André Greipel: “I don’t think I am one of the favourites for Milan-Sanremo”
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Friday, March 15, 2013

André Greipel: “I don’t think I am one of the favourites for Milan-Sanremo”

by Ben Atkins at 1:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo
German sprinter downplaying his chances but hoping for a bunch finish

andre greipelAndré Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) is downplaying his chances ahead of Sunday’s Milano-Sanremo, but hopes to be in contention if the 298km race finishes in a bunch sprint. The German sprinter has taken five victories so far this season, and will be one of the riders to beat if the peloton arrives on the Lungomare Italo Calvino finishing straight together; his team contains a more likely contender, however, he thinks.

“I don’t think I am one of the favourites for Milan-Sanremo,” Greipel conceded, “there are many others who can claim that position.

“There are no perfect conditions for Milan-Sanremo, planning the race is a difficult task,” he explained. “La Manie usually causes a fracture in the peloton and then the Cipressa and Poggio are decisive. As a team we don’t have to carry the weight of the race, but we have to try to sit in front. The fact that we have two leaders is positive, because that way we can anticipate different scenarios.

“Jürgen Roelandts is the better climber who can follow the others in the final,” Greipel added. “For me it’s waiting to see if I get over the Poggio in the front of the peloton. Milan-Sanremo is a dream, but I hope to experience this year  if I am able to win the race.”

Lotto-Belisol team manager Marc Sergeant expects the unseasonal conditions to play their part in the race and, conceding that Cannondale’s Peter Sagan is the overwhelming favourite for victory, expects other teams to take control of the race.

“Cold, rain, wind; that will probably be the ingredients for next Sunday,” Sergeant explained. “Weather conditions that will of course play a role. Wind in front means a slower race and more chances for the sprinters; 300 kilometres in the rain and there will be a lot of exhausted riders, and bad weather raises the chance that some escapees will be left from a long breakaway, although that only happens once in fifteen years.

“I expect a controlled race again, in which the teams of the favourites – Cannondale, Astana and BMC – will carry the weight of the race,” he confirmed.

“La Manie has caused a serious selection the past few years,” Sergeant concluded. “We have to survive it with as many riders as possible to bring Greipel and Roelandts in perfect conditions into the final.”

Lotto-Belisol team for Milano-Sanremo
Lars Bak, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Vicente Reynes, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Frederik Willems


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