Both Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel will race for Germany in the UCI World Championships road race, with Greipel given the captaincy

Andre Greipel will lead Germany in the UCI World Championships road race in Doha next month but will have sprint rival Marcel Kittel alongside him in a ‘joker’ role.

It was expected that one of the pair would stay at home, with Germany putting all their eggs in the other one’s basket, but managers Jan Schaffrath and Andreas Klier have chosen to take both to maximise their chances of success.

Last week, Greipel bemoaned the fact that the German federation had left their selection so late but says he is now looking forward to becoming Germany’s first road race world champion since 1966.

“I would like to thank those responsible for trusting me with the captaincy. With only six riders we are not the favourites, but if we all pull together we have a good chance,” Greipel said.

With Kittel reportedly given a free role in the team, Greipel may not be able to count on the help of all five of his teammate on the day, should the race come down to a bunch sprint in downtown Doha.

Could we get a situation similar to that of the Australian squad at last year’s World Championships, when Michael Matthews complained that Simon Gerrans was sprinting against him for the win rather than helping him catch Peter Sagan?

German squad for the 2016 World Championships (Six places)

John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step), Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step), Nils Politt (Katusha), Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Soudal), Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar)