Martin and Degenkolb to lead Germany at World Championships
Federation announces 14-rider pre-selection for Bergen
Tony Martin and John Degenkolb will head up the German squad at the Road World Championships next month. Unsurprisingly with such a hilly course around Bergen, sprinters Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel did not make the 14-rider pre-selection announced by the German Federation (BDR) earlier this week.
In Martin, Germany has the defending time trial champion and a four-time winner in the TT with three other titles between 2011 and 2013. Martin has suffered a lot of disappointment in his favoured discipline, finishing fourth in the Tour de France's main time trial and losing out at the Volta ao Algarve, the Baloise Belgium Tour and the Criterium du Dauphine. Martin is set to ride the Tour of Britain at the start of September as his final preparation for the World Championships. He's also likely to be a key part of Katusha-Alpecin's squad in the team time trial.
Degenkolb has not enjoyed quite as much success as Martin at the World Championships, but has some good results to look back on. He finished second in the under 23 race in 2010 and just missed the podium in Valkenberg in 2012. Degenkolb came close on several occasions to taking a win at the Tour de France. He is expected to race the Vuelta a Espana later this month.
There are three further riders fighting it out for Germany's two other spots in the time trial. Nikias Arndt, Jasha Sutterlin and Nils Politt are all looking to don the German jersey in that event.
Germany will find out in two days' time exactly how many riders they will be able to take to Bergen, but they are currently sitting ninth in the nations ranking and look set to be one of the 10 teams that will be allowed to bring a nine-rider squad. Those that make it into the time-trial line-up will gain automatic entry into the road race and, with Degenkolb already set to race, that leaves five more places up for grabs.
German WorldTour squads Bora-Hansgrohe and Team Sunweb have a heavy presence in the remaining nine riders hoping to make it into those five final spots. For Bora-Hansgrohe, Emanuel Buchmann, Marcus Burghardt, Christoph Pfingsten have been named, while Johannes Fröhlinger and Simon Geschke are there from Team Sunweb. The final riders are Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale), Christian Knees (Team Sky), Paul Martens (LottoNL-Jumbo) Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin).
The road race is expected to be dominated by the Classics style riders with a short, sharp rise up 'Salmon Hill' marking the finishing loops – which the elite men will ride 12 times. The 2017 Road World Championships will take place between September 17 to 24.
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