Felt rider and Argos-Shimano team member John Degenkolb has received another media award following his Velo magazine “International Breakthrough Rider of the Year” acknowledgement for 2012. The prestigious German cycling magazine, Radsport, (“Bikesport” in English) has named the sensational sprint specialist as “Radsportler des Jahres 2012” or “Cyclist of the Year”.
The award is significant since DegenKolb faced strong competition from two fellow German top pros; time trial specialist Tony Martin and sprinter Andre Greipel. Degenkolb’s award is a further coup since both Martin and Greipel have more time in the pro peloton. The “Cyclist of the Year” award is presented based upon polling of Radsport magazine’s readers. Readers were likely inspired by Degenkolb’s incendiary performance at the 2012 Vuelta where he scored five stage wins in addition to his audacious fourth place at the World Championships. In the final points tally for the award, Degenkolb earned 338 points compared to runner-up Tony Martin with 317 points by reader vote.
Degenkolb’s ascendence is an exciting development for Argos-Shimano with the team’s recent upgrade to WorldTour status by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The upgrade allows the team to race in the major WorldTour events including the Tour de France, Giro d’ Italia, Vuelta a Espana, and all major stage and one-day races where Degenkolb’s penchant for bunch sprints will be a factor when the peloton enters the final kilometer intact.