John Degenkolb

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Weekend with the family before start of the season


150130_rolleWarming-up after the training. No, you did not misread and I did not misspell. Today we went on the rollers after training, to become warm again. It could not have been a nicer day than the last one of our training camp in Cambrils, but the cold wind was joined by rain. We rode two hours outside and after that we went on the rollers just to becoming warm again.

Unfortunately the weather in this region is not very good at this time of the year. Already at our first training camp before the turn of the year, the weather was quite cold. Besides that the new location for our training camps is very good, we enjoy the accommodation and the training routes.

But the weather is somewhat less than perfect. But maybe it is good in reference to the classic races, because I can get used to the low temperatures. Nevertheless there is always the risk to catching a cold. When you are training intervals uphill and you reach the top soaked with sweat, it would be better if the temperatures were mild. The airstream only is cooling your body down already. And in reference to Dubai I could not get used to warm temperatures.

Now I am looking forward to spending the weekend with my family - with my son and my wife. My parents will be there, too. On Monday we will start out for Dubai, where I will start into the new season. I am looking forward to it.

Further News

I’m a father


I have had some eventful days lately, including a great team presentation on my birthday. But there was one event, which is the greatest one in my life. Since January 2, I have been a father, Laura and I are the proud parents of Leo Robert Degenkolb. We now have our own little family.

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Ski tour in the Taunus mountains


1000 meters climbing altitude, three and a half hours, two blisters. I left my bike at home again today and tried out my skis. First I skated for an hour, to warm up. Then I strapped on the tour skis and scrambling through the Taunus started.

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Athlete of the year for the second time


Two years in Frankfurt, two times Athlete of the Year. I am proud to have defended my title. Thanks to everyone who voted for me. We had a great evening at the Athletes’ Gala and properly celebrated my victory. We filled the 7 liter wine jug, which was the trophy, with "Ebbelwoi", or apple wine – and then of course emptied it.

Great mood at the German movie premiere


There was a sold-out house yesterday for Tony Martin, Marcel Kittel and me in Erfurt. Over 500 people joined us in the large theater in the Cinestar to watch the film "Nieuwe Helden". Seeing it now at the start of the season was another great motivation. The enthusiasm in the theater was really unbelievable.

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Holiday in Barcelona and Athlete of the Year voting


It looks like I left just in time, when I think of the weather in Germany. This afternoon my wife Laura and I got off to Barcelona, where the weather is significantly better. We will relax here for a few days. Before leaving, of course I took a look at the course for the Tour de France 2015.

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Finally time off


I am happy that the season is finally over. Physically I still feel good, but of course I can tell that it was a long season. But my head is totally exhausted. That just made it all the better to win Paris-Bourges.

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Second at Binche-Chimay-Binche


That was quite a nasty race today. I did not feel fresh today and in addition, there was awfully much wind and rain. The extremly strong attack by Zdenek Stybar prevented me from winning today. In the finale the team worked together very well, caught back the last breakaway, and did everything for a sprint finale.

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The last three races


It is time to show a sign of life. You have to understand that I needed to take a deep breath after this toing and froing before the world championships. The pressure, that rested with me and I made myself, was so high. At the Vuelta I was in good shape and it was forseeable that I would be one of the favorites for the world championships.

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I want to ride a good finale


I am satisfied with the work I did today. Actually I feel good, although my body can look back at a hard week. I am happy that I have made it her this far and can be at the start tomorrow morning. My goal now is to ride a good finale, and actually just to get that far. The course is good for me.

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Going to the World Championships


My blood values have by now recovered so well that I can travel tomorrow to Spain. I want to try everything so that I can be at the start in the World Championships. Now I can train again normally and hope that I will be there on Sunday. The infection values are almost normal again.

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There was no celebration


I would much rather be writing right now about the fantastic celebration my teammates and I had in honour of my green jersey and four stage wins. But you know how things go, and sometimes good and bad luck are not that far apart. There was no celebration. I am writing this from the hospital.

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On the verge of winning the green jersey


39 point lead with only two stages left. Valverde must finish second two times in order to catch me. Of course I hope that that doesn’t happen. I am on the verge of being able to take home the jersey a Grand Tour. Not just having worn it for one or two stages, but as the overall winner in the ranking. That would be fantastic.

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Risking it all, winning it all


I am almost speechless in light of fourth win here. Crazy. Above all I am proud of my team. We risked everything, everyone went on their limit for this win, or at least to make a sprint possible. I then had the luck to crown our work. And as for the green jersey? Well, I have a 35 point lead. Maybe that will be enough...

