.

Degenkolb led home the next group for eleventh, eighteen seconds back. His leadout man Koen de Kort explained the problem afterwards.

“We tried to bring John back in position but when we found out that we wouldn’t make it we knew our chance was over,” he said. “If there was no crash I am sure that we could have dropped John off in the right position with four guys but unfortunately things like that happen.”

Despite the disappointing result, de Kort takes encouragement from how they performed. “We rode a fantastic race together, we stayed the whole time as a team. There are more chances to come. It’s good to see the team is looking so strong!”

The team’s sports manager Addy Engels believes the Argos Shimano riders performed well, but were caught out by an error. “For a first stage it was really hectic. The circuit was nervous and so were the riders. We controlled together with Omega Pharma-Quickstep, taking responsibility and putting our trust in John.

“In the final they lost each other in the u-turn with about six km to go. It was a mistake and the speed was so high that it was hard to get back.”

Still, he sees reasons to feel encouraged. “Fortunately John showed us that we can trust him by winning the bunch sprint,” he said. “He feels good and his legs were good. We expected more but we got through stage one and can now look forward.”

The race continues tomorrow with a team time trial. Argos Shimano are likely to have to give way to other teams in the battle for victory, although they’ll do what they can to be prominent. Degenkolb knows there are other sprint chances coming up, though, and he and the team will be determined to try to get things right the next time a big gallop is on the cards.


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