Degenkolb, winner of the 2015 edition of the race, was laid low by bronchitis during Paris-Nice. The 29-year-old German pulled out of the event before the start of stage 6, and will remain out of competition through this weekend.
“It is with a heavy heart I have to cancel my start at Milan-Sanremo as I am still fighting this sickness and wouldn’t be fit for the Primavera,” Degenkolb said via a team press release. “I am feeling already better in the last days and will be back on my bike soon. So, no worries for the rest of the classics season. I wish my team the best for Saturday.”
Upper respiratory issues derailed the latter half of his 2017 season as well.
Nizzolo, who would have been an obvious candidate to replace Degenkolb as the team’s designated sprinter in the season’s first monument, will also miss the race. He pulled out of Tirreno-Adriatico in stage 4 due to knee pain, which has been a recurring problem for the two-time Giro d’Italia points champion.
The team decided to play it safe and pull him out of Saturday’s 291-kilometer trek through northwestern Italy.
“I am very, very disappointed that I cannot start Milan-Sanremo, it was the biggest goal for me for the first part of the season. So not to start is really sad for me,” Nizzolo said. “We decided not to start because the knee pain has improved but not enough, and we don’t want to take any risk for the rest of the season. It’s a long race, and it can make more damage. Now we will do everything we can to fix the problem as soon as possible and look forward.”
According to Trek’s press release, Dutch sprinter Boy van Poppel and American Kiel Reijnen will slot into the team’s lineup Milano-Sanremo.
Trek-Segafredo for Milano-Sanremo
Jasper Stuyven (B)
Fabio Felline (I)
Koen de Kort (Nl)
Boy van Poppel (Nl)
Kiel Reijnen (USA)
Ryan Mullen (Irl)
Gregory Rast (Swi)