André Greipel is about to start his seventh Tour de France. This time the Grand Départ takes place in Düsseldorf, in his home country. The German already won eleven Tour stages and he won at least one stage in twelve consecutive Grand Tours that he participated in, starting with the Giro of 2008. This amounted to a total number of 22 victories.
“The start of the Tour is always special. 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 realise the Grand Départ in a country that is rediscovering cycling. That is the merit of the many talented German riders who set strong performances the past years.”
“It’s obvious what the goal of our team is. 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.”
“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.”
“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.”