Andre Greipel video: Turkey race leader relieved to avoid big crash, wants stage wins
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Andre Greipel video: Turkey race leader relieved to avoid big crash, wants stage wins

by Shane Stokes at 2:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Video, Presidential Tour of Turkey
 
German set to lose turquoise jersey today

Andre GreipelAndre Greipel may have taken over as race leader on yesterday’s second stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey, but the German accepts that his tenure in the turquoise jersey will be a brief one. Today’s third stage of the race heads to the summit of the arduous Elmali climb and the 1820 metre climb is sure to be Greipel’s kryptonite.

“On the day before a mountain stage, it doesn’t mean much,” he said after the stage, “but to take the green jersey back to Istanbul, yes, it’s feasible.”

Having travelling to Turkey, Greipel was hit by the news that his grandmother had passed away. He decided to stay in the race and doubtlessly would like to dedicate a stage win to her. After netting second to Marcel Kittel on stage one, he was motivated to perform yesterday. However he very nearly came down in the big crash which caused many in the bunch to fall, and which put Mark Renshaw out of the race.

“I saw the crash perfectly as it took place in front of me. I don’t know exactly how but I managed to stay on my bike while my feet had gone out of the pedals. It was a rather big crash, but fortunately I avoided it.”

Greipel said that the headwind facing the riders in the final five kilometres made things tough and meant that his team hit the front too early. As a result they were swamped by other teams and he had to try to fight his way back up into position; he did so, and believes he was in the right place to win the stage, but then the crash happened.

“I think I was sixth wheel, just behind Kittel,” he said in the video interview below. “With 500 metres to go I was at zero kilometres per hour and out of the pedals. I just clicked into the pedals and went all the way until the finish.”



Greipel was coming back at those in front of him but was unable to get past stage winner Aidis Kruopis and runner-up Marco Coledan (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox). “If the sprint had taken place normally, I would have had good chances to win it,” he stated.

The German has taken seven stages in all and while his time in the turquoise jersey will end today, he should be back in the hunt for another victory tomorrow and, potentially, the green jersey in Istanbul.

The Tour de France will be Greipel’s big target of the season. He nabbed three stage wins last year but missed out on the points jersey to Peter Sagan. Taking the Maillot Vert is a big career goal and he’ll seek to be in prime condition in July to aim for that.

Before then, though, there’s plenty of other victories to chase. “We will look race by race, to Frankfurt and Cologne now, two big races in Germany,” he said, looking to what he will do next after Turkey. “And then the Tour of Belgium, which is really important for the team.”

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