inCycle video: Degenkolb poised to defend Gent-Wevelgem title

Giant-Alpecin sprinter recounts his 2014 victory

After his recent win at Milan-San Remo, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) is poised to continue that success and defend his title at the upcoming Gent-Wevelgem held on Sunday in Belgium.

Degenkolb won the 2014 Gent-Wevelgem in a sprint ahead of Arnaud Demaré (FDJ) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), who then raced with the Cannondale team.

He is cautious about this year's event, however, and said that the finale tends to be difficult to predict because the challenging 239-kilometer parcours, filled with crosswinds, cobbles, hills and narrow descents, offers opportunities for both a breakaway or a sprint.

In our recent inCycle video, Degenkolb reviewed last year’s race, remembering that an early breakaway had formed but that it wasn’t his team Giant-Shimano’s responsibility to control the situation because there were many other teams that wanted a sprint finish.

He also recounted a mid-race crash that blocked the road for much of the peloton and how difficult it was to jockey for position ahead of the tricky descent on course, as the race headed toward the finish.

Degenkolb spoke about luck, teammates' trust and communication in one another, and how important these factors were in his a team’s overall success at Gent-Wevelgem last year.

“It was really something special to win in Belgium, with all the passion of cycling, it was amazing,” he remembered. “Everybody was happy because you try to achieve a goal, and it was really nice to see that everyone was really happy that I could win here.”

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