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by Shane Stokes
January 27, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
John Degenkolb’s aim of successfully defending his Milan–San Remo and Paris-Roubaix titles appears to be in tatters today after the surgeon who treated the German indicated he will miss both races this season.
Degenkolb was one of six Giant-Alpecin riders hit by an oncoming car while training in Calpe, Spain, on Saturday.
He was one of the most badly hurt, going close to losing a finger when the index digit on his left hand was almost severed by the impact. He also incurred a fracture to his forearm plus wounds to his leg and lip.
According to Het Nieusblad, he was operated on for three hours on Sunday by the surgeon Pedro Cavadas.
Cavadas told the EFE agency about the expected recovery period.
“In theory Degenkolb can be back in the peloton in about three months,” he said. “But because his normal life consists of competition to companies at the highest level, the recovery time will be slightly longer than in other patients.”
Milan–San Remo will take place this year on March 19, while Paris – Roubaix will occur on April 10.
The three month timeline could see Degenkolb back racing towards the end of April, making participation in those Classics impossible.
Five other Giant-Alpecin riders are also recovering from injury. They are Chad Haga, Warren Barguil, Ramon Sinkeldam, Max Walscheid and Fredrik Ludvigsson.
On Sunday team CEO Iwan Spekenbrink said that the accident was a major disruption to Giant-Alpecin’s plans.
“It is clear that the team has been set back some months. It will certainly take time for the team to return to full strength, but everybody will work hard, dedicated and closely together to get there.”
The 73 year old British driver involved in the accident was travelling on the wrong side of the road at the time of the collision. She has been charged with imprudence and reckless driving, but those charges could reportedly change.