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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) makes his way through the Arenberg forest.
Two more years for German sprinter and Marcel Sieberg
André Greipel is set to continue his stay with Lotto Belisol for at least another two years after he signed a contract extension with the Belgian squad. He arrived at Lotto from the defunct HTC-Highroad ahead of the 2011 season and has enjoyed a very successful spell at the team.
Greipel, who has won 44 races in his spell at Lotto including four stages of the Tour de France, has been able to rely on one of the best-drilled lead-out trains in the peloton. His fellow countryman Marcel Sieberg, who also joined Lotto from Highroad in 2011, has also re-signed with the team for a further two seasons.
“For me there's no better team than Lotto Belisol. Not many teams focus on the sprint,” Greipel said on the team website. “I find it important that the guys from my train stay as well, like Marcel Sieberg with whom I'm already riding together for many years and who's a good friend. I don't see him in another team than me. Like the team, I wanted to sign the agreement as soon as possible, now we can fully focus on the Tour."
Although Lotto’s sponsorship is devoted largely to the development of Belgian riders, team manager Marc Sergeant underlined the importance of Greipel to the project in hand, describing him as “an indispensable part of the Lotto Belisol puzzle.”
“The vision of our team is to be a Belgian team, completed with foreign riders who give an added value and let us play a role on the highest level. The number of top sprinters is limited and in Belgium there are no sprinters of his calibre, so for me it was never an option that André would leave the team,” Sergeant said.
Greipel continues his Tour de France preparation at the Garmin ProRace Berlin on Sunday, a race he won last year. “I have trained a lot the past week, so possibly I'm not that explosive,” Greipel warned. “We start with only six riders, that means we'll have to work together with other teams to catch escapees.”
"The next race is in Berlin. I have trained much the past week, so possibly I'm not that explosive. We start with only six riders, that means we'll have to work together with other teams to catch escapees. It's a beautiful race in my home country. There is much history in this city and the race passes much monuments and finishes at the Brandenburger Tor."