Greipel's main goal is the Giro d'Italia
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Greipel's main goal is the Giro d'Italia

by Bjorn Haake at 12:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Andre Greipel has brought 11 of the 20 victories that his HTC-Columbia team has notched up so far this season. The German hopes to add a few more in the Giro d'Italia, which would provide good arguments for bringing him along to the Tour de France.
Greipel hasn't given up the hope yet on racing in France this July, but the near-term goal is clear. "I am concentrating on the Giro, this is clearly my season highlight," he said at a pre-race press conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The route does not favor the sprinters, but this doesn't deter Greipel.
"I have stopped looking at profiles, since I can't change them anyway. I am not the worst rider on the hills, so I could end up in the front on undulating terrain."
He attributes his great season to the years of foundation work he has put in. "I am really harvesting the fruits now. The work with the team's trainer, Sebastian Weber, is getting better, too," he added.
Greipel is eager to get along with the whole team. To Frankfurt, he chose the more unusual option to ride in the team bus. "I had a good talk with the mechanic," he said. He knows who helps him if he is to stand on the podium's top spot again. "The team always gives everything for me. I am just trying to fulfill what the team management expects from me. I hope that it will continue like this in the future."
Whether there is a future that includes the co-existence of the team's super sprinters - Greipel and Mark Cavendish - is indeed on everyone's mind. Greipel's contract expires at the end of the year and director Rolf Aldag knows what he has with the young German. "He is an absolute team player and is always motivated for the races. He has also said that he feels very well in the team, something that often does not get written in articles."
But Aldag is also aware that Greipel wants to take the next step. "He is not a rookie sprinter anymore. It is our philosophy to see how far our guys can go and where their limits are."
Aldag said a decision for the Tour de France has not been made yet. "Both have made the list of 15 riders we had to submit already." He sees it as a possibility and says it is too early to make a decision. "You never know what is going to happen. Last year Andre had a bad injury, this year Mark had a bad start to the year."
Greipel on the other hand has continued his winning ways in the Tour of Turkey, where he won the prologue, four stages and the points jersey. He seemed to have more trouble getting home than with his opponents in the race, as the volcano in Iceland wreaked havoc on the flight schedules.
"We made it to Istanbul, but there nothing was moving. I have never seen so many people line up. Fortunately there was some open airspace over Austria. We chose a flight to Salzburg and managed to get the last rental car in the entire airport. We then stopped over at Andre Korff's house - he is a former teammate. I was glad to be home in Cologne," Greipel said about his 36-hour ordeal.


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