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"Maybe I put a little bit of anger into my sprint today, but I think it was a good sprint," Greipel says

Photo: Sirotti

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TOUR OF QATAR

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13.02.2014 @ 21:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After having been beaten by Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) in a photo finish yesterday, André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) got his revenge when he crushed the opposition in today's penultimate stage of the Tour of Qatar. With a resounding sprint that nobody had any response to, the German proved that he is the fastest rider in the race and he admitted that he had probably used his anger to get the result.

 

André Greipel is rarely beaten in a bunch sprint when his famous Lotto Belisol delivers him perfectly with a few hundred metres to go but yesterday the German failed to finish the job. In the fourth stage of the Tour of Qatar, Tom Boonen used a late surge to pass the German in the tough headwind sprint.

 

Today Greipel was a man with a mission as he wanted his revenge for that unusual defeat. With a strong group up the road and Omega Pharma-Quick Step content with the situation, he asked his Lotto Belisol teammates to do the hard work in the headwind and finally paid back their dedication with a hugely convincing sprint win.

 

"The team did a great job," he said. "There were no echelons today. Starting from 60km before the end Lars Bak and Gert Dockx were pulling to get the breakaway back and put the rest of us out of the wind all day. We didn't get any help. After 30 kilometers we left it to the other teams. The gap started decreasing again with 20 km to go.

 

"I think QuickStep wanted to let the breakaway go today so we took the responsibility and tried to set up the sprint. I think the team did a really good job during the whole stage to chase the breakaway down and to keep me out of trouble."

 

It is a general impression that Lotto Belisol have the best lead-out train in the world and today's sprint was another faultless performance by the squad.

 

"Kris Boeckmans led us up to the 2km sign as it was important to be in front there with the crosswinds," he said. "Sieberg and Roelandts took the lead in the final kilometer and did it perfect like always. I could save myself until 200 meters to go. Everyone did his part for the victory."

 

Greipel admitted that yesterday's result had probably played a role in today's win.

 

"Maybe I put a little bit of anger into my sprint today, but I think it was a good sprint," he said.

 

Greipel is using the race in Qatar to prepare for his next objectives, the cobbled classics. He will mostly play a domestique role for Roelandts in those races but may get his own chances in races like Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Gent-Wevelgem.

 

"The last four days were really hard and Oman is also important," he said. "I think it's the next step towards the classics."

 

Lotto Belisol still have Roelandts in 3rd on GC while Greipel moved into 10th with today's win.

 

Starting at 12.45 CET you can follow the final stage on CyclingQuotes.com/live. You can read our preview here.

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