Tour de France: Degenkolb wins much-feared stage in Roubaix

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) won stage 9 of the Tour de France in Roubaix, outsprinting yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Yves Lampaert (Quick Step Floors) after a tough day over the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.

The win marks the end of Degenkolb’s long road back to the big stage after he and five other Giant-Alpecin riders were hospitalised after a training camp accident in Spain in January 2016. The riders were hit by an driver on the wrong side of the road, with Degenkolb almost losing a finger as a result.

A crash-heavy day ended with Degenkolb, Van Avermaet and Lampaert escaping on the Camphin-en-Pévèle sector, 17km from the line. In the peloton, there was no answer to the trio of specialists going up the road, though Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) did try a move later on.

While the Slovak would end up taking fifth behind Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step Floors), up front it was a cagey affair, with no real attempts to launch a race-winning attack before the line. With an advantage of a minute heading into the final five kilometres, they could afford to play tactics, too. Come the sprint though, neither man could overhaul Degenkolb, who led the group for the final kilometre before leading them over the line.

Degenkolb, enjoying his first WorldTour win since the final stage of the 2015 Vuelta a España, was clearly emotional and struggling for words in the post-race interview.

“Pure happiness,” he responded when asked about his feelings. “Really, I was chasing this victory for so long and it’s really hard to describe.

“It was a really hard fight the whole day. It’s a victory of the team — we really had a plan to stay out of trouble all the time and it worked out really well. It was unbelievable.”

The 29-year-old German then went on to talk about his comeback, dedicating the victory to a close friend who passed away during the winter.

“This is a very big victory, and I’ve been through a lot of things in the past,” he said. “It was such a hard time and I’m so happy to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends — he passed away last winter and this was really something for him.

“Everybody said I’m done and that after this accident I will never come back and I said ‘no I’m not done — I have to make at least one really big victory for this guy. His name is Jörg — he was my second father and it was a horrible accident. It was a huge loss and I’m so happy to get this victory now for him.”

“There’s no way to make it more dramatic, more nice, more fantastic. I’m totally overwhelmed.”

The majority of the GC contenders came in (relatively) intact, 27 seconds after Degenkolb. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) endured a horrendous day of punctures of bike changes before finishing 7 seconds down alongside Mikel Landa (Movistar), who crashed late on. Rigoberto Urán (Education First-Drapac) came off worse, losing 1:28 after a crash, while Richie Porte (BMC) abandoned the Tour early on after crashing.

Greg Van Avermaet’s efforts may not have come with a stage victory, but going into the rest day he extends his GC lead to 43 seconds over Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas. The other jerseys remain in the same hands too, with Peter Sagan extending his points classification lead.

How it happened

Last included in 2015, the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix made a reappearance at the Tour de France for stage nine, which ran 156.5km between Arras and Roubaix. A total of 21.7km of cobbles featured, — eight kilometres more than 2015 — including some of the toughest sectors from Paris-Roubaix such as Auchy à Bersée and Mons-en-Pévèle.

It was all go from the beginning of the day, with the break forming and a GC contender crashing out of the race. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Lilian Calmejane, Jérôme Cousin, Damien Gaudin (all Direct Energie), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Omar Fraile (Astana), Chad Haga (Team Sunweb), Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) were the men out front.

Meanwhile, Porte left the race on stage 9 for the second year in a row. The Australian crashed before the race reached the cobbles, and abandoned clutching his right collarbone.

Crashes and mechanical problems were, unsurprisingly, a major theme of the day. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) suffered a puncture and changed bikes twice, later suffering another mechanical in the midst of the cobbled sectors. Michael Valgren (Astana), Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Egan Bernal (Team Sky) and Niki Terpstra (Quick Step Floors) were among those to hit the deck before the riders reached the major cobbled sectors.

A large crash in the middle of the peloton 67km out at sector 12, Warlaing à Brillon, saw the peloton split, with Sky driving the pace afterwards. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) were among those caught on the wrong side of the split, while Movistar enjoyed having much of their team in the lead group.

There was a regrouping before sector 9 at Auchy à Bersée with 50km to go though. The longest — perhaps the hardest — sector of the day saw Bardet get in mechanical trouble once again, falling a minute behind, while Van Avermaet put in a testing attack towards the end of the sector.

The next sector — number 8 — was the famous Mons-en-Pévèle, or at least 900 metres of it. Team Sky crashed en masse heading into it, with Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas falling and dropping from the peloton briefly.

Still around 30 seconds behind the peloton, Bardet plugged away with lieutenant and Paris-Roubaix runner-up Silvan Dillier by his side. Meanwhile, the unexpected leaders of main group were Movistar, with six riders, including their trio of GC men, at the front of the race.

