Team Giant-Shimano have confirmed that Marcel Kittel will not race Milan-San Remo later this month. The German sprinter, who won three stages at the inaugural Dubai Tour last month, has started the season in impressive form and with San Remo organisers forced to alter the race route, sprint rivals Mark Cavendish and André Greipel both confirmed their participations.
John Degenkolb, who won three consectutive stages at the Tour de Méditerranéen last month will lead the team in Kittel’s absence. Degenkolb finished 5th in 2012 and 18th in last year’s weather-hit edition of the race.
“Kittel will not ride. Degenkolb is our leader. We do not change the line-up,” a team spokesperson told Cyclingnews on Tuesday morning.
RCS Sport, who organise several major Italian races, including Milan-San Remo and the Giro d’Italia looked set to include the five-kilometre long Pompeiana climb in this year’s route for the first time. The inclusion of the climb caused several sprinters to shy away from the race.
However the Pompeiana was removed from the route last week due to concerns over safety and land slides. And with mid-race Le Manie climb already shelved, the race route returns to a flatter, more traditional profile, with only the Poggio and Cipressa featuring in the critical final section before San Remo.