Giro d'Italia: Greipel announces departure after stage 12 victory

Lotto Soudal rider won three stages and holds the red points jersey

After launching himself to his third victory at the Giro d'Italia in Bibione, Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) announced that he will leave the Italian Grand Tour today. He cited goals further into the season as the reason for departing from the race early ahead of the more difficult mountain stages.

"My season is full of goals and of course I'm not happy to pull out of the Giro with he red jersey. But the team and myself have made the decision to go home, to leave the Giro today, and prepare for the upcoming goals," Greipel said.

Greipel won stage 5 in Benevento, stage 7 in Foligno and stage 12 in Bibione. He is currently holds a healthy lead in the points competition.  

In Bibione, the German sprinter secured the 20th Grand Tour stage win of his career, equalling compatriot Erik Zabel. He relied on his Lotto Soudal teammates to bring him through the two technical finishing circuits. Jurgen Roelandts took him through the last corner where Greipel launched his winning sprint with 300 metres to go, followed in by runner-up Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).

"It was already quite strong of the team to keep me there at the front and still be there for the lead out," Greipel said. "It was amazing to follow the wheels of my teammates today. The plan was Jurgen Roelandts would hit the last corner first, and leave a little bit of a gap and then I could accelerate in his slipstream. It worked out really good. I wanted to do the sprint from the corner and I'm happy that it worked out like that."

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