Andre Greipel and Team Columbia again!
It’s been quite a season for the US team, the wins started and have never stopped.
That was what Adam Hansen cited as the main difference between the old T-Mobile and the new High Road-Columbia; “now, we win races!”
Not only Cav and Greipel but Boasson Hagen, Lovkvist, Grabsch – just about every rider in the team has scored a win.
Greipel’s break through year was 2008; it looked like he’d trained like a beast all winter to pull of his four stages plus the GC in the Tour Down Under and that would be that.
I saw him quit the Tour of Flanders – with the Pro Tour leader’s jersey on his back – he looked lost. “That’s him for the year,” thought me and Viktor, but he won stage 17 in the Giro and continued winning throughout the season, including September’s Championship of Flanders.
He took 15 victories last year but he’s surpassed that this year.
You have to feel that the team ain’t big enough for both him and Cav, but between them they dominate the UCI winners table.
Tomorrow is the rest day, the riders fly tonight (Tuesday) but the team vehicles have to be driven all the way to Spain.
As Charly Wegelius said; “there’ll be a lot of strong coffee drunk” – a few years ago, it would have been something a tad stronger.
The joke used to be that if they introduced drugs tests for mechanics and soigneurs, the riders would have been on their own.
That’s two days running I’ve mentioned the ‘D word’ – sorry.
Stage 5 on Thursday isn’t too brutal with a second and a third cat – it could well be one for the fastmen – maybe.
Those Spanish (what’s the Castillano for ‘baroudeurs,’ Al?) breakaway boys will be pumped for it, back on home soil and raring to go.
Nah! I’ve given up, Ciolek, Henderson and Andre Greipel – if I’d put a tenner on that, I’d be a millionaire!