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"In 2008 and 2010 I won the GC as well, so I have good memories of it. The race has become a bit tougher each year, but I see three opportunities to sprint in this edition. The aim is a stage victory," Greipel told cyclingnews.com

Photo: Sirotti

ADAM HANSEN

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ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TOUR DOWN UNDER

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20.12.2013 @ 10:00 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Lotto-Belisol team has announced their roster for an inaugurating event of the 2014 season built around German sprinter Andre Greipel, who will return to Australia to participate in Tour Down Under for seventh consecutive season.

 

Greipel, the two time overall classification winner of the Santos Tour Down Under do not hide his excitement to follow his conventional racing schedule and inaugurate his season with an event held in Australia yet another time. Even though the German cyclist admits, that with the route being successively changed over the years it becomes less and less likely for the sprinter to win the whole competition, as well as sprinting opportunities are becoming more limited, his main goal would be adding another stage victory to the respectable number of 14, including one claimed in the last edition of the race.

 

Lotto-Belisol team decided to build the roster for Santos Tour Down Under around 31-year old German consisting of the proven cogs of their successful train, with the exception of the Grand Tour marathoner, Giro d’Italia stage winner and unquestionable twitter favorite Adam Hansen, presumably seeking for opportunities of a different kind.

 

Considering Greipel’s respectable results achieved during his numerous appearances in the biggest World Tour race held in Australia, it is not surprising that Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur expresses his contentment to welcome the Belgian team participating once again in the inaugural event of the season.  

 

"There's no question André Greipel and his fellow riders mean business when they come to race here," Turtur said.

 

"The explosive power of these cyclists is a force to be reckoned with, and we know how much fans enjoy watching the team storm home for a sprint finish."

 

Greipel expresses his satisfaction to follow his traditional schedule for yet another year and admits, that this time the stage win would be a main target for him and the Belgian team.

 

"In 2014 it will be my seventh attendance in a row. I won the criterium in the run-up to the stage race three times and I took 14 wins at the actual Tour Down Under," Greipel said.

 

"In 2008 and 2010 I won the GC as well, so I have good memories of it. The race has become a bit tougher each year, but I see three opportunities to sprint in this edition. The aim is a stage victory."

 

The race will also be an important opportunity to hone the sprinting train for the season. Unfortunately for the team a key cog in the train, Greg Henderson, will miss the race for the first time since 2008 after undergoing knee surgery.

 

"It will be the first time that the sprint train will be put on the rails next season and that we can put it to the test," Greipel said.

 

German sprinter is also excited to leave the highly unfavorable weather conditions typical for the European continent in the middle of January, and welcome a hot summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

"We leave two weeks before the start, so we can train in the most optimal conditions. In Australia we are sure to have good weather," he said.

 

"It can be very hot, but I don't have any problems with the heat."

 

The Lotto Belisol team for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under:

André Greipel (GER), Adam Hansen (AUS), Jens Debusschere (BEL), Olivier Kaisen (BEL), Jurgen Roelandts (BEL), Marcel Sieberg (GER) and Stig Broeckx (BEL)

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