m3n4.net
m3n4.net August 17, 2018


Vehicle crash victim Degenkolb back in business

19 July 2018, 12:58 | Tracey Rhodes

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Dan Martin is hoping the injuries sustained in a stage-eight crash will not slow him down now the Tour de France has reached his favoured terrain in the mountains.

Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas warmed down on the rollers in the shadow of the Roubaix velodrome, with the dust and fatigue of their Tour de France trip through the Hell of the North mixed with satisfaction and relief.

The German, who won the Queen of the Classics in 2015, was one of three riders to jump away from the main pack 19km from the line and he was the fastest in the final sprint, beating overall race leader Greg van Avermaet of Belgium.

The crash also saw André Greipel needing treatment while Movistar's José Joaquin Rojas has also been forced to abandon the race.

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And Romain Bardet suffered a string of mechanical issues, as the general classification contenders endured a testing day on the cobbles.

Sunday's Stage 9 will take riders over 15 cobbled paths scattered along 21.7 kilometers of the 156.5-kilometer course from Arras to Roubaix, near the Belgian border.

Questions will be asked about the leadership issue at Sky after Geraint Thomas abandoned Froome when a mechanical failure saw the four-time victor crash late on.

It marked Degenkolb's biggest victory since a career threatening incident on a training ride in 2016, when the German and five of his then Giant-Alpecin team-mates were hit by a auto travelling on the wrong side of the road.

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"It's pure happiness. It's really hard to describe the feeling", a teary-eyed Degenkolb, who is participating in his sixth Tour de France, said afterwards. When we got closer to the finish I was a bit nervous because of the head wind and I didn't think it was going to happen.

Trek Segafredo's Degenkolb outsprinted Van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert to win.

Rein Taaramae was third ahead of Van Avermaet, who defied pre-stage expectations by not only retaining the yellow jersey but even gaining time on his rivals.

As the Tour resumed after a rest day with a trip into the Alps, the Quick-Step Floors rider was among a large group that broke clear from the peloton in the early part of Stage 10.

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Degenkolb's victory came at the end of a crash strewn stage, which lived up to expectations of being a key one for general classification contenders. "I was feeling all right, I was as in a good position all the time, so yeah, all in all, it was a pretty good day".



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