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Tour de France blog: Next stop Corsica

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Stage 5 winner John Degenkolb (Team Argos-Shimano) makes his way to the podium

Stage 5 winner John Degenkolb (Team Argos-Shimano) makes his way to the podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Third place at Paris-Bourges went to John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano)

Third place at Paris-Bourges went to John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

So here we are, on the eve of the Tour de France and I can’t explain just how excited I am. It’s my first Tour, of course, and I enter the race with a lot of strong feelings. First and foremost I’m excited because it’s the biggest race in the world and I want to do well for myself and my Argos Shimano team.

A lot of people have speculated on how the Tour will work with both myself and Marcel Kittel in the line up. We’re both fast so surely there will be conflict? Not a chance. Lets put this one to bed straight away because both Marcel and I are different riders. Okay, we both have a sprint but he’s a pure, pure sprinter and I’m not really like that. I’m more of a rider suited to the classics and I go better in races that are harder and with some climbs in there. For him, it’s important to be really fast in the bunch sprints and to take on the guys like Cavendish and Greipel. For me, the battle is between myself and Sagan.

I’m here to ride for the team so when they ask me to ride or perform a task I’ll do that because I know I’ll have my opportunities too. I’m also going to the Tour to be part of Marcel’s lead out train and I have my job in that too. Perhaps the second stage of the race is first opportunity for me. The third stage is probably too tough for me though.

As a team we’ve talked a bit about our plans for the race already but we’ll look at it on a day by day basis and take it from there. The Tour isn’t easy so you can plan all you want before the race but things will always change and you have to adapt, especially in the first stage because every rider wants to be in the yellow jersey.

It’s hard to describe how it would feel to win a stage of the Tour. I hope I can achieve and deliver on that that and make that triple having won stages in the Giro and the Vuelta.

Right, I had better get moving. I need to finish my final bit of packing and then it’s full steam ahead to Corsica.

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Follow the German sprinter as he takes on his first Tour de France for the Argos Shimano team