Degenkolb as joker for road race
World time trial champion Tony Martin will look to retain his title for the third consecutive year, while Dominik Nerz wil lead Germany in the road race in the UCI road world championships in Florence. John Degenkolb is the team's “joker” if the road race comes down to a sprint finish.
Nerz is riding for BMC this year after two years at Liquigas-Cannondale. He finished 14th overall at the Vuelta a Espana.
The decision wasn't easy, admitted Udo Sprenger, vice-president of the German federation. “In the end we decided for a mixture of Classics and stage race riders.” Nerz will be team captain, supported by Classics specialists Fabian Wegmann, Paul Martens and Simon Geschke. “In addition we are sending his teammate Marcus Burghardt, who has already ridden a number of good World championships.”
In case the race comes ends with a sprint, Germany will have John Degenkolb, “as a joker, so to say a mountain sprinter,” Sprenger said. He finished fourth in last year's World's road race.
With Martin as defending champion, Germany have the right to send three riders to the time trial. The other two places will be taken by Patrick Gretsch and 2008 world time time trial champion Bert Grabsch.
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