André Greipel with stomach trouble into Giro d'Italia
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Saturday, May 08, 2010

André Greipel with stomach trouble into Giro d'Italia

by Bjorn Haake at 7:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

The Giro d'Italia is a very important race for HTC-Columbia's André Greipel. It is his big chance to qualify for the Tour de France and get an opportunity to sprint alongside Mark Cavendish, the team's designated Tour de France sprinter, but Greipel was slightly off before the teams presentation.

His countdown was not going very well, as he complained about health issues on Friday. "Unfortunately I had some stomach troubles overnight and I had to spend most of the day [Friday] in bed," Greipel wrote on his homepage andregreipel.de. "Since I have a room to myself now, it is a bit boring and I am missing all the excitement that is building up for the race."

The good news for Greipel is that he can start the race, but won't know when he is back to normal. "I am hoping for a speedy and good recovery, so I can pedal hard in the coming days."

Greipel received a surprise before the race. The rider with nickname gorilla - which he received after the 2008 Tour Down Under when he won four stages, the overall, the points classification and the opening criterium - was given a special bike from the sponsor. "Scott made a custom designed gorilla bike for me for the Giro. It is not only looking good, but it will also motivate me a lot."

Greipel is still fighting for a chance to ride his first Tour de France. Usually nobody would argue about a sprinter who has already won 11 races in the season, but he has a teammate named Mark Cavendish, who is Mr. Tour de France. Cavendish has ten stage wins with just two appearances in France under his belt. It is hard to argue against that, even considering Cavendish's problematic season so far. Tooth problems forced him to delay his first races, but he is now starting to get better and has won a stage in the Tour de Romandie.

There is a chance that both riders will make it to the Tour, which should be bad news for the others, as long as Greipel and Cavendish manage to get along somewhat.

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