The Good German Soldier routine is over.
Andre Greipel, the second best sprinter on the HTC-Columbia team but the one with the most wins in 2010, is officially tired of his junior role next to Mark Cavendish.
Left off the roster for Milan San Remo in favor of an under-performing Cavendish, the German was clearly ticked. “That was a real blow for me. My riding hasn’t been so bad that I didn’t deserve to start.”
The sprinter from Rostock Germany thought he had a pretty solid case for San Remo. Cavendish was the defending champion but Greipel was the guy on form. He’d won six races already this season, ranked second in the UCI standings and had no dental issues whatsoever.
“Cavendish is having his problems right now. I have ridden some good races,” Greipel said. “When it comes down to a sprint, you can count on me.” See, sprinters just have to mouth off once in a while.
He refused the watch the race, instead taking his kids to the zoo and thus missed seeing the Manxman die on the Cipressa climb when Filippo Pozzato’s Katusha squad hit the gas. Guess the monkey exhibit was more entertaining.
HTC-Columbia’s plan was to have Greipel ride the Giro while Cavendish destroyed everyone at the Tour of California before heading to the Tour de France. But with delays in Cavendish’s schedule due to a slow recovery from oral surgery and several crashes, the world’s fastest sprinter is making noises about riding both grand tours.
That’s not exactly what Greipel wants to hear after being the faithful team player. He wants the Giro to himself and still hopes to pin a number on in Rotterdam on July 3rd for Le Grand Depart.
“I have been satisfied with the team so far, but when I wasn’t even at the start of Milan-San Remo, then I have to figure that I will be making my summer vacation on the Baltic Sea.”
Cavendish might need to win a few races in the next month. Or Greipel’s gripes will get loud and ugly.