WorldTeam John Degenkolb leaves strong impression at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

A strong race wasn't rewarded with a top result at the end.
Race 28 February 2021

Lotto Soudal rider John Degenkolb made a strong impression on the second day of the Belgian Opening Weekend but didn’t manage to take a top result in what was a nerve racking end to Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. A five-rider front group was eventually caught in the final kilometres of the race and it was Pedersen who took the victory in a sprint. John Degenkolb was a little too far back and had to settle for 17th place. The 32-year-old German feels disappointed after being left empty handed following a strong race.

“It was a fight until the bitter end and we really had to go flat out to close the gap on the front group”, begins John Degenkolb. “Those five guys were really strong. I am a little disappointed because the result doesn’t reflect what I was capable of today.”

The race was decided on the Oude Kwaremont, where John Degenkolb made a strong impression and reacted to an acceleration of Kasper Asgreen. This effort saw quite a big and strong group form in which Degenkolb was joined by teammate Frederik Frison. This chasing group went on a mission to catch a five-man front group with Van der Poel and Narvaez, who attacked from the peloton on the Kanarieberg, at 80 kilometres from the line. The front group was only caught in the final kilometres of the race and it all came down to a group sprint in which Mads Pedersen was the fastest. Degenkolb wasn’t rewarded for a strong race and had to settle for 17th place. 

John Degenkolb: “I am happy about how the team raced today, but in the end it wasn’t rewarded with a nice result. I felt very strong all day and I still had some energy left for the sprint, but unfortunately, I was a bit too far back going into the final corner. With a lot of riders in front of me, I couldn’t get a top result.”  

The next race for Degenkolb will be Le Samyn on Tuesday. Afterwards, the German will be at the start of Paris-Nice, to further finetune his form.

“Tuesday, there will be a new chance at Le Samyn and I am convinced that we can go for a good result. Via Paris-Nice, I hope to further build up the form to start the upcoming Classics in top shape”, concludes John Degenkolb.

Pictures: Photo News.

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