Dege gives one of his best sprints of the season to finish second in the German classic.
The added hills to this year’s edition of Eschborn-Frankfurt did not change the outcome for the German WorldTour one day race, which again ended with the fastmen putting on a show. John Degenkolb had a perfect sprint but could not overcome the speed of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) who took the win. Four-time winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) settled for third, breaking his drive for five consecutive wins.
This race is by far the very best race in the year for me. I live here, there are so many familiar faces, so many people cheering me on, I enjoy the atmosphere here so much. I just love it! I gave it my all and the team worked really well together. I think we took the maximum result that was possible.
It was a thrilling finish that saw a five-man breakaway caught four kilometers from the end followed by a big fight for positioning in the streets of Frankfurt.
Degenkolb had valuable help from Michael Gogl and Nicola Conci, keeping him out of the wind and in a good position right at the front. From there, Dege launched a textbook sprint. He got the better of Kristoff – winner of the last four editions – but was unable to overcome Ackermann.
It was a very tough race, I tried to hide myself as much as I could to keep enough power in the end. Conci and Gogl did an amazing job in protecting me in the final and helping me with positioning and preparing the sprint.
Although Degenkolb could not match his win in 2011, to finish second eight years later is a testament to his fortitude. Perhaps no longer as fast as he once was, he has not lost his grit and motivation, especially when racing on home roads.
This is one of my favorite races, of course, racing past my home; it’s always something very special. I had cramps for the last 40kms which was very hard. I can be happy to have second place, but of course, when you are so close, you are also disappointed to not take the victory. I have to thank the whole team, they supported me the whole day, and we were always up there. This gives us confidence for the next races.