Marcel Sieberg enjoying Greipel's sprint train at Lotto-Belisol
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marcel Sieberg enjoying Greipel's sprint train at Lotto-Belisol

by Kyle Moore at 6:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
German lead out man will ride for himself in the cobbled Classics

Marcel SiebergOne of the tallest riders in the peloton, Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Belisol) has made a living eating up late-race kilometres in support of sprinter André Greipel. The German is on record as saying that he enjoyed his first season at Lotto-Belisol riding in support of Greipel, and while Sieberg gets few chances to ride for himself, he has gotten, and will continue to get plenty of leash at the early April cobbled Classics.

While Sieberg and Greipel shared a successful first season at Lotto-Belisol, with the latter picking up 19 victories, it is hardly the first time they have worked together.

The big German duo has been paired up since the 2008 season, when they both joined the High Road outfit, called Team Columbia for most of that year. After three years there, both joined Omega Pharma-Lotto for 2011, staying on as the squad became Lotto-Belisol for 2012.

This season, they were joined by Greg Henderson and Jürgen Roelants to form one of the most formidable lead outs in the peloton. Greipel attained nearly a score of wins, and Sieberg secured his place as one of the strongest big men in the bunch.

“It’s my job to get André to victory, and it has indeed worked well the past five years. It’s always been very good. I’m certainly pleased with my season.” Sieberg told RadsportNews.com.

From the earliest parts of the 2012 road season, Sieberg was impressed with the way the members of his lead out worked together.

“From the very beginning, like from the Tour Down Under and on, our team worked great and we were well developed in terms of our sprinting for André. It makes us all optimistic for the tasks ahead,” he added, paying tribute to his other fast team-mates. “Even at HTC, we worked great with [Henderson]. Since Jürgen had his crash right at the beginning of the season [Roelants suffered a broken vertebrae in the Tour Down Under – ed.], I had to take his place. It worked out well, but of course it is ideal if our sprint train is complete.”

Runner-up at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in 2007, and fifth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2010, Sieberg gets to play his own cards in the early Classics at Lotto-Belisol. He struggled this season, taking 67th at the Ronde van Vlaanderen and dropping out of Paris-Roubaix, but said that, “I was unlucky and suffering from poor health,” and had hoped for better.

When asked if he would like to chalk something up in the win column, the German hesitated. “It’s not quite that simple. When I’m at 95 percent of my races working for André, [it’s tough to] switch over and ride for my own account. Especially in races like Paris-Roubaix, I’ll try to ride aggressively,” Sieberg stated.

Without a distinct possibility of victory to keep him motivated, Sieberg thrives off of team success, as well as the personal experience that comes with riding in the world’s biggest races. He revealed that helping Greipel to three Tour de France stage wins would be the highlight of 2012, along with racing in the London Olympic road race.

“Even though the start of the road race, just six days after the Tour de France was not ideal, with the Tour in our heads and in our legs – for the rest of my life I will not forget the millions of fans who were cheering in London,” Sieberg recalled.

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