André Greipel confirms move to Omega Pharma-Lotto
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

André Greipel confirms move to Omega Pharma-Lotto

by Bjorn Haake at 5:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
German leaves HTC Columbia to go for his own glory

André Greipel is heading to the Belgian Omega Pharma-Lotto outfit for the coming season. While the German has not signed the actual contract yet, both he and his new team have come to an agreement. Greipel's signature is expected in the next few days.

Greipel himself confirmed the news on his personal website, www.andregreipel.com. "In the last few weeks there were many specalutations about my imminent move to a different team. Now it is confirmed: Beginning January 1, 2011, Omega Pharma-Lotto will be printed on my jersey."

Greipel had a stellar season with 16 wins, most of them in bunch sprints. But he was overlooked by his HTC Columbia team for the Tour de France. There, Mark Cavendish was the undisputed captain, winning five stages.

The negotiations with Omega Pharma-Lotto went on for a while, but now all details have been settled. "The Management and I are in agreement in all sporting as well as economical aspects and the signing of the contract will follow in the coming days," Greipel wrote.

Greipel carefully looked at his options. "At Omega Pharma-Lotto there was continued work in the last few years. Sponsors and management have a clear vision about the development of the team, which are in line with my own goals in the sport."

Greipel is the second German on the team, which will make the acclimatization easier. "I am especially happy that at Omega Pharma-Lotto I will be able to meet my former teammate, Sebastian Lang." Both were riding for amateur Team Köstritzer, which is called Thüringer Energie Team today. Among others, HTC-Columbia's Tony Martin also came up from this well set-up amateur team in the eastern part of the country. Lang has been with the Belgian squad since 2009.

Greipel will fill the gap left by sprinter Greg van Avermaet, who is heading on. Jürgen Roelandts also has a fast finish and can help get Greipel into the ideal position for the final meters.

Greipel reflected on his time with the team that he joined in 2006, his second year as a professional. "With my leaving HTC-Columbia, a sporting phase of life ends. I had many highs, but also some lows." Highs were undoubtedly his first win of the Tour of Australia in 2008, after which he led the then/new ProTour ranking. "In the same year I also celebrated my first stage victory at the Giro d'Italia."

The Tour Down under in 2009 was a low, as he crashed out of the race and spent 14 weeks away from the sport, nursing his injuries. "But the season ended happily, with four stage wins at the Vuelta and winning the sprints jersey."

This year was similar to 2008, with wins in the Tour Down Under (including the overall victory) and also a dominating performance in the Tour of Turkey. "Highlight of the first part of the season was again the Giro d'Italia, where I was successful in the 18th stage despite my health problems."

Greipel thanked his team and his family, "without whom these successes would not have been possible." He emphasized that he still will go all out for his current team until the end of the season. "We will do everything possible to score in the next races."

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