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“John had a puncture on the Kemmelberg. He was in good position, but it went really hard and on the Kemmelberg there were no team cars so he had to wait for neutral service. He tried for 20km but the front was gone."

Photo: ANSA - DAL ZENNARO / PERI

GENT-WEVELGEM

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JOHN DEGENKOLB

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TEAM SUNWEB

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29.03.2015 @ 22:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

John Degenkolb’s chances of a repeat victory at Gent-Wevelgem went out of the window on the Kemmelberg today as he punctured at possibly the worst moment of the race, leaving him out of contention.

 

Degenkolb punctured at the point where cars were diverted around the climb and so had to wait for neutral service before trying to chase back on but with the front of the race going full gas the chase was fruitless.

 

Earlier in the day Albert Timmer had got away in the day’s early breakaway and spend a large part of the race up the road before the fireworks kicked off behind that saw his move swallowed up before the race selection formed.

 

The race itself turned into a battle for survival as the wet and extremely windy weather conditions took their toll on the peloton. A small selection formed in the final kilometres of the race with the chasers several minutes behind, and from these leaders Luca Paolini (Katusha) outwitted the rest to take the race victory.

 

 

“The plan for the team today was from the beginning to be in the front and be there in the splits that came,” explained coach Aike Visbeek. “The second part was that if an early break went then be there with Albert and that worked perfect so that was good. At the end we wanted to be with John a a few others to support in the final but the weather was so extreme today that it decided the race.

 

“John had a puncture on the Kemmelberg. He was in good position, but it went really hard and on the Kemmelberg there were no team cars so he had to wait for neutral service. He tried for 20km but the front was gone.

 

“The positive things of today were the good effort from Albert in the break and alsio Zico [Waeytens] did another strong ride. He helped John out a lot earlier at key points and then he still rode a good final. He’s still young and lacks a bit of experience but he showed that in these kind of races he can do a top ten so that’s really promising.”

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