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Number three


Victory number three at this Vuelta, thanks to my team. It did not work exactly the way we had planned, but that does not matter. A circuit is always tricky and at the end we were not enough of us to make the pace in the front of the bunch. Fortunately we did not need to and Ramon did a great job. He made a good leadout and I could go ahead. Fantastic.

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A unpleasant time trial


This was probably the most non-rhythmic and most unpleasant time trial I ever did. Not only the profile was difficult; it went up and down on narrow roads and there were so many corners. When I was at the steep part of the climb I said to myself, if I have descended now and wheeled my bike, I would not be any slower.

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It could have been worth


Since I deleted the word 'to crash' out of my vocabulary - I do not want to talk about it because I am sick of it - I want to tell you about a different mishap: I measured the street in a corner ;-) The race started very fast and I could not hang on at the first climb and so I tried to go as fast as possible downhill.

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Victory number two at the Vuelta


Today it was not that "easy" to win the stage compared to yesterday. I had to go the extra mile after nearly missing a corner. I lost Koen's wheel. Another rider from a different team slipped into it, but he could not hang on. So there was a gap and I was thinking for a short time if I needed to close it or not.

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What a big relief


Today's victory was long overdue. 13 times I've been second this season. I never wanted to count but last night it seized me and I sat down with Koen and we counted: 13 second places. Unbelievable. If you planned something like that, you would never be able to do it. So I am very happy, that I could win the stage.

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Just a few centimetres and better timing


Just a few centimetres and better timing were missing for the first stage win at this Vuelta. Bouhanni was able to finnish a perfect lead out by his team. FDJ did the final kilometres in that way as we had planned to do. One kilometre before the finish was a right angle corner. There we wanted to be in front, but we were too far behind.

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6th place in the team time trial


The 6th place in the team time trial was a decent result for our team. We focused on a good start and it worked. And so we have a good atmosphere in the team too. I think no team did a accurate job on this demanding course today. Some did more mistakes, others did less mistakes, so that different time gaps emerged.

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Time for a short review


My personal goal of bringing in a stage win unfortunately didn’t work out. But looking back and considering the circumstances, I am very satisfied with the Tour. I can’t change the two second places and now look forward. Marcel topped off all our work in the final stage and in fact in the whole Tour with his win yesterday.

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Third time second in a Tour


Only second again. I am incredibly disappointed. Unfortunately I was a few meters and seven seconds behind. And unfortunately we had really bad luck as a team. Because of crashes and mechanicals, I was alone in the finale and nobody could close the gap to Navardauskas.

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Sometimes it is pretty spartan


Yesterday we were in a really roomy hotel and today in a Campanile. The hotels we stay in are just as different as the terrains on which we are underway. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. At the Tour we riders can absolutely not expect every luxury and good food, sometimes it is pretty spartan.

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Mark van Bommel visited us


Mark van Bommel visited us today. And before someone starts to complain, that I am in the photo with him ;-), he is really a very impressive personality. And yes, he said that we played really well at the World Cup. He still has contact to some Bayern players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, for example.

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Six days to go


When I look around here, I would think that after a great rest day, we will have a very uncomfortable stage. The wind is very strong and the first 80 kilometers are over narrow roads in open areas, and it is rolling terrain, as well. So that means, ride attentively and be careful, so that you don’t get dropped through an echelon before you even get to the climbs.

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Something is missing in my life today


Something is missing in my life today, and it is Dries. Many greetings to Dries, who unfortunately couldn’t ride on after his crash yesterday. He always sat next to me on the bus. But I miss him not only there but also in the race, where he, like everyone else on the team, has important tasks so that we can all be successful together.

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Surprised by second place


This morning I would not have thought that I would ride for the stage win. The rest day really worked wonders. It really does help when for a change you don’t have to hit those pedals with 600 Watt and your muscles can recover. I didn’t do anything yesterday except for an hour on the roller.

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Finally rest day


We have a hard "long weekend" in Alsace behind us. I am really exhausted now, especially since I have been slightly handicapped by my injured muscle. Because of the French national holiday, the first week of the Tour was one day longer than usual for us.

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Through the day without major pain


The muscle held! At first I didn’t want to believe it, but I got through the day without major pain. I don’t want to break out in euphoria, and I know that something like this doesn’t heal overnight. But it was simply great to be able to ride without the hellish pain that I had the last few days. It was almost unbearable.

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Pain-free on the bike for two and a half hours


I have just laid down on my bed and am cooling my injuries. I hope that it helps. I could ride pain-free the first two and a half hours today. But then it just kept getting worse. I had so much to do to take care of myself that I couldn’t help the other guys.

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