Greipel Reveals Plan to Repeat Down Under Success

Interviews

01/17/2009| 0 comments
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Greipel Reveals Plan to Repeat Down Under Success

Say Christmas to most people and they think of great food and drinks and generally a good excuse for overdoing it on the eating and drinking. Not so Columbia-High Road’s Andre Greipel, last year’s winner of the Tour Down Under. For him Christmas Day 2008 was a question of businesss as usual - he went training on his bike.

Say Christmas to most people and they think of great food and drinks and generally a good excuse for overdoing it on the eating and drinking. Not so Columbia-High Road’s Andre Greipel, last year’s winner of the Tour Down Under. For him Christmas Day 2008 was a question of businesss as usual - he went training on his bike.

“I only rode two hours or so,” the German 26-year-old says just a shade defensively about choosing to make his order of priorities: bike season first - festive season second. “It’s pretty cold in December where I live near Cologne, minus three or four, but I was still out there on the 25th, all the same. In any case I’m pretty careful at Christmas, I rarely put on much weight. I know what to do.

Most riders like to spend time at home in the off-season, but Greipel was so determined  he’d be in good shape for January and the Tour Down Under last winter he  went to Mallorca instead. He trained there for three weeks solid.

Greipel’s dedicated attitude certainly paid off big-time in 2008.  Greipel had taken just five minor wins from his three year career prior to the Tour Down Under, but in just seven days, Greipel more than doubled that total, racking up four stage wins and the overall , as well as victory in the opening criterium.
After such a triumphant start to the season there was no stopping the Rostock-born fastman in 2008, either.

Greipel went from strength to strength with 14 victories, the third highest total of any rider in 2008.  His biggest win was in Europe, a stage in the Giro d’Italia. His final first place came in October on home soil, in the Munster Tour in Germany.

Back into Australia on January 8th for the Tour Down Under, Greipel says that he flew in early to get used to the heat, get over the jetlag and also to soak up the  culture Down Under, just a little.

“I like the people a lot here, they’re very relaxed and open and have a great lifestyle,” he claims. “Racing here is the ideal way to start the season - training here in the good weather, too.”

He also warns the other sprinters that he’s in great shape for Australia’s premier bike race.
“My initial aim is for a stage win and we’ll see what happens with the overall after that. The important thing is that somebody from the team wins, no matter who. We’ve got  riders here who’ve won it before like Michael [Rogers] and a great line-up overall. Maybe even stronger than in 2008.”

At the same time, if it comes to battling for the overall, Greipel is determined not to be caught napping. He’s ridden up the key climb of the race on stage two  and has been practicing his lead-outs for the sprints with new Columba-Highroad team-mate Mark Renshaw.

“I’ve been to see that ascent on stage two and it’ll be decisive for sure. It’s not all one constant drag, it’s got some

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