Despite not having an out-and-out favourite for Sunday's World Championships road race, Andreas Klier believes that Germany can still play an important part in the outcome. The former rider is hoping for a chaotic finale, in which Germany still have cards to play, rather than controlled race in which is riders are likely to struggle.
Without Andre Greipel or John Degenkolb, Germany lack a favourite but in Tony Martin and sprinter Nikias Arndt they do have options.
"We have a wide selection with a pretty high level through the whole group," Klier, who is moonlighting as a director for the national team in Bergen, told Cyclingnews.
"We need to see how far we can get into the race but it's no secret that if Michal Kwiatkowski and the others go then we can't follow. So we need to find out how we get to the final with as many people as possible and then ask what are we going to do when we are there."
The laps around Bergen culminate with the climb up Salmon Hill, where a number of key moves were launched in the early road races at these championships. Many predict that the final ascent up the climb will be crucial on Sunday. Having seen Germany's Lennard Kämna take silver in the men's U23 road race, Klier is well aware that having numbers in the final is Germany's best hope.
"First we have to get there. Then we need to see if it's chaos or controlled. If Italy and Australia are riding for a sprint, we can't do what Belgium can do, which is anticipate and attack left and right. We can't do that," Klier said.
"If it's a chaotic style then we'll have chance to move. That suits us better because if it comes down to a sprint or just pure power on the last climb then our cards aren't the best.
"We do have a person who is faster than the rest in Nikias but I wouldn't say he's the leader. We'll have to see. We'll just communicate out on the road."
Martin's role could be key. The German time trial specialist has the legs to go the distance and few would bet against him attacking in the final laps in a bid to outwit rival teams.
"We have a few people and he's a diesel engine. We're not going to place him on Sagan's wheel and just say, 'when Sagan goes you go with him' but I hope we can play a role."
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