Degenkolb grabs his first victory of the season

The team chases back a dangerous late move to set up Dege for the win.

On the final day at the Tour de la Provence, the sprinters finally had their opportunity, and John Degenkolb capitalized from excellent teamwork to sprint to the win in stage four 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 (Sky) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) attacked, grabbing a lead that they held for over 10 kilometers.

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.

- Dege

With Trek-Segafredo’s hard work, Dunbar and Gaudu were pulled back inside the final kilometer, and it was all Degenkolb needed.  Although he easily powered to the win ahead of Simon Clarke (EF Educations First) and Anthony Maldonado (St Michel-Auber93), the win was not easy to attain. A cohesive team delivered Degenkolb the opportunity, and he 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. It’s always good to get the first win, especially in the beginning of the season. I am very happy with the team.

It was not an easy race for Trek-Segafredo who were chasing stage wins and not the general classification, but in the final two days, the team rallied together and came away with a second place and a victory.

Trek-Segafredo next lines up in Volta ao Algarve, which begins Wednesday. With only two days rest, Degenkolb will join Gianluca Brambilla, Alex Kirsch, Ryan Mullen, Mads Pedersen, Jasper Stuyven, and Edward Theuns in Portugal.