— CyclingHub (@CyclingHubTV) 16 October 2016
Degenkolb had missed the crucial split in the peloton as the race headed south from Abu Yazoul. The Belgian team had instigated the split by riding hard at the front of the bunch into a section with strong crosswinds.
Several big names were caught out and missed the lead group, including the German team’s big hitters: Degenkolb, André Greipel and Marcel Kittel.
Degenkolb had tried to work at the front of the group to bridge back up to the leaders but found himself without much assistance other than from his own German team-mates. As Degenkolb accelerated, to try and up the pace he looked back only to see Belgian Jens Debusschere sat at the front of the group, slowing things down.
Evidently frustrated at the lack of his own progress and Debusschere’s effort to impede any sort of organisation in the chase, Degenkolb removed his bidon from his bike, took a swig and than coasted up beside the Belgian. Degenkolb then proceeded to spray water directly into Debusschere’s face.
Rather than lose his temper and retaliate, Debusschere appears to calmly wipe his face and carry on.
Degenkolb and Kittel called it a day with around 40km to go, both exhausted and suffering from the heat.
Ultimately, despite all of their effort in breaking up the race, Belgium missed out on the victory too. Peter Sagan (Slovakia) sprinted to win ahead of Mark Cavendish (Great Britain), with Tom Boonen flying the Belgian flag in third.