John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) has said that despite feeling tired after last weekend’s Tour of Flanders which he described as one of the hardest races he has ever done, he is feeling better in the run-up to Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. The winner of the 2015 race also confirmed that he doesn’t feel any extra pressure for the race.
“I didn’t come out of the Ronde van Vlaanderen with a perfect feeling, but then again, it was one of the hardest editions we did in the past few years,” said Degenkolb. “Even today, I still felt really tired from the race, because it was maybe one of the hardest races I have ever done.
“We raced from the gun to the finish and there was not one time during the race were the break was gone and the peloton went easy. Maybe the only time it felt easy during the race, was at the Kanarieberg where we were in front of the peloton. (laughs) Otherwise, after a couple of kilometres today, I felt better and better and that was good to see, that the feeling on the cobbles was good and I am now looking forward to Sunday.”
“I don’t feel extra pressure for Paris-Roubaix, it doesn’t feel as a ‘do or die’ to me, because we will keep racing after Roubaix. I will be at the start of the Amstel Gold Race and also in Frankfurt, and I will take a good break after that. That’s when we will evaluate the whole Classics campaign.”
His Trek-Segafredo team have a number of cards to play on Sunday including Jasper Stuyven who finished 4th in last year’s race and 22 year-old Mads Pedersen who finished in 2nd place at the Tour of Flanders. However, Stuyven who has finished in the top-10 at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke, the Tour of Flanders, Gent–Wevelgem, Milan–San Remo and Dwars door Vlaanderen this season, has said that Degenkolb will be their rider focusing on Paris-Roubaix.
“We raced as a team in a perfect way last Sunday and we will do so again this Sunday,” said Stuyven. “We said last week that John (Degenkolb) would aim for Roubaix, that’s a race that fits him well and that he has won already, so it would not be fair to change that strategy now.”