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André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) won a hard-fought opening stage.
Omega Pharma-Lotto sprinter hopes to repeat success of 2010
The Tour of Turkey will again be one for the sprinters this year, and André Greipel of Omega Pharma-Lotto will look to repeat his successes from 2010. He will be facing many of the other top sprinters in the peloton, though, who will look to beat him across the line.
Greipel last year won five of the eight stages. Four of them were sprints, while the first was the 5.8km opening time trial. .
This is a great memory for me”, Greipel said in a press release from the race organisers. “I had a fantastic week as I won the prologue in Istanbul and four stages. I go back with pleasure.
"It’s different for me this year because I’ve changed teams and I yet have to build a new relationship with my teammates. It takes a lot of work, a lot of races and a lot sprints to create a fusion between all the riders involved in the lead-out. That’s also why I’m going back to Turkey. The course is almost the same as last year’s, so it’s an advantage for me to know what to expect.”
The 28-year-old German, who last year led the peloton with 21 victories, will face fierce competition this year at the race, which will be held April 24 to May 1. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo), Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) and Allan Davis (Astana) will make their debuts in Turkey, while Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) will make their return.
"The level of sprinters is higher than in 2010, that will add value to each stage win”, Greipel said. “In July I’ll start the Tour de France for the first time. With my teammates, we’ll have to be ready and know each other before the start in Vendée. Therefore, the Tour of Turkey is a crucial race in my calendar.
"Physically I came out of this race in a great shape last year, it’ll have to be the same again but I’ll also need to take benefit of this race to set up the right timing for my train.”
Omega Pharma-Lotto for the Tour of Turkey: André Greipel (Ger), David Boucher (Fra), Jens Debusschere (Bel), Kenny De Haes (Bel), Olivier Kaisen (Bel), Vicente Reynes (Esp), Marcel Sieberg (Ger) and Sven Vandousselaere (Bel)