Since the first stage of the French/Belgian stage race, Tour de l’Eurométropole, Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Mørkøv has been second overall and today’s stage was a fight against the powerful sprinters to maintain the position.
As during the previous stages, the sprinter teams were in control of the pace of the pack while new escapees constantly were trying to get away. But the race was decided in another thrilling bunch sprint where John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) took both the stage and the first reports said he took the overall win as well. But Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) retained his overall lead and he won.
Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Mørkøv dropped to fourth position overall:
“We were in bad luck today. The top sprinters, Degenkolb, Debusschere and Farrar managed to shove Michael off the podium by finishing 1st 2nd and 3rd. Of course, it’s difficult to compete with these guys in a sprint so during the stage, Michael managed to sneak off in a counter-attack between two intermediate sprints but the sprinter teams were ready and reeled him back in before he gained seconds. Naturally, we’re disappointed but we’ll bring our positive energy and motivation to next week’s races in France where we’ll complete the week with Paris-Tour in Sunday,” said DS, Dan Frost after the race.