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Greipel takes a stage in 3 different races

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10/06/2014

German spinter André Greipel of team Lotto-Belisol is preparing for the clash of the sprinters in the Tour de France. Both his form as the leadout train has been put to the test in several smaller races.

First up was the World Ports Classic. This relatively new race has 2 stages. It starts in Rotterdam on day 1, with a finish in Antwerp. On day 2 the stage starts in Antwerp, and finishes back in Rotterdam. Usually, both stages end up in a sprint, but it is always tricky because of possible heavy crosswinds. André Greipel won the first stage. He was piloted perfectly by his Lotto-Belisol teammates, and was able to hold off Porsev and Bos in the final few meters. On day 2, Greipel almost crashed in the final kilometers, and he could not recover from this maneuver. Greg Henderson decided to go for the sprint, and finished on place 3. The team was very unlucky Greipel was not able to sprint, because he had a good chance to win both the stage and the GC.

Next up was the Belgium Tour, a very important race for the Belgian sponsors! In the first stages, Greipel got beaten by a strong Tom Boonen, but in stage 4 he was able to take the victory. The leadout was perfect again, and looks ready for the Tour de France!

In the Tour of Luxembourg, Greipel won the first stage. In a very chaotic final, Lotto-Belisol took its responsibility and made sure there was going to be a mass sprint. In the sprint, Greipel proved much to strong for Morkov and Van Poppel.
In the final stage, Greipel and Henderson animated the final. Forty kilometers from the end Henderson attacked. With two laps to go, Greipel joined his teammate while the peloton was chasing very hard. In the descent after the finish and on the flat Hendy set the pace for André. In the penultimate lap Greipel started a solo at the foot of the climb. The German champion was able to stay ahead and win. Fourteen seconds later Matti Breschel became second, Teklehaimanot sprinted to place three. Breschel is the overall winner. Vegard Breen, the first Lotto Belisol rider in GC, was fifteenth.

André Greipel: “The goal of the team was to win a stage in each of these races, and we achieved it. Everything that comes next is a bonus. I have to thank my teammates who make my job a lot easier by doing such a good leadout!”

Greg Henderson: "It's nice to have everybody together in these weeks before the Tour and to build the team membership that you need for going into battle. A battle, that's what it feels like in the big races. It's also good of course to have some sprints and to have some hills, like in the Tour of Belgium. As a lead-out man you've got to be relaxed under pressure. It's my job to bring André Greipel as fresh as he possible can to the last 200 meters. That's the key: keeping an eye on the guys in front of you, but also on the man you're taking to the last 200 meters. If we do our thing on the right place on the right time, there's not too many people that can match us."

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