Italy – John Degenkolb couldn’t have picked a better time to win his first pro race of ’13 and he did with strength, smarts and panache. Stage 5 was a relatively flat affair with the one big exception coming in the form of a long grind of a climb leading into the final city stretch.
The Argos-Shimano boys, including John, did a brilliant job of getting over that last riser and when Mark Cavendish couldn’t hang, knew there was an opportunity. As what remained of the group hit the last 5K it was a high-speed jockey for the front. The face of the race changed when a crash inside the last 1200M stopped virtually everybody and while John got through, the gallop turned from sprint finish into kilometer time trial. John was able to bridge up to Marco Canola and hold off a charging group for the win.
Quick to credit his team, John was overjoyed at the win and, along with Lucy Garner, accounted for one-half of a very, very prolific day of racing for Argos-Shimano.