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Degenkolb confirmed to lead Giant-Alpecin at Paris-Roubaix

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John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) on the podium

John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) on the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nikias Arndt with John Degenkolb at E3

Nikias Arndt with John Degenkolb at E3
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin)

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme with Ramon Sinkeldam and Bert De Backer at the Tour of Oman

Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme with Ramon Sinkeldam and Bert De Backer at the Tour of Oman
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roy Curvers (Team Giant-Alpecin)

Roy Curvers (Team Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Team Giant-Alpecin)
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Bert de Backer (Giant-Alpecin)

Bert de Backer (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin)

Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Stamsnijder with a Giant cup of coffee

Tom Stamsnijder with a Giant cup of coffee
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Albert Timmer (Giant Alpecin)

Albert Timmer (Giant Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin)

Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

John Degenkolb has been confirmed as the Giant-Alpecin leader for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. Last year's runner up at the final cobbled classic of the season won a maiden Monument at Milan-San Remo last month and continued his spring form with seventh at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. Giant-Alpecin has made just one change from the eight riders who started Flanders and is looking to improve at the race known as 'the Hell of the North.'

"We come here with almost the same line-up we had at Flanders and are ready for an even better performance. Everybody is really motivated to give their best for John and he will be our leader for the race. He proved what he is capable of here last year and we're hoping for another top result," said team coach Marc Reef.

"Paris-Roubaix marks the last cobbled classic of the campaign here and after a strong team performance in Flanders where we were able to support John deep into the final we can come here with a lot of confidence."

Zico Waeytens makes way for Tom Stamsnijder in the squad for Roubaix after the 23-year-old Belgian was 31st at De Ronde.

Giant-Alpecin has also announced its squad for the mid-week Scheldeprijs classic without three-time winner Marcel Kittel, who continues to recover from an early season virus, but in Nikias Arndt and Ramon Sinkeldam have options for a bunch finish.

"Without Marcel in the line-up for Scheldeprijs we have to change our plan slightly but we will still focus on a sprint as this is the most likely outcome here," said coach Rudi Kemna . "We come here with other sprinters capable of getting a strong result in Nikias and Ramon so we will focus on them but also with an open strategy.

With no Kittel and Degenkolb, the top two sprinters on the team will be absent and Kemma expects his riders to be more aggressive than normal as a consequence.

"When the opportunities present themselves to go on the attack or to get in promising breakaways we will also look to profit from these, and this is good for us and gives us options," Kemna added. 

Dutch cylo-cross national champion Lars van der Haar makes his 2015 road debut season with the team as the 23-year-old looks to race a full season on the road.

Giant-Alpecin for Paris-Roubaix: Nikias Arndt (GER),Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), John Degenkolb (GER), Koen de Kort (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED) and Albert Timmer (NED).

Giant-Alpecin for Scheldeprijs: Nikias Arndt (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), Lars van der Haar (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED) and Zico Waeytens (BEL).