Greipel to captain German team at Doha Worlds

The German Cycling Federation announced Tuesday that Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) will lead the six-man team at the sprinter-suited road race World Championships in Doha, Qatar on October 16, while compatriot Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) will play a wildcard role. The team announcement was reported on Rad-Net.

"I would like to thank those responsible for the trust to transfer the captaincy [to me]," said Greipel, who earlier expressed disappointment at the federation's delay in selecting the team. "With only six riders we are not the favourites, but if we all pull together, we have a good chance."

The federation took into account the route planned for the World Championships when selecting the team. The men will race 151km in the desert before seven laps of a technical 15.2km circuit in Doha, with a finish on The Pearl of Qatar after 257.5km. The route is considered both technical and tactical, suited to one-day specialists and sprinters.

Greipel will lead the team after a strong season that started with two wins at the Mallorca Challenge and went on to include wins at Tour of Turkey, three stages at the Giro d'Italia, Tour de Luxembourg, German road race championships, a stage at the Tour de France and Tour of Britain.

Kittel has also had strong early- to mid-season with wins at the Dubai Tour, Volta al Algarve, Three Days of De Panne, Scheldeprijs, Tour de Romandie, two stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and one stage win at the Tour de France, making it a difficult decision for the German national team to select a sprint leader for the Doha Worlds.

Germany has six riders for the road race and two for the time trial. The road race nominations include Greipel and Kittel along with John Degenkolb, Tony Martin, Nils Politt, Marcel Sieberg and Jasha Sutterlin. The time trial nominations are Martin, Politt and Sutterlin.

"This leaves us more tactical flexibility," said the federation's president Udo Sprenger.

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