Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix champion John Degenkolb has definitely abandoned plans to defend his titles, saying that he simply doesn’t have enough time to fully recover from the injuries he sustained when hit by a car last month.
He was one of six Giant-Alpecin riders struck head on by a vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the road. They were at a team training camp in Calpe, Spain. A 73 year old British driver has been charged in relation to the incident.
“Fortunately, the healing process runs very well and as expected,” said Degenkolb in an update on his Facebook page. “The cut on the thigh is mostly again. And yesterday I was also on the rollers for the first time to get the circulation going.
“The damaged finger is the most serious injury and needs several weeks to heal. But the wound care here in Hamburg is at a very high level. And as for Rehab and physiotherapeutic treatment, nothing is lacking here. I am really very happy with the care.”
That said, he has realised that there is no chance that he will be where he needs to be in time for his key objectives. After his crash, which almost saw him lose his left index finger, a doctor treating him said he would take three months to heal. Although his team CEO Iwan Spekenbrink hoped that this would not be the case, Degenkolb has accepted that it is a race against time that he cannot win.
“The consequence of this is that I will most likely not be at the start of the Classics,” he said. “The injury would not actually stop me being at a start, from our point of view. But due to the lack of training I would not be competitive at the level where I normally race.”
“And anyone who knows my ambition knows that I just want to be there if I could get a top result again. So, I prefer to use the time to let the injuries heal completely.”