Degenkolb handed Tour sprinting duties for Giant-Alpecin


John Degenkolb will race in the 2016 Tour de France after successfully recovering from an incident that nearly saw him lose a finger.

Degenkolb was one of six Giant-Alpecin riders hit by a car in January 2016 during a training camp in Spain, the German suffering cuts to his thigh, forearm and lips as well his hand damage.

He returned to racing in May and was part of Giant-Alpecin's team at the Criterium du Dauphine.

Having proved his fitness over those two weeks, Degenkolb was named as Giant's sole sprinter in their nine-man team for the 21-stage Tour.

He is joined on the team by Warren Barguil, who was also in January's crash but is expected to carry Giant's threat in the general classification after finishing 14th last year, as well as Tom Dumoulin.

"Our goals will be to go for a stage victory, as we see several opportunities to achieve that, and to explore our possibilities in the GC with Warren," said coach Aike Visbeek.

"We have made a long-term plan with him, aiming to develop his general classification performance over the next few years. This will be his second appearance in his home Grand Tour, and we believe a top-15 [finish] is again a realistic target for him.

"We have a great blend of experience and youth in our lineup. This year's Tour de France offers more opportunities in the mountains, with some tough stages, and we took this into consideration when we made our final selection."

Giant-Alpecin's team is completed with the addition of Roy Curvers, Laurens ten Dam, Simon Geschke, Georg Preidler and lead-out pair Ramon Sinkeldam and Albert Timmer.