Giant-Alpecin will look to start contract negotiations with star rider John Degenkolb in the coming weeks but Cyclingnews understands that the former Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner may be on his way to Trek-Segafredo for 2017.
Giant decided to hold off negotiations with Degenkolb, whose contract expires at the end of the season, while they assessed his recovery from a serious training incident that took place in January when he and several teammates were hit by a vehicle. That delay, Cyclingnews understands, has provided teams with the opportunity to swoop in and, although riders can not technical sign for teams before the UCI’s August 1 deadline, Degenkolb, according to one strong source, is set to ride in Trek colours next season.
"We are in the market and it is a complex year,” Trek Segafredo’s manager Luca Guercilena told Cyclingnews when asked about the likehood of signing the sprinter.
“We are open to many solutions and not one in particular. We will not make any further comment until the 1st of August when contracts must be delivered to the UCI."
Giant Alpecin have been busy in recent months, tying up the futures of riders already on the squad while also looking at additions for next year. Earlier this month they announced that Simon Geschke had re-signed.
With regards to the Degenkolb to Trek line, team manager Iwan Spekenbrink would only state: “I cannot comment on that.
“We will strengthen our team for next year with good riders. At the same time some contracts at our end run to the end of this year and on the one hand we’re considering dialogues with riders to continue.”
The team boss, who has a habit of signing young, talented riders and building them into leading lights added, “John is one of those riders who has a contract that ends this year. First we wanted to see how he was recovering and we have clear picture and we’ll pick up the conversation with him.”
The decision to seek negotiations with the rider comes on the back of Degenkolb returning to racing and picking up two top-ten places at the Tour of California.
However, Spekenbrink admitted, “at the same time riders can choose to go and sign for other teams. That happens, that’s life. I’m not aware of him signing with another team though.”