Degenkolb delight in Poland
John Degenkolb sprinted to victory on the final stage of the Tour de Pologne.
Last Updated: 16/07/12 9:58pm
John Degenkolb sprinted to victory on the final stage of the Tour de Pologne as Moreno Moser wrapped up the general classification.
Degenkolb was led out perfectly by his Argos-Shimano team-mates as the 131.4km stage into Krakow reached its conclusion in stormy conditions, with the 23-year-old German kicking on in the final 100m to edge out Team Sky duo Ben Swift and Mathew Hayman..
Swift’s third-place finish proved enough to wrap up the points classification, while Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) rolled home safely in the bunch to seal his overall victory with a five-second cushion over Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step).
Team Sky had been active once again from the start with Juan Antonio Flecha being one of 12 riders who formed the day’s main breakaway.
The group’s advantage was never allowed to stretch much over two minutes though, as teams like Garmin-Sharp, FDJ-Big Mat and Argos-Shimano worked together to keep the move in check.
That lead had dropped under a minute as they passed the 7km to go banner, and it was Flecha who split the group in two when he made a stinging attack as the race returned to the city centre.
Flecha was the only one to initially respond as well when Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) made his bid for glory soon after, but the group did come back together and an ill-timed game of cat and mouse meant they were all hauled back with 3km to go.
It was then that the heavens opened and the streets were quickly transformed into something more resembling a river. That didn’t stop the marauding bunch though, and Argos-Shimano executed a well-timed lead out down the long closing straight which saw Degenkolb seal his sixth win of the season and deny Hayman and Swift a perfect finish for Team Sky.
After the stage, Swift told TeamSky.com: "We tried our best at the finish but just got a little boxed in. Mat was trying everything he could to get us a good line and once we'd managed that we had a lot of speed, but we couldn't quite overhaul Degenkolb at the end. He deserved his win and congratulations to him.
"It was close for second place but neither Mat nor I wanted to take any chances on anyone else sneaking through so we both lunged for the line. Mat's got longer arms than me and that's what made the difference at the end (laughs).
"It was great for me to wrap up the points classification and a nice way to finish the week off. Sergio finishing third was fantastic for him and we also won the team classification - which was a nice bonus as well.”