Degenkolb backed for Milan-San Remo by Giant-Shimano

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) heads into Milan-San Remo with the full backing of his team after he secured a stage win and the points jersey at Paris-Nice.

"These long races really suit me," said Degenkolb. "I had a good week's preparation in Paris - Nice and am happy with my form. Winning a stage and taking the green jersey there was good for the confidence, and I am really looking forward to Sunday."

Degenkolb was fifth in Milan-San Remo in 2012 and backed that up with a top 15 place last year. The much publicised route change with the exclusion of the Pompeiana and return to a more familiar parcours that includes the Poggio and Cipressa suit the German sprinter. As well as his strong sprint the 25-year-old has the ability to remain in contention over the longest one day races, a shown with his fourth place finish in the 2012 Worlds.

"We have a really strong line-up for this race and the guys have shown in both Paris - Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico that they are riding well," said the team’s coach, Marc Reef.

"John will be the absolute leader for us and we have the guys to support him. The goal is to get the best possible result, and after a fifth place two years ago we have to try for more."

Giant-Shimano will race without Marcel Kittel after he confirmed that he would skip Milan-San Remo despite the course change favouring the sprinters.

Degenkolb will be supported by a powerful squad including Simon Geschke who finished second to Alberto Contador on stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico,

Full Giant-Shimano team for Milan-San Remo: Roy Curvers, John Degenkolb, Dries Devenyns, Simon Geschke, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Koen De Kort, Tom Stamsnijder, Albert Timmer

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