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John Degenkolb abandons Vuelta a Espana with illness

Joe Robinson
23 Aug 2017

John Degenkolb's troubles continue after he abandons the Vuelta a Espana before Stage 5 due to illness

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) abandons the Vuelta a Espana before Stage 5 due to bronchitis. The German sprinter will go home after struggling with the illness since the start of the race. 

Teammate Alberto Contador is also suffering from illness - the likely reason for his poor performance in Andorra - but will continue to ride the race. 

Having won 10 stages and the points jersey in previous editions of the Vuelta, Degenkolb was hoping to take some of the rare sprint opportunities at this year's race. However, with this illness, the German never figured in the first two sprint stages, eventually abandoning. 

This caps off another difficult year for the German. After suffering a career-threatening crash in 2016, the 28-year-old has failed to return to his Paris-Roubaix winning form of yesteryear, no thanks to limited mobility of his left hand as a result of the crash. 

Degenkolb expressed his obvious disappointment at the abandonment, but realises the risk of riding through sickness. 

'To be honest I am really frustrated. I started the season well with a victory in Dubai and a lot of top 10 places at the spring classics, but after that, it just never went like I hoped and expected for.' he told Trek-Segafredo online.

'Anyway, health comes first now and the season is not over yet so I don’t want to take risks now. So, I will go home, recover and focus on the rest of the season.'

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