The 2015 Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner had a mixed year this season with the first part devoted to recovering from a near career-ending traffic accident.
He found form in the second half of the year with a win in Sparkassen Münsterland Giro and second place in the Hamburg Classic. By the time those results rolled in he had already signed with Trek Segafredo, with Michael Matthews heading to Giant-Alpecin. Degenkolb’s move brought his five-year association with the team to an end.
“For me it was just the right moment to move on,” he told Cyclingnews.
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“I was very happy with my old team and they supported me really well over the last years. They helped me to win two Monuments and ten stages in the Vuelta. That was something very special for me but progression goes on and there’s improvements everywhere. This offer from Trek was the best offer when it came to improving myself and that’s why I’ve taken that chance.”
Degenkolb, 27, has yet to announce his full race programme for 2017 but it is understood that he will skip the Tour Down Under and begin his campaign at one of the early Middle East races. The aim during December – at his first training camp with his new teammates – was to familiarise himself with the different surroundings. He will target the Classics next season as Trek look to move on after the retirement of Fabian Cancellara before heading to the Tour de Frnace, which starts in Germany next year.
“I’m enjoying the new challenge and personally I’m taking a lot of motivation from all the small details that we’re working on. Every day I’m learning from new people, and just here at the camp I know most of the riders but I’m getting to know all the staff. For me, it’s a great time and I’m really enjoying it.
“ It’s still December and not everyone has their programme yet so it’s not decided. There will be a set of riders who are going to be with me and from the staff too and that’s also important, so that you have the support that you need. For me the main focus will be of course the Classics in the first part of the year. That’s what I’m building up to.”
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