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Degenkolb targets Tour after horror crash

BERLIN (AFP) — Giant – Alpecin’s John Degenkolb said Tuesday that he hopes to race in this year’s Tour de France as he continues his recovery from a horrible crash caused by a car in January.

“The first big goal of the season, the spring classics, is forgotten,” said Degenkolb, who won two of them last season: Milano-San Remo and the Paris-Roubaix. “I’m focused on the second big goal, the Tour de France,” he told a press conference in Oberursel, Germany, near Frankfurt.

Degenkolb was one of six riders from the Giant-Alpecin team hit by a car in Spain in late January. The car was driven my an English woman, who was on the wrong side of the road.

He has undergone two successive operations including one that sewed up his left index finger, which was partially severed in the crash. He says the healing process takes “an incredibly long time — the fractures are not yet fully recovered, and they are a great stress for the body.”

While he says he has not set a specific date for his return he feels he has “coped” well mentally with the accident and is not afraid to get back on the bike.

“But I can’t, and won’t, make a prognosis. I cannot say what will happen in the coming weeks,” he added.