The First Endurance sponsored HTC-Highroad claimed their third straight victory in France’s Criterium du Dauphiné after sprinter, John Degenkolb powered home in first place on stage four for his second individual win of the race.
Already victorious on stage two’s uphill dash for the line in Lyon on Tuesday, 48 hours later in Macon, the first-year fastman proved he is equally at home on the flatter sprint finishes. Combined with time trial specialist, Tony Martin succeeding on Wednesday’s time trial stage, Degenkolb’s latest triumph makes it three wins out of three in the Criterium du Dauphiné for HTC-Highroad.
“If you get one stage win in a tough race like this, it’s pretty good, so taking three in a row is pretty amazing,” said HTC-Highroad sports director Brian Holm, “John’s confidence was really high after he took that uphill sprint against some real specialists in that kind of finish. So we kept it under control in the last few kilometers, putting a couple of guys on the front, with Jan Ghyselinck and Gatis Smukulis keeping the pace high.”
“There are some big name sprinters here and to tell the truth I wasn’t too sure if John’d be able to match them on the flat as well as he had on the uphill. But it seems like we’ve got a guy who’s got a little bit of Erik Zabel in him and a little bit of Mark Cavendish, and he did absolutely fine.”
|1||John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad||4:15:41|
|2||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling|
|3||Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard|