Germany captain Degenkolb withdraws from Road World Championships

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Germany captain John Degenkolb has announced his withdrawal from the Road World Championships in Bergen.

Degenkolb was set to lead his country in next weekend's road race in Norway, but the 28-year-old confirmed on Sunday that he would not be taking part amid fitness concerns.

The 2014 Vuelta a Espana points winner abandoned this year's edition of that Grand Tour as he struggled with bronchitis and he also pulled out of the Tour of Denmark on Saturday's last leg.

"For me it's an honour to be selected as the captain of the German road Worlds national team," he said on Facebook.

"I don't take that for granted. It's something special. It shows the respect of the BDR [German Cycling Federation], the trust from the trainers and stuff and of course from the team-mates. It's a huge responsibility. I thank everybody for this one. 

"But I have the same responsibility for all of them and my team deserves the maximum honesty. After I left the Vuelta due to a bronchitis I could return very fast back on my bike, back into training and as well back into racing.

"In these races it turned out that I am not in the shape as before, not in the shape to fulfil the leading role at the world cup's elite race. A role I expect from myself and my team and mates and the fans expect that from me as well.

"Believe me, it was not an easy decision to announce that I won't start in Bergen. But it is the right one in regard of the team, in regard of the BDR and as well in regard of myself.

"I wish the full German team maximum success at all the races in the next week in Norway and keep for all of them the fingers crossed."