Andre Greipel: It's good to be in Dusseldorf
Jun 29 2017 10:10 pm CET

Andre Greipel: It's good to be in Dusseldorf

Andre Greipel is ready to start the Tour de France in his home country and will try to get as many stage wins as possible with his team Lotto-Soudal.

Greipel is starting his seventh Tour de France with impressive numbers: 11 stage victories in the Tour, at least one stage win in twelve consecutive Grand Tours and a total of 22 victories. "The start of the Tour is always special," said the rider. "When you are not motivated for the Tour it is better not to come. This time the Grand Départ takes place close to home. The city Düsseldorf and the entire region have made the Tour start possible.

"Apart from that there was the trust that ASO put in Düsseldorf to realize the Grand Départ in a country that is rediscovering cycling. That is the merit of the many talented German riders who set strong performances in the past years."

The rider and his team are well aware of the objectives for this Grand Tour. "I know what’s expected from me and my teammates know that too. We really want to win a stage and the sooner the better. Although I won’t say no to a victory on the Champs Elysées.

"The finish in Liège on Sunday is very special for our team. It would be fantastic to win at the first opportunity, but we won’t be the only team that wants that. We have a very experienced team that has ridden many Tours together and that has prepared a lot of bunch sprints together. We know how to handle stressful situations," he commented.

For Greipel the start of the race in a familiar area adds to the excitement. "Many people I know will come to the start in Düsseldorf. That makes it very unique. During a fourteen kilometres long time trial you can’t take that in, but it is a nice thought that there are many familiar faces along the course. We did a first training of 120 kilometres on roads I know well. It’s good to be here," he added.

As for the sprinters competition, the German knows it is not going to be easy. "The competition is huge. It has been a while ago that there were so many strong sprinters at the start with the ambition to win a stage. Among them guys who already won Tour stages, like Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish and me. But there is a next generation that will definitely play along," Greipel affirmed.
Photo of Andre Greipel (cropped) by Lotto-Soudal