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John Degenkolb joins Lotto-Soudal on a two-year deal

Joe Robinson
22 Aug 2019

Double Monument winner joins Philippe Gilbert in move across to Belgian WorldTour team. Photo: Peter Stuart

Two-time Monument winner John Degenkolb will move from Trek-Segafredo to Lotto Soudal in a bid to revitalise his Spring Classics career.

The German will join on a two-year deal taking him through to the 2021 season and join fellow Monument champion Philippe Gilbert as the latest signing for the Belgian WorldTour team.

The 30-year-old was one of the world's leading one-day classics riders in 2015, winning both Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix.  

It looked as if the German would push on to add to that haul until he was involved in a serious collision with a car while on a training ride in Spain in early 2016.

The subsequent injuries were severe and pegged Degenkolb back into a long rehabilitation period which saw him miss the Spring Classics campaign.

While he has yet to return to the level that saw him win those two Monuments in one season, he has shown glimpses of his previous abilities, notably his emotional Tour de France stage win into Roubaix last year. 

Degenkolb will now look to refind his 2015 form with a move to Lotto Soudal, not only for his own ambitions in the Classics but as an experienced addition to Caleb Ewan's sprint train.

The talks with Lotto Soudal have revealed that there are many similarities between the team’s goals and mine. It makes sense that a Belgian team with a long history in cycling wants to excel during the Classics,' said Degenkolb.

'That will be the aim for the first part of the season. In addition, I’m not slow at the finish, especially after a tough race.

'Of course, I also look forward to working with Caleb Ewan, who will undoubtedly be our number-one sprinter for his specific goals. But with my experience, I can provide added value for him and for Lotto Soudal. The team is often active on two or three fronts, which increases the chance to obtain nice results.'

For team manager Marc Sergeant, Degenkolb's decision to join was welcomed not only for the impact he can have on the bike but also with the team's sponsors.

'With John Degenkolb and Philippe Gilbert, we managed to add two great riders to our team. John is fast after a hard race, which makes a big difference if you go to the line with, for example, twenty riders. I hope that we will get to see the best Degenkolb the coming years and I am convinced that he is capable of doing so,' said Sergeant.

'The fact that we are able to get a German rider on board, is a nice bonus for our partner Soudal, for whom the German market is very important.'

This is Lotto-Soudal's second major signing for 2020 with the team already bringing Philippe Gilbert across from Deceuninck-QuickStep.

The new duo hold six Monument wins between them and will work as replacements for the outgoing Tiesj Benoot, who is moving across to Team Sunweb.