Giant-Alpecin confirm Degenkolb backing at Milan-San Remo

Barguil to lead team at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

John Degenkolb has been confirmed as Giant-Alpecin's leader for Milan-San Remo with the team built around delivering the German to victory. Degenkolb has ridden La Primavera on three previous occasions with best result, fifth in debut in 2012. Degenkolb was one of the favourites last season but a late puncture put him out of contention for the victory.

Degenkolb won a tough uphill finish at the Dubai Tour in February to open his 2015 account but is yet to claim his first European win of the season, although he has recorded several top-five finishes at his last two races, Vuelta a Andalucia and Paris-Nice. With Milan-San Remo reverted to finishing on Via Roma for the first time since 2007, the Cipressa and the Poggio will be key in deciding the finale of the race and the team is prepared to ensure Degenkolb is fresh as possible for the two climbs.

"We have had some bad luck in preparation to this first monument with crashes and sickness but we will still come here with a strong line up ready to go for our goal - to get a strong result with John," coach Marc Reef said. "The support includes Chad who will line up for his first ever monument and is very excited to give his all for the team. With a good team performance, we should be able to make an impact on this race."

Roy Curvers will be road captain on the day in his 16th career monument while American Chad Haga is eager for his first. 

The Volta Ciclista a Catalunya begins the day after Milan-San Remo and Giant-Alpecin will line up at the WorldTour stage race with Luka Mezgec who win three stages at the race last year. Depending on his recovery from a fall at Paris-Nice, Warren Barguil is the tentative GC leader for the race.

"The plan ahead of this past weekend was to go for the sprints with Luka, and challenge for the GC with Warren but after both suffered at Tirreno and Paris-Nice we will assess our goals depending on how they recover this week," said coach Addy Engels.

Giant-Alpecin for Milan-San Remo: Nikias Arndt, Roy Curvers, John Degenkolb, Tom Dumoulin, Chad Haga, Koen de Kort, Albert Timmer and Zico Waeytens.

Giant-Alpecin for Volta Ciclista a Catalunya: Warren Barguil, Lawson Craddock, Johannes Fröhlinger, Carter Jones, Luka Mezgec, Daan Olivier, Georg Preidler and Tom Stamsnijder.

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