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"Jürgen Roelandts was convinced that Greipel could win today, so he stayed with him. After the descent of the Poggio, Roelandts wanted to take Greipel to the front, but in that moment André got cramps. Then it was over - un...

Photo: Sirotti








23.03.2014 @ 21:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

André Greipel had his best ever shot at Milan-Sanremo victory when he crested the summit of Poggio just a few seconds behind the lead group. With excellent help from a very strong Lotto Belisol team, he made it back in time for the sprint but the effort was costly as cramps made it impossible for him to show off his speed.


It was a wet and cold edition of Milan-Sanremo. After 294 kilometers a group of twenty-five riders sprinted for victory. Norwegian Alexander Kristoff was the fastest. André Greipel was also part of the group, but had cramps and fell out of top twenty.
Early in the race a front group was formed with these seven riders: Barta, Boem, Bono, De Maar, Haas, Parrinello and Tjallingii. Their advantage raised up to ten and a half minute.
On the Passo del Turchino, where there even fell hail out of the sky, the peloton came closer and passed the top seven minutes after the leaders. Next the escapees got dropped in front one by one, because of bad luck or tiredness. After the Capo Berta, Bono, De Maar and Tjallingii were left at the head of the race with about three minutes lead.
Lotto Belisol led the peloton in the beginning of the Cipressa. Afterwards Cannondale took over. Vincenzo Nibali decided to take his chance and attacked on the climb. He reached the top twenty seconds behind race leaders De Maar and Tjallingii.
On the descent the Italian passed them. Nibali began the Poggio with a small advantage and was caught soon. There were several attempts, but no one got away. A group of about 25 riders crossed the top together. André Greipel followed at one hundred meters.
The German champion could return by help fromJürgen Roelandts, but then he got cramps and couldn't sprint. Alexander Kristoff won ahead of Fabian Cancellara and Ben Swift.
"I have seen a very good team today, but it didn't end with a strong result," sports director Herman Frison said. "On the Cipressa the team was very well represented in the peloton. The teamwork was perfect, the guys turned op the climb in front. Also on the Poggio they were on the front rows.
"Jürgen Roelandts was convinced that Greipel could win today, so he stayed with him. After the descent of the Poggio, Roelandts wanted to take Greipel to the front, but in that moment André got cramps. Then it was over - unfortunately."



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