Paris-Roubaix sector to be named after John Degenkolb

The German becomes the first foreign rider to have a section of pavé named after him

John Degenkolb racing Paris-Roubaix 2018 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

John Degenkolb is set to have a sector of Paris-Roubaix named after him.

The German rider, who the French Monument in 2015, will receive the honour due to the part he played in saving the junior edition of Paris-Roubaix last year, helping a crowdfunding campaign raise the €10,000 goal needed in just 24 hours.

The d'Hornaing à Wandignies-Hamage section, the longest cobbled sector at 3.7km long, will be renamed to recognise Degenkolb for his efforts.

As well as winning Roubaix in 2015, the Lotto-Soudal rider won the 2018 Tour de France stage that took in many of the same roads as the cobbled classic.

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At the time of the junior race being saved thanks to donations, John Degenkolb said: "It was clear to me I wanted to do everything possible to prevent this worst case.

"Not only because I have a special relationship with Paris-Roubaix – a race that fascinated me as a child and directly infected me with a fascination for cycling – but also because of its importance for the support of young talents.

"If cycling should have a sustainable future, we need such races for the young guns."

Degenkolb is one of two new prominent arrivals at Lotto-Soudal for the 2020 season, with Philippe Gilbert transferring over from Deceuninck - Quick-Step. The Belgian will be the defending champion when he lines up for the French one-day race this year and both he and Degenkolb will be looking to take a second victory at the Monument.

One of their rivals will be Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel, who has confirmed his Paris-Roubaix debut after his Alpecin-Fenix squad were invited by race organisers.

While many will be pleased with the news of the creation of the John Degenkolb sector, changes to another cobbled section have been met with disapproval.

Hem, a 1.4km-long cobbled sector inside the final 10km of the race, has been slightly altered by authorities with the introduction of smooth tarmac footpaths on both sides of the dreaded stones.

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