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Degenkolb spearheads GoFundMe campaign to save U19 Paris-Roubaix

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John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) wins stage 9 of the Tour de France

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) wins stage 9 of the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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An emotional John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) on the Tour de France podium

An emotional John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) on the Tour de France podium
(Image credit: Getty Images)

News that the U19 Paris-Roubaix faced cancellation due to a financial shortage hit John Degenkolb "like a bomb" and prompted the Trek-Segafredo rider to help a campaign set up to save the race.

The 2015 Paris-Roubaix winner and the GoFundme campaign were looking to raise the 10,000 Euros initially needed to save the race, and within 24 hours after the fund was set up donations stood at 700 Euros over the required amount. All additional donations are set to fund future editions of the race and a volunteer organisation that helps protect the cobbles.

Race organizer John Malaise announced on Friday that due to a lack of funds it was likely that the U19 race, which is part of the U19 Nations Cup, would have to be cancelled.

Upon hearing the news that 10,000 Euros in sponsorship money was still needed, Degenkolb said: "Immediately it was clear to me that I wanted to do everything possible to prevent this worst case. Not only because I have a very special relationship to Paris-Roubaix. A race that fascinated me already as I was a child and directly infected me with the fascination for cycling.

"But also because of its importance for the support of young talents. In France, in Germany, worldwide. If cycling should have a sustainable future we need such races for the young guns - hardly anyone knows that better than me."

The Trek-Segafredo rider is going beyond simply making a donation himself, with records showing he donated 2,500 Euros. He has promised a "Dege Special Roubaix T-shirt" to all who donate at least 25 Euros.

The campaign has already quickly reached its goal, but if that had not happened, the German would have dug deeper into his own pocket. He wrote: "But even in the unlikely event that some Euros are missing, the race is definitely saved. That's what I have guaranteed to the race organizers and race main responsible Mr John Malaise. In that case I will pack the missing amount on top in addition to my already planned donation."

Funds over the needed amount will also be put to good use, he added.

"The 'extra' money will go to the "Amis de Paris Roubaix" an association of volunteers that keeps and restores the racetrack as original as in 1896 and whose ambassador I am since last year."

The GoFundMe can be found here