Heat of the chase – and the desert – gets to German after he and team mates miss out on decisive move

It’s been a difficult 2016 for John Degenkolb, and the German’s frustration’s boiled over in the heat of the desert at the UCI Road World Championships today as he aimed a jet of water from his bidon into the face Belgium’s Jens Debusschere, accompanied by a fair bit of yelling and finger pointing which continued for several minutes.

Degenkolb, unable to defend his Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix titles in the spring due to injuries sustained when a driver ploughed into him and a group of Giant-Alpecin colleagues at a training camp in Spain, missed out on the group that would contest the finish today as crosswinds blew the race apart.

So too did his team mates Andre Greipel and Tony Martin, but the Belgians had six men up the road, including Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet, and Tom Boonen, who would finish third behind defending champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia, and Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish.

> Sagan outsprints Cavendish to retain rainbow jersey

Debusschere’s crime? To help his team mates up the road by working with Iljo Keisse to slam the door shut on the German contingent’s repeated efforts to reduce the gap to the front group. He was pretty good at it too, and on another day – not this one, though – Degenkolb might have been impressed by his efforts.

Mind you, one of Debusschere’s team mates was caught on camera during the race doing his own bit of, erm, squirting …

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.