John Degenkolb will continue his return to competition next week at the Tour of California, where Giant-Alpecin will support Laurens ten Dam for the overall and Ramon Sinkeldam in the bunch sprints as Degenkolb focuses on regaining race rhythm.
"The Amgen Tour of California is an exciting race with quite a few tricky stages where late attacks could avoid a bunch sprint," said team coach Aike Visbeek. "It is also important to be aware of certain circumstances, such as the crosswinds or the heat. Overall, it's a challenging course that should suit the all-rounders instead of the pure climbers.”
Degenkolb was one of six Giant-Alpecin riders involved in a head-on crash with an automobile while training this January in Spain. He has been recovering from a severe hand injury and only began his season on May 1 with the one-day GP Frankfurt.
Ten Dam, who moved from the LottoNL-Jumbo team to Giant-Alpecin this season, has been used sparingly so far this year, racing only 14 days at Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya. He spent the month of April at his adopted home of Santa Cruz, California, training for next week's race.
"For the overall classification, we will focus on Laurens and I expect a fight for every second all the way to Sacramento," Visbeek said. "For stage results, we have several options, primarily with Ramon in a possible bunch sprint. For John it is all about gaining race rhythm and there is no immediate pressure for him to deliver results."
Giant-Alpecin for Tour of California: Søren Kragh Andersen, Roy Curvers, Laurens ten Dam, John Degenkolb, Caleb Fairly, Koen de Kort, Sindre Skjøstad Lunke and Ramon Sinkeldam