JOHN DEGENKOLB

Trek- Se­gafredo's dou­ble mon­u­ment win­ner on German climbs, cook­ing and rac­ing San Remo

Procycling - - Prologue -

What’s your favourite race?

Paris-Roubaix, for me it’s the most spe­cial race. It’s a race that has like a super-spe­cial at­mos­phere and you race on cob­bles that no other race has. It’s so unique, for me it’s the most out­stand­ing race - all the emo­tions I had when I won it. It was al­ways a big dream to win a cob­ble­stone there and to have it is re­ally nice.

What’s your favourite climb?

I like the climbs at home in Ger­many. There’s a lit­tle train­ing area around Frank­furt that’s re­ally nice. The high­est moun­tain is called Feld­berg and you can go up to 900 me­tres. You have a few dif­fer­ent sides - one is steeper, one is stead­ier. I live right at the bot­tom of the long side, but since I’ve lived there I’ve gone up it only once or twice be­cause you go out of the house and you go straight up climb­ing. This side I don’t like so much! The other side is way shorter and then you can roll home down­hill the other side. That’s pretty nice.

Who do you think is the best do­mes­tique in the pelo­ton?

A real clas­sic do­mes­tique, you have a lot of them. In the race here [Volta ao Al­garve] it’s for sure Gré­gory Rast but I don’t want to pick one out to say that he’s the best. A good do­mes­tique al­ways has an over­view of what’s hap­pen­ing in the race, to be up there with a fresh bidon when you haven’t even thought about go­ing back to the car and he al­ready did it. It takes a lot of en­ergy to be a good do­mes­tique, you have to be re­ally good, ex­pe­ri­enced, and Gré­gory cer­tainly does that.

Who is your fun­ni­est team-mate?

Zico Waeytens at Gi­ant-Alpecin. In any team you have ‘the guy’ who is talk­ing and hold­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, makes jokes at the ta­ble – and he was that in Gi­ant for sure. At Trek, Mads Ped­er­sen is a re­ally funny guy.

Do you have a se­cret talent?

I like cook­ing a lot. When I am at home I share the work in the kitchen with my wife. I like Italian cook­ing and I love to have a bar­be­cue with nice steaks.

What re­sult are you proud­est of up un­til now in your ca­reer?

To have a happy fam­ily with two chil­dren! But, cy­cling results-wise, for sure it’s the two mon­u­ments I’ve won. I can’t pick be­tween Mi­lan-San Remo and ParisRoubaix, both are in­cred­i­ble. In both races I had crazy emo­tions, it’s hard to de­scribe. It’s some­thing spe­cial [win­ning both in one year]. It also shows the type of rider I am – I’m a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. It’s good and I hope to have suc­cess like this again.

What’s the best prize you’ve been given in a race?

I never won it but I heard that some peo­ple got a live pig at the podium, so they had to carry home a pig - that was pretty funny. You can feed it and then you can get the meat, it’s the best!

What’s been the tough­est day you’ve ever had on the bike?

Prob­a­bly the day when we had the snow in San Remo [in 2013]. It was so in­cred­i­bly cold, and men­tally hard to stop the race, go in the bus, have a shower and get dressed and go out again. In cy­cling in gen­eral you say, ‘Wow that was the hard­est day of my life,’ but three weeks later you say ‘No, this was the hard­est day of my life!’ It’s never end­ing. There is al­ways a harder day com­ing up.

"In cy­cling, you say, ‘ Wow, that was the hard­est day of my life,’ but three weeks later you say, ‘No, this was the hard­est day "

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