Team manager says sprinter “belongs in the Tour”
There may be a sprinters' showdown at the Tour de France 2013, but within one team. John Degenkolb has been assured of a place on the Argos-Shimano squad for the Tour next year.
“A rider like John belongs in the Tour. This season he has shown the level he can do,” team manager Rudi Kemna told nusport.nl.
The German was not selected for the Tour this year, as he was deemed too young and inexperienced. “He's only 23 and with the Olympics and the Vuelta on his program, that was more than enough.”
While he wasn't able to do anything in the Olympics, he made the most of his second appearance at the Vuelta a Espana, winning five stages. He also finished fourth in the World championships road race.
Degenkolb most recently won the GP d'Isbergues - Pas de Calais and will led the team at Paris-Tours on Saturday. “"The final of the course is quite difficult and that it is good", Kemna said. "We go there with a good team in which he plays a central role."
He now has 12 wins on the season, which puts him one behind is closest rival, teammate and fellow German sprinter Marcel Kittel. Kittel was the team captain at the Tour de France, but knee and stomach problems forced him to abandon on the fifth stage without any wins.