Greipel rather than Cavendish to headline HTC Columbia squad in Tour of Britain
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Greipel rather than Cavendish to headline HTC Columbia squad in Tour of Britain

by Conal Andrews at 7:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Britain
German heads very strong team lineup

Andre GreipelTop-ranked British rider Mark Cavendish will miss his home Tour this year due to his participation in the Vuelta a España, but his HTC Columbia team are sending top sprinter André Greipel to chase stage wins in the Tour of Britain.

Greipel is the most successful rider of the year, in terms of the number of victories gained. He has clocked up sixteen wins in all, with the most recent being the final stage of the Tour of Poland. Since then, he has netted third in the Vattenfall Cyclassics and is chasing results in the Eneco Tour.

The 28 year old German will be joined by another fast rider, Mark Renshaw, who is best known as Cavendish’s leadout man. The six-man team will be completed by four very strong time trialists. Former world champions Michael Rogers and Bert Grabsch will provide the horsepower to chase down breaks, with Rogers also capable of going for the overall victory if he is in form. Another contender is the Italian TT champion Marco Pinotti, who won the Tour of Ireland two years ago and took the prologue of this year’s Tour de Romandie, as is Tour de Suisse TT winner Tony Martin.

The squad is an extremely strong one, and has the potential to repeat the victory it achieved last year with Edvald Boasson Hagen.

“We are delighted that Team HTC – Columbia are sending such a strong team to the race, which clearly speaks volumes about how importantly they regard The Tour of Britain,” said race director Mick Bennett.

“Obviously the team have had tremendous success in Britain in the past, so I am sure they will want to continue that, which means spectators will be in for a treat. I am excited about seeing the likes of André and Mark sprinting for the line in Blackpool come Saturday 11th September, so I encourage people to come down to one of our eight finish venues themselves to see them in action at firsthand.”

The team will be managed by Brian Holm and has three strong riders in reserve, ready to step in if any of the initial six end up not taking part. They are Michael Albasini, Marcel Sieberg and Australian youngster Leigh Howard.

The identity of the riders with the Skil Shimano and Topsport Vlaanderen teams have also been announced. The former will return after a three year absence and will feature the sprinters Kenny Van Hummel and Robert Wagner, along with Jin Long, Bert De Backer and Dutch duo Roy Curvers and Koen De Kort.

Topsport Vlaanderen will be headed by recent Tour of Denmark stage winner Michael Van Staeyen, Tour of Qatar stage winner and overall runner-up Gert Steurs, plus Pieter Jacobs, Stijn Joseph, Pieter Vanspeybrouck and Kristof Vandewalle.

The latest three squads join nine others who were previously announced, namely the An Post Sean Kelly Cycling Team, Endura Racing, Garmin – Transitions Pro Cycling Team, Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta, Rapha – Condor – Sharp, Sigma Sport – Specialized, Sky Professional Cycling Team and Team Saxo Bank.


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