On the final day at the Tour de la Provence, the sprinters finally had their opportunity, and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) capitalised from excellent teamwork to capture the win on Sunday.
With the top of the general classification separated by seconds, the fight for time bonuses was fierce all day, but Trek-Segafredo had their sight set only on the finish line. The final category three climb was the last opportunity to shake things up ahead of the finish, and Eddie Dunbar (Team Sky) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) attacked, grabbing a lead that they held for over 10 kilometres.
Trek-Segafredo first had to get John Degenkolb back into the first peloton after a brief split on the climb, and then ride hard to the finish to bring back the two dangers out front.
“It was a very, very hard day and I was not sure if I could survive until the end. I understand now why there are not so many sprinters here. It is a hard parcours for sprinters, and I really didn’t expect it to be that hard,” admitted Degenkolb.
A result of Trek-Segafredo’s hard work, Dunbar and Gaudu were pulled back inside the final kilometre, and it was all Degenkolb needed as he easily powered to the win ahead of Simon Clarke (EF Education First) and Anthony Maldonado (St Michel-Auber93). Afterwards, Degenkolb was quick to heap praise on his teammates.
“I have to thank the whole team, they did an amazing job at the end to bring the break back. There were two really strong guys, and we had to go super fast in the downhill and then catch them in the last moment,” added Degenkolb. “It’s always good to get the first win, especially in the beginning of the season. I am very happy with the team.”