Tour de France blog: On the way to Nice

John Degenkolb (Team Argos-Shimano) celebrates his first Giro stage win with a bit of champagne

John Degenkolb (Team Argos-Shimano) celebrates his first Giro stage win with a bit of champagne (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Three days into the Tour de France and there’s really no other place to start than with Marcel’s fantastic stage win on day one. Yes, there was confusion and there was a crash but for the team it was an incredible result: to win the opening stage in the Tour de France and to have a rider pull on the yellow jersey. It was the perfect way for us to start the race.

The mood in the Argos Shimano camp after that win was understandably joyous. It was a great day for all of us in the team. We were all focused on that day and of course we were pretty lucky but we did a good job, stuck to our plan and it was an incredible feeling to win the first stage in the Tour de France.

Tom Veelers gave Marcel a great leadout and I did my job with around one kilometre to go. It was such a hectic sprint so my job was to keep the guys out of trouble at that point and then make sure that the train was at the front of the peloton.

Generally speaking, the race has been harder than we expected. I had previously targeted stage 2 as a possible sprint in which I could do well in but I was dropped on the second category climb and although we tried hard to come back it just wasn’t possible. At one point we had the gap down to 30 seconds but with the headwind it was just too much in the end.

Actually the legs are pretty painful, even after just three days of racing. The Tour de France is hardest race in the world and the basic speed is higher than in any other race.

Today we have the team time trial, obviously not a stage I can do something in for myself but there are some stages later in the week where I can do something. We’ve been asked a bit about the battle for the green jersey but it’s still really early in the race and it’s hard to draw many conclusions at this point. At the moment it’s not an option for me or Marcel. We’re just going to focus on the stage wins and try and achieve as much success as we can.



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