Mark Cavendish leading the sprinting comeback kings

Manxman recaptures his form in France ahead of Tour of Britain

The Tour de France was undoubtedly a huge success for Giant-Shimano, as Marcel Kittel took the yellow jersey on stage one and went on to win four stages in all.

For their alternative sprint leader, John Degenkolb, individual success was not forthcoming – though his role setting the pace for Kittel’s sprint successes should not be underestimated.

John Degenkolb sprinted to his second consecutive stage win at the Vuelta a Espana (pic: Sirotti)

However, on a personal level, Degenkolb’s Tour was a story of pain and near-misses – a ruptured gluteus making for some uncomfortable days in the saddle as he twice narrowly missed out on a stage win – having two second places to his name instead.

At the Vuelta a Espana, however, Degenkolb has been back to his best form – the sort which earned him a day in the yellow jersey at Paris-Nice and Gent-Wevelgem victory earlier in the year.

Degenkolb’s stage four victory, in particular, was hugely impressive thanks to the ease with which he seemed to leave his rivals for dead in the final sprint.

On stage five, he proved it is not just the slightly hilly stages where he is a danger either – beating Nacer Bouhanni as the Frenchman got his tactics wrong.

Degenkolb may well be in the shadows of Kittel at Giant-Shimano, but with seven Vuelta career victories to his name now the German has proved once again he is a fine sprinter in his own right too.


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