John Degenkolb’s move to Skil-Shimano made official
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

John Degenkolb’s move to Skil-Shimano made official

by VeloNation Press at 10:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
German talent plus Marcel Kittel’s presence points towards successful future for team

John DegenkolbFollowing rumours earlier this month that John Degenkolb would be moving to the Skil-Shimano team, the contract has been made official by the Dutch squad. The 22 year old sprint talent has inked a two year deal and will transfer across from HTC Highroad when the current season ends.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” he stated today. “I may have been part of the best team in the world, but with my new team I will probably have even more chances and with the choice of this project, I’m convinced that I can prove myself on the highest level next year.”

Last Autumn, Degenkolb capped off his amateur career when he took a fine silver medal behind the Australian rider Michael Matthews in the world under 23 road race championships. Since then, he has clocked up a number of important results in his first year as a professional, with those performances confirming that he is likely one of the big sprinters for the future.

He has taken six victories in all, starting with stage wins in the Volta ao Algarve and the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen plus a home victory in the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt in Germany.

After that, Degenkolb netted the second leg of the Bayern Rundfahrt prior to clocking up two stage victories in the Criterium du Dauphiné in June.

He envisages opportunities in two distinct areas next season. “In the Classics I will have an open role that really suits me,” he said. “My new team is also building a strong sprint train so that I can compete in mass sprints as well. Marcel Kittel and I are both quick, complement each other and we can also get along with each other really well.”

Kittel highlighted his own abilities in the recent Tour of Poland, where he won four stages. He will now head to the Vuelta a España aiming to chase more wins there.

Degenkolb previously raced with Kittel when he was with the Thuringer Energie team. He also competed alongside another German, Patrick Gretsch, who is also moving across to Skil-Shimano from HTC Highroad. The presence of two familiar faces will make the transaction smoother.

General manager Iwan Spekenbrink sees his signing as a signal of intent from the team, which wants to increase its goals. “His signing underlines our ambition and reinforces our intention to represent Skil-Shimano in the biggest and most important races,” he said. “We believe that a cyclist like John has the potential of becoming a future green jersey winner.”

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