John Degenkolb will look to add to his collection of five Vuelta a Espana stage wins in this year's race as he hopes to put the disappointment of injury and just placings in sprints at the Tour de France behind him. The Giant-Shimano rider is hoping the Vuelta will also give him the form to target the World Road Race Championships in Spain, which is suited to fast finishing Classic riders.
Degenkolb was hampered at the Tour de France by a torn gluteus maximus and he struggled in pain for much of the race but still managed to finish second on two stages. The muscle is now healed and he can sit and ride pain-free again. He is currently competing in several post-Tour criteriums but has his eye on the upcoming races after a short vacation.
Although he had a successful year with HTC-Highroad in 2011, his first with Giant-Shimano in 2012, proved to be his breakthrough moment of his career. He crowned the season by winning five stages at the Vuelta in his Grand Tour debut.
He has revealed he will have two goals when he lines-up for the start of the Vuelta a Espana on August 23 in Jerez de la Frontera.
"One, I would like to win a stage. And also to bring myself into form for the challenging Worlds course in Ponferrada," he told Radsport-News.com.
He is hoping for history to repeat itself, as he finished fourth in the 2012 world championships after dominating the Vuelta sprints.
"If I ride a good Vuelta like I did two years ago, then I will also be well prepared for the Worlds. I want to be strong enough to be able to call up a good performance," he said.