Degenkolb gunning for top placing in Paris-Roubaix
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Friday, April 5, 2013

Degenkolb gunning for top placing in Paris-Roubaix

by VeloNation Press at 10:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
German rider pleased with reconnaissance: ‘I really had the power to accelerate on the cobbles’

John DegenkolbNinth last week in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, John Degenkolb has been given Argos Shimano’s full backing for this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, and believes he can pull out a strong result.

The German rider has thus far had greatest success as a sprinter but his Flanders ride points to solid potential in the Classics.

“I will definitely be aiming for a top-10 place; the form is good enough for me to be there and reach the finale,” he asserted. “We have done everything we could in preparation. We already started testing all the equipment in January, as you need special frames, tires and wheels.

“I am confident about not only my own form but also that of my teammates. They are strong enough to bring me to the finale and also to support me in the finale.”

Degenkolb will be backed by three former U23 Paris-Roubaix winners, namely Ramon Sinkeldam, Tom Veelers and Koen de Kort. Also riding the race will be Bert de Backer, Will Clarke, Roy Curvers and Tom Stamsnijder, and together they will do their utmost to ensure that Degenkolb is in the optimal position and that he stays out of trouble.

“Flanders gave me a good morale boost. Before Flanders it wasn’t easy for me; my expectations were too high, and with pulling out of Tirreno I lacked the kilometres and the effort to get in the best shape possible,” said Degenkolb. “Yesterday we did the last reconnaissance on the course and made the final adjustments to the equipment. I felt good and I really had the power to accelerate on the cobbles.

“I know I can ride a good race, but you also need a bit of luck in Paris-Roubaix. We will see how it goes Sunday.”

A big result in the race would be a boost to the Argos Shimano team, not least because Degenkolb is just 24 years of age and it would mark him out as someone who could do very well in future years.

Morale is high after Marcel Kittel’s success in Scheldeprijs and sporting manager Marc Reef has faith in Degenkolb and the team.

“We want to continue our upward trajectory of the last few races, he said, referring to the De Panne, Flanders and Scheldeprijs events. “In those races we really rode as a team. I think it is very realistic to aim for a top ten place,” said sports manager Marc Reef.

“John has shown that he is getting into top shape after taking ninth place in the Tour of Flanders, and this course suits him even better than the Tour of Flanders. He will need the full support of the team to position him well, as positioning is one of the decisive factors in this race.

“He needs to be sure that he is in the front of the race entering the final cobbled sections to get a good result.” Reef is clear on what scenario would be best. “If it ends up in a sprint, he is a dangerous outsider.”


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