Team Argos-Shimano has the luxury of having two successful sprinters in its team, and will take both of them to the Tour de France . For many, that would be an almost impossible situation to manage, but John Degenkolb doesn't see any conflict at all with Marcel Kittel.
"It's actually pretty simple," he said at the team's Tour de France presentation event, according to NuSports.nl. “We are both sprinters, but we are not the same type of sprinter. Marcel is a sprinter who does well in the flat stages, while I prefer the hilly stages, with finals like the classics.”
They will decide each sprint stage who is “on” for the day. Kittel will have the first chance. “We will ride during the first stage for Kittel. That is Marcel's day. He has a good chance for the yellow,” Degenkolb confirmed.
Degenkolb said that he has no problems helping his teammate. "If I know I can't beat Mark Cavendish in a sprint why should I not help Marcel? In a stage that is more fitted to me, he will also do that for me. Marcel and I are not competitors with each other.”
So far, Degenkolb has the upper hand over his fellow German in Grand Tours sprints. He dominated the sprints at the 2012 Vuelta Espana, winning five stages, and won a stage at this year's Giro d'Italia. Kittel won one stage at the 2011 Vuelta Espana and had to abandon the Tour early last year due to illness. On the other hand, Kittel is ahead with the number of victories this season. He has 11 wins between February to June and including three stages at the Tour of Turkey, the Scheldeprijs Classics in Belgium and the overall classification in the Tour de Picardie. Degenkolb's Giro stage win is his only victory to date in 2013.