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“These monuments are the races I really love, and the ones that I want to focus on in the future,” Degenkolb said.

Photo: Sirotti










22.04.2014 @ 10:41 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

John Degenkolb is one of those riders who made a biggest step forward so far this season, as the 25-year old German rider confirmed his readiness to become one of most serious contenders for monuments in the coming future.


Considering his victory at the Gent-Wavelgem and runner-up spot at the Paris-Roubaix, where Degenkolb emerged as the fastest rider from the leaders group finishing 20 seconds behind Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), it comes as no surprise that Giant-Shimano express their satisfaction with huge progress made by their sprinter.


“We are very content with John’s performances during the classics,” Giant sport director Marc Reef told VeloNews.


“The whole team rode great throughout all the races. Even with some bad luck in a few races, we got the big results we were looking for. John is already at a high level, and will only improve in the coming years.”


Emerging as one of the most successful team of the Flemish classics season, Giant-Shimano reveal that recent results significantly boosted morale of the whole team and hope to carry the momentum through the Ardennes triptych with a formidable squad leaded by Simon Geschke, Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil.


Even though Degenkolb’s splendid performance in cobbled classics was preceded by four stage wins at Tour Mediterraneen and Paris-Nice underlined by victories in points classifications on both occasions, the Dutch team hinted that challenges provided by monument races are what inspires the 25-year old German more than numerous successes taken from bunch sprints.


“His strength and maturity will continue to evolve. Experience counts a lot for these races. And he took a big step forward this year,” he said. “These are the races that he is excited about. These performances will motivate him even more.”


Like all of the cobbled specialists, Degenkolb enjoys a short break before returning to competition in May with new challenges. The Gent-Wavelgem winner is expected to participate at the Rund um den Finanzplatz-Frankfurt on May 1 before lining up at the Amgen Tour of California, where he’s going to face a strong competition in the likes of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) or Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).


In the same time, another Giant-Shimano fast finisher, Marcel Kittel, will stay in Europe to contest sprint stages at the Giro d’Italia, but both 25-year old Germans will combine their forces to create an exceptionally formidable duo of the Dutch WorldTour squad for the coming Tour de France 101st edition.


Degenkolb is expected to become Kittel’s lead-out man for the Tour’s flat finishes, but will be provided with plenty of opportunities to play his own cards in the more challenging finales.


The 25-year old Giant-Shimano rider also admitted that he has developed an affection for monuments and aims to focus on classic races in the future.


“These monuments are the races I really love, and the ones that I want to focus on in the future,” Degenkolb said.


“We can be really proud in second place. It’s the next step in growing to be on the podium of a monument. I hope someday to win these races.”



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