John Degenkolb

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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.

Otherwise it was once again an overwhelming team performance again today. The other teams didn’t make it easy for us. We tried to hold everything together, but suddenly three men were able to ride away. That is the price you pay when you have won four stages. The other teams don’t support us any more. Only Greenedge rode with us in the finale.

But Hansen was too strong in the finale. As a team, I must say that we were surprised by the closing climb. We hadn’t really figured on it. Actually we thought there wouldn’t be anything else and there were three of us, but then it tore everything apart. So I am very satisfied with my second place, especially since it brought me more important points. I hope that now at last it is enough...

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Further News

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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Thwarted by two crashes


A bruise on the bottom, more exactly the Gluteus Maximus, and a muscle hemorrhage is what I am bringing away from today’s stage – and I had such big plans. But unfortunately I crashed twice, the first time with Marcel. That wasn’t so bad. I got back on my bike again quickly and could continue.

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Premiere on rainy Roubaix pave?


The party goes on. Four stages, three wins. We are all super happy, even if our lead out didn’t work out perfectly. Marcel showed today that he can also master a difficult situation alone. It is crazy, how strongly he closed that gap to Kristoff and then went on to win. He is simply incredibly strong.

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Unforgettable days in England


I say goodbye to England with this wheelie photo from Jenkin Road in the second stage. The last three days are almost impossible to describe. I felt as if I were at a rock festival. The mass of people made it a huge and also loud spectacle. My ears are still ringing. There were people simply everywhere, no matter how small the village or how narrow the street.

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A perfect start to the Tour


First sprint, first win for our team and the yellow jersey. What could be better? We had a scary moment in the finale when Cancellara attacked. But as quickly as the moment came, it was equally quickly gone. We soon discovered that we were strong enough to bring him back. I rode the last meters to catch him and then the sprint really began.

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Satisfied with my form despite second place


Of course I am disappointed to have the second place. When you stand on the podium and have just missed out on the jersey, it is bitter. But I have nothing for which to blame myself today. Perhaps I was too early in the wind, opened the sprint against Andre too soon, but it is only with a long spring that I can beat him as a pure sprinter.

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We want to get the jersey


After having to leave the Tour de Suisse because of my crash, things are going better for me again. My scrape wounds are all healed. My skin is quite pink, as you can see in the before-and-after photo. In the meantime I can train again without constraints, and rode one block of up to six hours.

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Too much risk to keep going


By now I am at home. After another more or less sleepless night because of scrape wounds, we decided that I should leave the Tour de Suisse. A decision like that is not easy, but when I consider the advantages and disadvantages, it is the right one.

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Like being run over by a tractor


Boy, am I happy that this day is over. I feel like I was run over by a tractor. My body is apparently no longer used to coping with huge scrape wounds. I really can’t remember the last time I lost so much skin. It is not just that the body sticks all of its strength in healing the wounds.

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A crash in the neutralized section


Things went so wrong today in the neutralized section, that I had to strip on the road and change both by jersey and shorts. The ones I started out in were totally in tatters. At the start of the stage we had a descent, with a gradient of up to 18 percent. After a few meters, I noticed that there was something happening with my front tire.

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From altitude training to the Tour de Suisse


The altitude training camp is over tomorrow and I will head to the Tour de Suisse. I have trained very well in the last weeks here in the Sierra Nevada, have stayed healthy and could also prepare myself very well mentally for the next weeks and especially for the Tour.

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Surprised by my legs


Yesterday was the first day here in California on which I felt more or less good on the climbs. My body has found the rhythm now and is accustomed to the heat. That was good because while there were "only" two mountains according to the profile, I had the feeling that it went up and down the whole day.

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Cooling off in the ocean after the stage


I can't remember ever having ridden a race in such heat before. My SRM showed me an average of 44°, with the maximum being 48°. It felt as it someone was holding a blowdryer in our face the whole stage. The wind didn't cool us off at all.

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