Degenkolb Wins Paris-Roubaix!
12 april 2015
Team Giant-Alpecin rider John Degenkolb struck again Sunday, adding a monumental victory at Paris-Roubaix to his growing list of historic accomplishments this year. The 26-year-old became the first German to win the Queen of the Classics since its inaugural running in 1896. And following his Milan-San Remo win three weeks ago he’s the first rider since Irishman Sean Kelly in 1986 to win both of these monument events of the spring classics.
“This is the race I’ve always dreamed of winning,” Degenkolb said after outsprinting a seven-man group with his Giant Defy Advanced SL classics bike in the famed finish at the Roubaix velodrome. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve had to work very hard for it and my team was there the whole day to hold the situation under control.”
After finishing second last year in Roubaix, Degenkolb knew he had to make all the right moves to take the top step of the podium on a dry and windy day in northern France. He handled the brutal cobblestone roads and rode aggressively to put himself in position to take the win.
“We knew that it was going to be hard and that a big group could go to the finish,” Degenkolb said. “I was in a situation that I had to go. I had to invest something and I was not afraid to fail. That was the key.”
After his teammates kept him out of trouble for most of the day, Degenkolb marked a key move by Belgian Greg van Avermaet and Czech rider Zdenek Stybar in the closing kilometers, then stayed calm when the final lead group became seven heading into the ‘drome. Wearing a new Giant aero road helmet, he launched his sprint before the final corner and held off Stybar (second) and van Avermaet (third) to win the race that he always dreamed of winning.