John Degenkolb has described the intense exhaustion he felt after sprinting up the final hill to win stage three of the Dubai Tour, which saw him collapse to the floor after crossing the finish line.
The German from the Giant-Alpecin team says that he collapsed to the ground after the mammoth effort that saw him accelerate away from his rivals including 2014 WorldTour victor Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and take the race lead.
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“It was a very tough sprint, and it was very long. In the end, when you go up a hill like this it takes you like 30 seconds, it brings so much lactate in your body that I totally collapsed after the finish line,” a smiling and obviously recovered Degenkolb said after receiving his blue leader’s jersey on the podium.
Degenkolb is aiming to hold on to the race lead through the conclusion of the race on Saturday, and his Giant-Alpecin team will rally behind him.
“Tomorrow I hope we can be strong enough, and take the bonus to bring it home. That would be a perfect start to the season. We will see. I’m going to do my best and the team is definitely behind me.”