Earlier this month André Greipel was forced to leave Paris-Nice due to a rib injury he suffered during Volta ao Algarve as he needed more time to recover. The German sprinter returns tomorrow as part of Team Lotto Soudal for Gent-Wevelgem.
André Greipel had his say on his comeback: “I still feel it, but it doesn’t bother me anymore when I’m on the bike. Actually, I got used to the pain but after I sprinted to the third place in the fourth stage of Paris-Nice I noticed something was really wrong. I put the bike aside for three days and then I started training again because the Classics remained a goal. I was careful, so I didn’t sprint for example. It wasn’t the preparation I had in mind, but I did the best I could in the given circumstances. I also traveled to Mallorca to train a few days on the island.”
Prior to his abandon in Paris-Nice, the German had only won a couple of 1.1 races in Spain, so he is hoping for more during the spring classics.
Herman Frison, Sport Director at Lotto Soudal, certainly relies on Greipels` strenght, but also on the in form Jens Debusschere:
“For André Greipel it will be the first race since he abandoned Paris-Nice, his feeling on the Kemmelberg will tell if he can sprint at the end. If the race ends with a sprint that is, because the wind can make it a really tough race. We can also rely on Jens Debusschere, who has just won Dwars door Vlaanderen, and Jürgen Roelandts. Also Tiesj Benoot will start, even though that wasn’t planned originally. Tiesj is strong and has already proven many times that he can start up the battle. A strong rider like him is always an advantage.”, he said.
Gent-Wevelgem will be a tough test for the recovering Greipel, but nothing could get him back in the game better than one of the toughest one-day races in the calendar.
Team Lotto Soudal line-up for Gent-Wevelgem: Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.
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andre greipel comeback Gent-Wevelgem spring classics Team Lotto Soudal