But the breakaway, or at least the remains of it, were still up front. With 37km to go, Janse van Rensburg and Gaudin left the rest behind to strike for glory. With just a 40-second gap though, their chances of staying away until Roubaix didn’t look great.

The crashes kept coming too, with Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) going down on Pont-Thibault à Ennevelin with 35km to go, and Mikel Landa (Movistar) falling while drinking 32km out. On the exit of sector 5 at Templeuve, Gilbert and Edward Theuns (Team Sunweb) and became the latest men to fall.

Unseen for much of the day, Urán turned up on the television cameras with 30km to go, having clearly crashed at some point and lagging over a minute behind the peloton with teammate Sep Vanmarcke for company.

At 19km from the finish, the break was over, and soon afterwards Van Avermaet added three seconds to his GC lead at the bonus sprint, with Dan Martin taking a two-second bonus. The penultimate sector of the day at Camphin-en-Pévèle saw Lampaert attack, taking Degenkolb and Van Avermaet with him.

Back down the road, Urán and a cadre of teammates toiled almost two minutes down, while Landa, again with a handful of teammates, was chasing at 1:20 from the head of the race. The lead trio enjoyed a 40-second lead heading into the final 10km, with just the Willems à Hem sector to go.

It would be decided in Roubaix for the leaders though, as they passed that sector without any attacks. Now a minute back, the peloton was quiet too, save for Bardet stopping with his third puncture of the race.

Sagan left the peloton behind 3km from the finish, with Gilbert, Jasper Stuvyen (Trek-Segafredo) and Bob Jungels (Quick Step Floors) going too. Though with the leaders so far ahead, it was an attack more with the green jersey points in mind.

After a cat-and-mouse final kilometre, Degenkolb led out the sprint from the front, with Lampaert lying in third wheel. It would end in that order too, with his two rivals offering nothing to counter Degenkolb and his emotional return to the big time.

 

More to come!

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo3:24:26
2Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
3Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
4Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:19
5Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
8André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:00:27
9Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
10Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
11Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
12Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
13Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
14Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
15Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
16Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
17Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
18Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
19Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
20Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
21Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
22Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
23Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
24Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
25Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
26Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
27Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
28Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
29Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
30Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
31Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
32Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates
33Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
34Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
35Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:34
36Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
37Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
38Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data0:00:36
39Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:00:38
40Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
41Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
42Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
43Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
44Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:42
45Edward Theuns (Bel) Team Sunweb
46Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
47Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
48Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:47
49Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:48
50Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo0:00:55
51Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:02
52Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data0:01:12
53Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
54Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:23
55Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
56Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:01:30
57Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates0:01:50
58Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:01:55
59Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
60Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
61Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
62Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
63Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb
64Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
65Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
66Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
67Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
68Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
69Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
70Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
71Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
72Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:02:12
73Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:02:26
74Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:03:23
75Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:04:15
76Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
77Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
78Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:05:11
79Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
80Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:05:42
81Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:47
82Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
83Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
84Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
85Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
86Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
87Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
88Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
89Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
90Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates0:05:52
91Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:57
92Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data0:06:01
93Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
94Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
95Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team0:06:03
96Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team0:06:17
97Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:07:57
98Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:09:31
99Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie0:10:18
100Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ0:10:26
101Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
102Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
103Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:11:03
104Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:12:24
105Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
106Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
107Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
108Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
109Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
110Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:16:04
111Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
112David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
113Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
114Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
115Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie
116Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
117Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
118Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
119Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
120Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
121Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky
122Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
123Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:16:09
124Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
125Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
126Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing Team
127Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
128Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
129Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
130Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
131Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
132Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
133Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
134Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
135Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
136Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky
137Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
138Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
139Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
140Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
141Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
142Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
143Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
144Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie
145Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
146Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
147Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
148Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team
149Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-Alpecin
150Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
151Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates
152Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
153Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
154Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
155Rein Taaramäe (Est) Direct Energie
156Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
157Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
158Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
159Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
160Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo
161Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
162Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo
163Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:16:23
164Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:16:28
165Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:19:51
166Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
167Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFJosé Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFRichie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
DNSTony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
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Intermediate sprint - Wasnes-Au-Bac - 59 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal20pts
2Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie17
3Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits15
4Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie13
5Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data11
6Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team10
7Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb9
8Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ8
9Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie7
10Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo6
11Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe5
12Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe4
13Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe3
14Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe2
15Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe1
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo30pts
2Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team25
3Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors22
4Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors19
5Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe17
6Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo15
7Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors13
8André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal11
9Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data9
10Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert7
11Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates6
12Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin5
13Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors4
14Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie3
15Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic2
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Young riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin3:24:53
2Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
4Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:45
5Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:28
6Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
7Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:20
8Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
10Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:34
11Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team0:05:36
12Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:11:57
13Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
14David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:15:37
15Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
16Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
17Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky0:15:42
18Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
19Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie
20Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
21Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
22Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
23Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
24Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
25Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
26Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo
27Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:15:56
28Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:19:24
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