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Sunday, April 12, 2015

From Sanremo to Roubaix, Degenkolb makes history -

From Sanremo to Roubaix, Degenkolb makes history -
John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) spent much of 2014 rueing his second place at that year's Paris-Roubaix. In 2015, he moved up to the top step on the podium, earning himself a cobblestone trophy. Photo: Tim De Waele |
ROUBAIX, France (VN) — John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) spent the winter reliving last year’s Paris-Roubaix. His 2014 second-place haunted him as he trained at altitude and spent evenings watching the highlight reel over and over to see how he might have come out on top.
A year later, he found the answer: attack and make the race unfold on his terms.
On a windy, fast Roubaix on Sunday, it was Degenkolb who was on the move. And the new-found aggression and confidence paid off with a historic Milano-Sanremo-Roubaix double, just the third time in cycling history that the same rider has won both monuments in one season.
“I watched [the video] of Roubaix many times, and thought about what I could have done better. If I would have waited today, probably my result would have not been much better than last year,” Degenkolb said. “I attacked with 10km to go. I felt, ‘This is the moment.’ I felt like I had something left in the tank. It was all or nothing.”
In 2014, the 26-year-old German followed wheels, and was out-gunned when Quick-Step had three riders in a 10-man group, and Degenkolb could only watch as Niki Terpstra powered to victory. He salvaged the day by winning the reduced bunch sprint for second, but being so close only made him want more.
Flash forward one year, and Degenkolb was determined to forge his own destiny on a Sunday that featured Bradley Wiggins’ final race in a Sky jersey. In conditions that were similar to 2014, with a brisk tailwind and dusty cobbles that served up a high-speed race, all the major moves packed into the final hour of racing. Degenkolb was set on not seeing a replay of archrival’s Etixx-Quick-Step’s domination.