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“Winning a stage in the Tour would mean so much at any time in a rider’s career, but to take one after everything that’s happened to me would be the biggest relief." 







03.07.2016 @ 11:47 Posted by Joseph Doherty

John Degenkolb has spoken of his relief to have returned to the Tour de France after surviving the potentially life-threatening crash he and his Giant-Alpecin teammates sustained while training in January.


“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve had to make such a big comeback after such a long time off the bike,” he told Cyclingnews. “That had a huge impact on me, of course, but if you put it into perspective and look at what happened in January then you realise that it’s great that I’ve reached the level where I am already. I’m really happy about that.”


Degenkolb, who has been racing for around two months now, says the index finger he almost lost as a result of the crash still doesn’t work properly, but aside from that he is raring to go.


“My left index find is still not able to move and work properly. It’s not like it was before my accident. It means I have to use the bike with four fingers on one hand. I have to say that I’m pretty much adapted to that now. I still ride with a cast on my left index finger but that’s partly for protection. For normal life I don’t need to wear it anymore so it’s just for races. It doesn’t look like the finger will ever bee at 100 per cent so it’s about how far it can be helped. I’ve already made a lot of steps.”


The German says he never had any doubt in his mind that his career was over and was determined to make it back to the top as soon as possible.


“For me there was no doubt that I would be able come back and compete a WorldTour. There was huge damage on my body I knew that I could come back and that it wouldn’t have a huge impact on the rest of my career. I was always confident and optimistic about that.”


Degenkolb still requires a Tour stage win to complete the set of wins in Grand Tours, and says it would mean even more than usual after what has happened to him this year.


“Winning a stage in the Tour de France would mean so much at any time in a rider’s career, but to take one after everything that’s happened to me would be the biggest relief I’ve ever experienced. I’m trying so hard to get 100 per cent out of everyday so that I can at the best level for the race. That’s my biggest goal right now and I really hope that I can achieve it.”




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