Less than two weeks away from the world road championship, where he was to be considered a favorite for victory, German John Degenkolb is in a Frankfurt hospital with a severe lymphatic infection.
Degenkolb, recent winner of four stages at the Vuelta a España, posted a photo of himself in the hospital to his Facebook page, accompanied by a short post about his situation, the result of an infection from a crash at the Vuelta.
“I’d rather I had written you now about the dazzling celebration of my teammates over my green jersey and four stage wins at the Vuelta,” Degenkolb wrote. “But as life sometimes plays, good luck and bad luck are very much close together. There was nothing from the party. I’m writing you these lines out of the hospital.
“The lymph nodes in my groin were swollen almost to the size of a ping-pong ball. Finally, I could barely walk in pain. One of the scrapes was dirty, and deeper than we thought. In combination with the load at the Vuelta, an inflammation was formed under the already healed skin. My body has reacted, and now I’m here. Thanks at this point to the civil hospital in Frankfurt, the nurses and doctors. I feel in good hands.”
Degenkolb crashed early on stage 7 and suffered a large amount of road rash. Despite his injuries he was able to go on and win another two stages as well as the green jersey. However, after the racing was over one of the wounds became infected and under the guidance of the Giant-Shimano medical experts he was admitted to hospital in Germany.
Degenkolb wrote that while he was barely able to finish the Vuelta’s stage 21 time trial due to pain, he still believes he can recover in time for the men’s world road championship on Sunday, September 28.
“This tormented me on the last stage, so as not to lose the green jersey. In the night I then got the chills, and fever. I went to the doctor after my trip. He led me directly to the hospital, where I got an injection of antibiotics. I must stay here now a few days for observation, but my goal is to keep the world championships in mind.”
Giant-Shimano announced Tuesday, however, that Degenkolb would miss out on the world team time trial championship this Sunday, which he was originally planned to compete in.