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John Degenkolb admitted he won’t be ready in time to defend his titles at Milano-Sanremo or Paris-Roubaix this season.
Still recovering from serious injuries suffered during a horrific crash when a car plowed into a group of Giant – Alpecin riders training on Spanish roads last month, the German posted a note on his Facebook page accepting the inevitable.
“It’s very likely I won’t be at the start for the classics,” Degenkolb wrote. “The injuries wouldn’t necessarily prevent me from racing, but after missing so much training, I wouldn’t be at the top level.”
Degenkolb returned to Germany last week after being treated for a deep cut to his thigh as well as a nearly-severed finger. He was able to ride on the trainer for the first time since the January 23 crash, but said he needs more time for his injuries to fully heal.
“The healing process is coming along,” he said. “The best thing to do is to give my injuries enough time to heal.”
Six Giant riders were involved in the crash, with Degenkolb and Chad Haga the most seriously injured. Others included Frederik Ludvigsson, Ramon Sinkeldam, Max Walscheid, and Warren Barguil.
Without Degenkolb, coupled with the departure of three-time Scheldeprijs winner Marcel Kittel to Etixx – Quick-Step, Giant will be under pressure to match its previous performances in the northern classics this season.