Greipel ready for Tour stage wins
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Greipel ready for Tour stage wins

by Bjorn Haake at 12:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) won the first stage of the Tour Down Under and showed he is a sprinter to be reckoned with in 2010. Greipel also believes he can finally win a Tour de France stage. This isn't a question about his physical and mental ability to do it - but when your teammate is Mark Cavendish, it will always be harder to ride for your own bill.

Last year Greipel had to stay at home while Cavendish won six stages and only missed the green jersey to a relegation in one of the sprint stages. "I assume I can be at the start of this year's Tour de France," Greipel said to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

And he makes it clear that it is not just to launch the sprint for his British teammate. "At some point we will race against each other and then we'll see who is the fastest." In 2008, there was already a similar duel between the two in the Giro d'Italia. It was the 146-kilometer long 17th stage from Sondrio to Locarno where Greipel and Cavendish left their sprint companions behind.

How Greipel won that one is a matter of perspective. Greipel argues that he was so string launching the sprint that nobody could follow, whereas Cavendish sees it as a present to his teammate.

Greipel emphasizes the point of his own ambitions, however. "With the Tour team I can win stages just as well as Cavendish," he said.

For now, the two have a different race program. Come nomination time, it will be interesting to see which strategy HTC-Columbia chooses. Until then we surely will still see many great battles between the fastest men in the peloton.


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