Tony Martin heads Katusha-Alpecin for World Championship TTT - News shorts

Defending individual time trial world champion Tony Martin will lead the Katusha-Alpecin squad at the upcoming UCI Road World Championships team time trial (TTT) in Norway on Sunday.

The German is a four-time world champion in tMhe TTT with his former Quick-Step squad, but will face an uphill battle marshalling his team against the likes of the BMC Racing Team, Quick-Step Floors, Sunweb and Team Sky.

Martin will be joined by time trial specialist Tiago Machado, Reto Hollenstein, Alexander Kristoff, Michael Mørkøv and Nils Politt on the start line for the 42.5km test from Ravnanger to Bergen, Norway, on September 17.

Canada announces elite men's World Championships team

Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale) will ride both the road race and time trial for Canada next week at the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway.

Houle, the reigning Canadian time trial champion, is part of a four-rider elite men's team announced by Cycling Canada on Wednesday, joining recent Tour of Utah winner Rob Britton (Rally Cycling) in the time trial on September 20, while Antoine Duchesne (Direct Energie) and Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy) will compete with Houle in the road race on September 24.

"We have a really strong squad going into Road Worlds, not only with our elites but also with our junior and under-23 riders," said Kevin Field, Cycling Canada's road manager. "This past weekend at GPCQM [Quebec and Montreal WorldTour races] has been great preparation for our Elite men, and we are looking forward to seeing them work together for the road race."

Duchesne rode the Canadian WorldTour races with the Canadian national team, finishing 56th and 42nd, while Boivin competed with his trade team and finished 29th and 51st. Houle just finished the Vuelta a Espana, where he finished 115th. Britton, who took the Tour of Utah lead by winning the uphill time trial, most recently finished eighth overall at the Tour of Alberta while supporting teammate Evan Huffman's general classification win.

Cycling Canada elite men's roster for the UCI Road World Championships: Guillaume Boivin (road race), Rob Britton (time trial), Antoine Duchesne (road race), Hugo Houle (road race/time trial).

Verbrugghe joins Bahrain-Merida as director

Former pro Rik Verbrugghe has signed on with Bahrain-Merida as directour sportiff, the team announced today.

Verbrugghe, who retired from Cofidis in 2008 and then moved into the director's seat with Quick-Step in 2009 and 2010, also worked with BMC and IAM Cycling before the team folded last year. He worked this season as a commentator for RTBF Belgian television.

"I'm very proud to work with an ambitious and motivated team like Bahrain-Merida next year, where I will work with big riders as [Vincenzo] Nibali, [Sonny] Colbrelli and so on,"  Verbrugghe said in a statement released by the team.

"[I'm] Looking forward to give my experience to the all team and making the riders goal's and planning but also giving my experience during the spring classics and Grand Tours," said Verbrugghe, whose own career included a Belgian time trial title, a stage win at the Tour de France and three at the Giro d'Italia. He also took victories in Flèche Wallonne and the overall and two stages of the Critérium International.

Bahrain-Merida General Manager Brent Copeland said pleased to have a director with Verbrugghe's experience join the team.

"Rik is an important asset to us, not only at the races working with the riders and staff but also in the organization of various areas of the team where his vast experience will be valued," Copeland said. "His years spent as a rider as well as a sports director and manager is something respected by all, as well as Rik's many different languages he speaks will bring an even more international feel to the team which we believe is an important topic. We welcome him and looking forward to starting a new and exciting season together."

Bouhanni drops out of Tour of Denmark

Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) dropped out of the Tour of Denmark on Wednesday. His team announced on Twitter that he was "a little sick".

The sprinter finished second on the opening stage, winning the bunch sprint behind escapee Casper Pedersen, the U23 European Champion.

Bouhanni missed out on France's team for the UCI Road World Championships, and had planned to end a difficult season, one beset by injuries, at Paris-Tours in October.

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