Greipel heading to Tour of Poland determined to build on his 2010 victory tally
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Greipel heading to Tour of Poland determined to build on his 2010 victory tally

by Conal Andrews at 6:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Poland
German sprinter has already won 14 times this year

Andre GreipelChasing what would be his fifteenth win of the season, André Greipel will line out in the Tour of Poland on Sunday determined to leave his mark on the race.

The HTC Columbia sprinter will be joined by Michael Albasini, Craig Lewis, Frantisek Rabon, Vicente Reynes, Marcel Sieberg, Martin Velits and Peter Velits, and these will do their utmost to help put him in the right positions for the bunch gallops.

Greipel picked up a stage win in the race last year, and eventually went on to take 20 victories for 2009. He’s approaching that mark now and could even exceed that if the rest of the season goes to plan.

However he insists that he’s not thinking that far ahead, but taking each race at a time. "It's not like that's a particular objective of mine,” he said, speaking of the chance to exceed last year's total. “In Poland I just want to win a stage at the very least and then we'll take it from there.”

Greipel’s 2010 tally makes him the most successful rider of the season, in terms of the number of victories. He’s got 14, followed by the Giant Asia Irishman David McCann (10) and Alberto Contador (9). Greipel’s team-mate Mark Cavendish has eight, with five of those being Tour de France stages.

Greipel missed out on the French event due to the famous rivalry between himself and Cavendish, and also because HTC Columbia felt that it could only bring one top sprinter to the race. Greipel had the chance to underline his Grand Tour credentials in the Giro d’Italia but he was ill and only picked up one stage. He previously grabbed four stages plus the points classification in last year’s Vuelta.

"I had a bit of a break after the Tour of Austria and after ten days training, the Tour of Poland is where I start the second part of the year,” he says. "It's always a fast, difficult race, because with no individual time trial to sort out the general classification, you get breakaways going all the time and there are some tricky climbs to try and split things up. It's not just a series of sprints."

"However, we've got a great team going, a lot of support for me in the leadouts and everybody is fresh and read to go. My condition's good, for sure our rivals will be looking at HTC-Columbia to do a lot of the work keeping the race under control, so we won't have it easy and we'll have to select our targets carefully."

Cavendish is thought likely to ride the Vuelta a España. Greipel will want to return to the sprints where he dominated last year and so it will be interesting to see if some compromise can be worked out for both of them to take part. Many of the sport’s top sprinters want to ride the Spanish tour as it is the ideal preparation for the world championships, which take place in Australia and are expected by some to come down to a big gallop.

He is set to leave the team at the end of the season, and is tipped to move to the Omega Pharma Lotto team.


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