Greipel gunning for number 21
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Greipel gunning for number 21

by Conal Andrews at 8:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics, Paris-Tours
 

Team Columbia HTC’s Andre Greipel has clocked up 20 victories this season and netted the green jersey in the Vuelta a España. He’s undoubtedly one of the best sprinters in cycling but has been overshadowed somewhat by his team-mate Mark Cavendish. However the German rider has a chance to underline his qualities with victory in today’s Paris-Tours Classic, a race which often – but not always – goes down to a bunch sprint.

He’s also got the psychological boost of his win in Paris-Bourges on Thursday.

"I can not complain. I have good legs, and even if heads are no longer completely fresh, you can always find motivation for a race like Paris-Tours," he told Eurosport.

“If today comes down to a sprint, we will see how it goes,” he said, emphasising that he feels opportunity, not pressure. “I don’t think I have anything left to prove this season, but I will not slow down either. I am putting no pressure on myself – with twenty victories this season, I have a buffer.”

If things are indeed settled in a bunch gallop, Greipel’s main opponents are likely to be Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step). However last year’s victor Philippe Gilbert (Silence Lotto) will be just one of many who will look to foil those plans and clip away before the sprint.

Whoever wins out will have a place in this history of the event as the last-ever winner on the famous Avenue de Grammont. A new tramway means that an alternative finish will have to be found in future, making it the end of an era for the race.

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