With the Tour de France starting in only four weeks, John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) is pinning his hopes on picking up his first-ever stage win in that race. He is satisfied with his spring Classics season, but is still waiting for that one big result.
In an interview with the German news agency DPA, the German rider knows he will face an additional hurdle at the Tour. With top GC candidate Alberto Contador as a Trek-Segafredo teammate, Degenkolb will have other duties. "I am not the only one with ambitions. We will all work for Contador."
The team emphasis on taking the overall win means that Degenkolb will likely have to 'freelance' it in the sprints. "It is clear to me that I won't get four, five riders even if could wish for them, of course," he said, although he hopes that Koen de Kort will be on the squad.
Degenkolb has won 10 stages at the Vuelta a Espana and one at the Giro d'Italia, but none in his four Tours de France. “Sure, that is my biggest goal. Before that, winning a stage at the Tour de Suisse would be the right way to start out, good for the self-confidence."
Since his horror accident in training camp in January 2016, Degenkolb has come close to his previous top form, but the final touch is still missing. His best results at the Tour de France were two fourth places, and he had only two wins in the latter part of the season, a stage at the Arctic Race of Norway and the Münsterland Giro.
This season saw him move from Giant-Alpecin to Trek-Segafredo. He has only one win so far, a stage at the Dubai Tour, where he finished third overall. Degenkolb rode a full Classics season, cracking the top ten in Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, but he did not podium in any of them.
His next race will be the Tour de Suisse followed by the German national championships the end of June in Chemnitz. The course would be a good one for him, but he doesn't really expect to win. "Unlike previous years I will be on my own at the fight for the title," since he has no German teammates on the Trek team. "I won't be able to do much. The other have teammates at their side."