Tour de France: Greipel chasing yellow on stage one
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tour de France: Greipel chasing yellow on stage one

by VeloNation Press at 10:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Van den Broeck feeling good after recent illness

Andre GreipelGerman sprinter Andre Greipel is relishing the possibility of grabbing the yellow jersey in this year’s Tour de France, recognising that today’s opening stage will almost certainly end in a bunch sprint and that tomorrow’s lumpy race could also suit him.

The Lotto Belisol rider showed his speed when being quickest of the bunch in the day’s intermediate sprint at San Giuliano, located 63 kilometres from the end. His big rival Mark Cavendish finished behind him, although he didn’t appear to be going flat out in the dash for points.

Greipel has had a good season with eleven wins, including his most recent, the German road race championships. That gives him a distinctive jersey to wear throughout this year’s Tour, but he has his mind set on an even more identifiable maillot.

Describing the opening week as always being very hectic and unpredictable, he said that stage win, “will be about the yellow jersey, but that doesn’t make me nervous. For me the most important goal is to win the stage and I put out of mind the jellow jersey as much as possible.”

However he’s simply seeking to reduce pressure rather than ruling it out. “Of course it is a wish to once wear that highly desired jersey, but the team focuses in the first place on winning a stage.”

Meanwhile his team-mate Jurgen van den Broeck is satisfied with his recovery from the illness he suffered during the Critérium du Dauphiné, and was able to get in some altitude training afterwards. As a result he’s happy with his condition and how he has bounced back.

“During my training in Sierra Nevada, I noticed that my legs felt good,” he said. “At the Belgian Championship I also gave my best to test my shape. So I will start off with a good feeling. It is important that I’m very concentrated from scratch, that my legs feel good and that I get a dose of good luck.”

Van den Broeck is clear in his belief that the absence of a prologue could make the race more chaotic, with the riders all recognising that they can jump up the GC even if they gain a handful of seconds. He forecasts a ‘nervous, hectic and tricky struggle.’

The Belgian is looking forward to the mountains, but also a little apprehensive. “During the stage where we are heading towards the Mont Ventoux on the 14th of July, and after the rest day at the 15th of July the Tour can be decided on each day because all stages are very heavy from then. From that moment on it is not possible anymore to recover.

“Winning a stage is not per se an objective, but it would be the ideal scenario to safeguard a potential good ranking in the GC.”

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