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I think Marcel is not a classical helper. He will have his own ambitions for Sunday."

Photo: Sirotti




14.10.2016 @ 16:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Sunday, Germany will have three top sprinters at the start of the road race at the World Championships. On paper, André Greipel is the leader, "but we have to see how the race goes," he says. Kittel claims to be the joker of the team.


There was much discussion about the German selection: Would André Greipel and Marcel Kittel both travel to Qatar or would one be sacrificed for an extra domestique? Eventually both Greipel and Kittel were selected and John Degenkolb will also be on hand


But are the roles divided. Is Greipel really the leader? "The German team has made that decision," Kittel told Spoza. "I am the joker of the team. We'll see how the race develops.


"We have already discussed our tactics. On Friday we will do it one more time. Then we will largely determine our strategy.


"Here I get one of the few opportunities to compete for the gold. I would like to grab it, but I have a relaxed approach for Sunday.”


"In any case, I do not expect a large group at the finish. The Belgians and Dutch will try to create echelons. We have to be attentive as a team. We're not afraid and we have enough horsepower to react."


Greipel won’t describe himself as the great leader. 


"I am one of the leaders," he said. "On Sunday we will know more. Whether Kittel and Degenkolb will lead me out in the sprint? We have not talked much about it  yet, because we do not know what exactly will happen on Sunday.


"For an entire season, I have made Qatar a goal. I've done everything to be here in top condition. How well I will be, we'll know on Sunday.


"Everyone knows that there is wind in Qatar. There will be echelons. Hopefully we will be there. Whatever happens, the wind or the heat will make a selection."


Greipel does not believe that his longtime rival will lead him out in case of a sprint: "I think Marcel is not a classical helper. He will have his own ambitions for Sunday."


Greipel is not satisfied with the team. He would have preferred a more clear captaincy role.


"I can’t tell anyone to stay at home. We can all imagine a better team," says the 34-year-old, who took the third place in 2011. Doha is one of the last chances to reach one of his major career goals. That his most important domestique Marcel Sieberg is out due to an illness does not make it any easier.


Despite the great rivalry, the mood in the team is good."


“It's not that we sit silently at the table," said Kittel. Greipel agrees: "We have coffee together, have a beer, eat ice cream together, we understand each other well and respect each other.”


John Degenkolb makes no illusions. 


"I do not think I am a top favorite. I take a chance, but it is rather small.


"The Worlds consists of two main parts. In the desert, the wind and the heat will play a major role. Then we ride a circuit race on the Pearl with many twists and turns. That's why I find it very difficult to predict the scenario.


"We have three riders who can ride a super final. Whether it is Marcel, André or me? Hopefully we can fulfill our dream and take the title.


"Greipel is the oldest and the man with the most experience. So he starts out as captain at the Worlds but we will have to be flexible.



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