Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb will be looking to increase his tally of nine stage wins at the Vuelta a España, with a strong team assembled around him by Giant-Alpecin.
The German took four stages in last year’s race, adding to the five he won in 2012, on his way to winning the points classification and will be looking to get back to winning ways after a frustrating Tour de France.
With Marcel Kittel out of contention for the Tour squad, Degenkolb battled hard for seven top-10 finishes but couldn’t find his way to the top of the podium as Andre Greipel swept up all four of the true sprint stages.
Tom Dumoulin returns to action after breaking his collarbone in the horrific crash on stage three of the Tour, with one eye on the long time trial on stage 17 as well as some of the punchier finishes.
“Our main goal is to go for stage success with John, as we targeted at the Tour,” explained coach Christian Guiberteau. “With Koen [de Kort], Luka [Mezgec], Zico [Waeytens] and Tom [Dumoulin] we have a strong lead-out for John. With Lawson we are working towards the longer-term development, and will not target specific GC ambitions but rather we aim to help him learn how to behave as GC rider.
“We have shown at the Giro and Tour that we are ready to take any opportunities as they come and on the in-between stages we will look to profit from the breakaway opportunities. In addition we have Tom here who will look to target the TT along with the classics style stages.”
Giant-Alpecin squad for the Vuelta a España
John Degenkolb, Lawson Craddock, Tom Dumoulin, Johannes Frohlinger, Thierry Hupond, Koen de Kort, Luka Mezgec, Tom Stamsnijder, Zico Waeytens