John Degenkolb sprints to home victory at Vattenfall Cyclassics
John Degenkolb edged out Andre Greipel on home soil to win at Vattenfall Cyclassics.
Last Updated: 25/08/13 6:35pm
The German (Argos-Shimano) emerged from a frantic run-in in a good position before timing his kick to perfection in the final metres.
Degenkolb still had enough in the tank to hold off the pre-race favourite after German champion Greipel was forced to start his sprint from a long way back. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was dragged along in Greipel's slipstream to round out the podium.
The race produced a day-long battle between attackers and the sprint teams as numerous riders tried to build an advantage in a bid to foil a bunch kick.
Team Sky were active with Ian Stannard helping to drive a late move on the Hamburg circuit, but with so many top sprinters in attendance, it was no surprise to see things come back together in the final kilometres.
On a hefty 247km parcours Garikoitz Bravo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Jonas Aaen Jorgensen (Saxo-Tinkoff), Julian Kern (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Michael Schwarzmann (NetApp-Endura) made up the day's initial break and the quartet saw their advantage wind out to just over seven minutes.
The break swelled to 14 with Mathew Hayman (Team Sky) among the bridging riders, yet despite a number of teams represented at the head of affairs, Garmin-Sharp and BMC Racing still combined to claw back the move heading into the final 50km.
More attacks followed with Manuele Boaro (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) and Rick Flens (Belkin) combining in a short-lived move.
Stannard, Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil-DCM) then broke free on the penultimate climb of the Walkensteiner Weg but there was no stopping the inevitable sprint.