André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg both extend with Lotto-Belisol
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Friday, June 07, 2013

André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg both extend with Lotto-Belisol

by Ben Atkins at 10:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
German riders commit to two more years with the Belgian Cycling Project

andre greipelAndré Greipel and Marcel Sieberg have both renewed their contracts with Lotto-Belisol, committing to the team for another two years. The two German riders have ridden for the Belgian team since 2011, having spent three years together at HTC-Colombia [although Greipel had been at the team since 2006 - ed] and will now both remain until at least 2015.

“For me there’s no better team than Lotto-Belisol,” said Greipel. “Not many teams focus on the sprint. I find it important that the guys from my train stay as well, like Marcel Sieberg whom I’ve already been riding with for many years and who’s a good friend. I can’t see him in a different team to me. The team and I wanted to sign the agreement as soon as possible, now we can fully focus on the Tour.

“The next race is in Berlin [the ProRace Berlin on Sunday, which he won last year - ed],” he added. “I have trained hard the past week, so possibly I’m not that explosive. We start with only six riders, that means we’ll have to work together with other teams to catch escapees. It’s a beautiful race in my home country. There is a lot of history in this city and the race passes many monuments and finishes at the Brandenburger Tor.”

Sieberg too has similar reasons for wanting to remain at Lotto-Belisol, where he has been a vital part of the sprint train that has already seen Greipel take nine victories this year.

marcel sieberg“There’s a good atmosphere in the team, we’re like a big family,” Sieberg said. “It’s now my third year in this Belgian team and this extension shows they have faith in me. I’ve been working with André Greipel for more than five years now and we’ve already known each other since we were eighteen. It’s nice to help a friend on his way to a victory, but of course I like to support the other riders as well. I’m a team player and am happy with every victory of the team.”

With the Belgian national lottery as its chief sponsor the Lotto-Belisol team has been billed as a Belgian Cycling Project since its creation in 2012 after the loss of sponsor Omega Pharma to its rival Quick Step team. 19 of the team’s 28 riders are Belgian, including most of its stars, but the team will always have room for its two German riders.

“André Greipel is an indispensable part of the Lotto Belisol puzzle,” said general manager Marc Sergeant. “For me a prolonged stay was a necessity. The vision of our team is to be a Belgian team, completed with foreign riders who give an added value and let us play a role on the highest level.

“The number of top sprinters is limited and in Belgium there are no sprinters of his calibre, so for me it was never an option that André would leave the team,” Sergeant explained. “I think André is very attached to the team and that the team very much appreciates André Greipel as a person and as a rider. His victories are like cement for the whole team.

“The fact that Marcel Sieberg extends his contract as well is logical,” Sergeant added. “Both riders are together on the road almost all the time, they understand each other very well and Sieberg is an important link, for example, in the sprint train.”

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