John Degenkolb's victory on the Roubaix pavé at the Tour de France this summer was the race's feel-good stage win, and on the most anticipated, blockbuster stage. His raw outpouring of emotion at the finish line made the victory feel all the more potent as it closed a chapter on a difficult, testing two seasons for the German.
In the latest edition of Procycling, the team sat down with cover star Degenkolb ahead of the GP Cycliste de Québec and Montréal in Canada this autumn to talk about the impact the Tour win has had. Despite winning Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo in 2015, many people had written off Degenkolb in recent seasons for not being the same rider since he was hit by a car during a training ride in January 2016. But now, having finally landed a Tour victory after years of trying, Degenkolb reflects on the psychological toll the crash had on him.
"I could have been in a wheelchair, I could have been dead, I could have been never walking or riding my bike, or whatever," Degenkolb told Procycling. "This fact I just took for granted. I just took it like this and was, like, 'Okay, we go on, and in a few weeks or months we will be back racing again.' It took me almost one-and-a-half years to realise."
From one star of the Classics to another, Daniel Oss is better known as Peter Sagan's chief lieutenant and one of the most experienced domestiques on the cobbles. But the curly haired, flamboyant Bora-Hansgrohe rider also has a reputation for being cycling's very own rock star, as staff writer Sophie Hurcom found out when she went to meet him. He tells Procycling why riders should be doing more to entertain their fans.
The European season might have come to a close at Il Lombardia in October, but before that we enjoyed a week of one-day races in Italy in the build-up. Among the Italian autumn Classics was the Giro dell'Emilia, dating back to 1909 and held on roads around Bologna, with a stellar line-up to match its beautiful backdrop. Photographer Chris Auld was there to capture the race in this month's picture feature.
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