Team News: Degenkolb Ready for Roubaix Challenge

John Degenkolb talking Paris-Roubaix: “It was nice to be back on the cobbles. I did a first recon of the pavé before Paris-Nice to test the equipment the last time. It was of course a very special feeling to be back there

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Team News: Degenkolb Ready for Roubaix Challenge

Antwerp – Trek-Segafredo riders Jasper Stuyven and former winner of Paris-Roubaix, John Degenkolb speak to the press

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When asked about his victory in stage 9 of the Tour de France in 2018:  John Degenkolb: “It was nice to be back on the cobbles. I did a first recon of the pavé before Paris-Nice to test the equipment the last time. It was of course a very special feeling to be back there and riding towards the velodrome. The finish in the Tour de France last year was next to it, and looking back at my victory in 2015 it was very nice to read my own name on one of the stones next to the last pavé. It’s a proud memory that’s for sure.”

“The emotions after winning Paris-Roubaix were also pretty big, but last year, that victory in stage 9 of the Tour de France came at the end of a very hard part of my career and that’s what made it so special. It was a very big relief; it was the first big victory for me since the accident. All the pressure, all the hard work you’ve put in, you can finally leave that behind and that makes it very emotional.”

“The victory last year has been a real game changer for me. Since then (knocks on wood) I was not really sick anymore and I had no injuries anymore. Until that part, I had always something and when I got through it, I just knew the next issue would be around the corner. I was always chasing back. Now, I really have the feeling that I am condition- and shapewise on a very stable base and that gives me a lot more confidence.”

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When asked about their feelings about Paris-Roubaix:

John Degenkolb: “I think everyone knows I really love this race, it’s my favorite race. I am not the only one who loves this race obviously, but for me it’s an outstanding race. We even have a special bike, the Trek Domane, that has been specifically designed for this race. That shows how important it is to get everything right. It’s one of the toughest races and it’s extremely special that we still race on exactly the same roads as 120 years ago.”

Jasper Stuyven: “The morning of Paris-Roubaix doesn’t feel different than the morning of any other big race. It doesn’t give me more pressure because it’s Roubaix or because it’s a race that suits me better. Let’s say I feel a good amount of healthy stress. My preparation is done, but it was obviously not ideal that I got sick before Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and I really felt this in the previous races. The Tour of Flanders however gave me a big confidence boost. It was the first day in the whole year where I felt really close to the Jasper I should be and it’s maybe just on time to finish high on Sunday.”

“If you do well on the cobbles, you will always like it more. I think John and I are both built for this. For me, the love for this race came by performing well, enjoying it and noticing I am really good at it. You get a lot of hits on the bike, a lot of them you don’t even expect but dealing with those unexpected hits is also what makes it nice and makes it hard when you’re on the limit. It’s something that you don’t have in any other race, all that together makes it nice to ride on the cobbles.”
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John Degenkolb: “Knowing that if you go fast on the cobbles, they will suffer in the back and you can potentially drop them, is an amazing feeling. It also requires a specific skillset and you need the technique to ride on them. You need to keep the traction. It’s all about producing the right power at the right moment.”

When asked about their favorite cobblestones sector:

Jasper: Cysoing is my favorite sector. I have always liked it. I attacked there when I won as a junior, and it was a decisive stretch when I finished 2nd as an U23. And obviously now it’s where my fan club is going, and that gives it a little extra, but I’ve always felt good at that sector.”

John: I like Camphin-en-Pévèle. It’s a very decisive stretch most of the times. We made the decisive acceleration there, last year in the Tour, but also in Paris-Roubaix if you look back at the previous years you need to be attentive there. It’s technical, with corners and you know that Carrefour de l’Arbre is coming straight after that, there’s not a lot of time between them.”

When asked if there’s something they dislike about Paris-Roubaix.

Jasper: “I cannot name one thing that I don’t like about Roubaix, to be honest.”

John: “Me neither. You can get a lot of bad luck, that’s for sure, but there’s one rule in this race: never give up.”

Trek-Segafredo lineup for Paris-Roubaix: John Degenkolb (GER), Jasper Stuyven (BEL), Koen de Kort (NED), Alex Kirsch (LUX), Ryan Mullen (IRL), Mads Pedersen (DEN), Edward Theuns (BEL).


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