Degenkolb sprints to first win in Dubai stage 3
Trek-Segafredo's John Degenkolb timed his jump perfectly and sprinted to the win in stage three of the Dubai Tour on Thursday
Third time's the charm, and John Degenkolb timed his jump perfectly and sprinted to the win in stage three of the Dubai Tour on Thursday. After two stages to get it right, finishing fourth both times, Degenkolb - positioned perfectly again by the Trek-Segafredo leadout - nailed the finale: this time waiting before jumping around Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) in the final meters to grab a huge victory.
"I am very happy with this victory," gushed Degenkolb soon after the finish. "I really wanted to get this win for the teammates, for the whole team. They did such a tremendous job, and they really deserve the win."
"It was pretty hard the last two kilometers," he continued. "We had to come from pretty far back, but we as a team kept really calm and waited for the moment. It was most important we stayed together and helped each other and in the end. We had a super good leadout, and I could jump on Kiel's (Reijnen) wheel and then luckily I could overtake in the last few meters. It was just perfect; the timing was right."
The wind finally reared its head in the 200-kilometer stage three, first as a blistering tailwind, then in a crazy sand-blown crosswind that caused echelons and splits in the peloton. In one moment, John Degenkolb was caught in the second group with Marcel Kittel (Quick Step-Floors), but eventually, the two groups rejoined.
"It was truly amazing, crazy, an epic stage I think," said Degenkolb. "I was at the limit all day. In the crosswinds, I wasn't immediately in the first group, but I fought hard to rejoin them. During the stage, I thought that we are crazy to do this! We spoke to the officials to find a solution we all could be happy with, but by the time we did this, it was clear it would be better in a few moments."
"Races like these are also mental games. It is great to get such great support from your teammates. For me, that’s crucial because these races you also win them in the head. The team kept believing in me even if I didn't feel super great after the sandstorm."
With his win, Degenkolb grabbed a 10-second bonus and moved into third place in the overall. Kittel maintained the leader's jersey over Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) in second.
Degenkolb: "In the end, it was amazing to see the team working this hard and to be able to give them the victory." When we asked him how does it feel for you, Degenkolb replied: "For me, it was more important to give the team the victory. I am really happy to get the trust from them - this feeling is just amazing."
2017 Dubai Tour Stage 3 Results Top 10
Dubai Tour 2017 – stage 3 results (Dubai – Al Aqah):
1 John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) 4:03:08
2 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data) ,,
3 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) ,
4 Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNl-Jumbo ) ,,
5 Riccardo Minali (Astana) ,,
6 Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) ,,
7 Elia Viviani (Team Sky) ,,
8 Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) ,,
9 Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) ,,
10 Daniele Bennati (Movistar) ,,
General classification after stage 3:
1 Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 12:34:54
2 Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) +08”
3 John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) +10”
4 Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF) +13”
5 Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) +14”
6 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data) ,,
7 Alex Dowsett (Movistar) ,,
8 Thomas Stewart (ONE) ,,
9 Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina) +16”
10 Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) ,,
VIDEO: 2017 Dubai Tour Stage 3 Highlights
Degenkolb sprints to first win in Dubai stage 3 Photo credit: Bettiniphoto