German classics specialist and sprinter John Degenkolb, along with Dutch lead out man Koen de Kort, will join Trek – Segafredo next season, according to a team release issued Friday afternoon. Both currently ride for Giant – Alpecin.
Degenkolb, who won Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix in 2015, had been linked to Trek since the spring when it became known that Giant – Alpecin might not re-sign him. The 27-year-old has been with the Giant organization since 2012.
His 2016 spring campaign was derailed by a serious injury suffered in a training crash in January that sent multiple Giant riders to the hospital. Unable to attempt a title defense at Paris-Roubaix while recovering from the crash, Degenkolb did not make his first race start this season until May. Since then, he has gradually worked his way back into form, notching a few high stage placings in the Amgen Tour of California and the Tour de France, though he has yet to pick up a victory this year.
The imminent retirement of Fabian Cancellara left an obvious opening for a new one-day specialist to lead the team in the spring races, a role in which Degenkolb has proven more than capable in recent seasons. His new contract with Trek runs through 2019.
“I’m incredibly excited about this transfer. It’s a big step for me to get such a great opportunity in a team like Trek – Segafredo, with such a strong classics inspiration,” Degenkolb was quoted as saying in the Trek release.
“It’s a dream come true. My previous team (Giant – Alpecin) was very committed to my ambitions in the classics as well, but coming to Trek-Segafredo feels like the next big step for me. This team is one of the few really big teams in races like the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, and this was a big motivation for me to join. “