André Greipel is one of many successful young sprinters on T-Mobile Team, having won two stages of the Sachsen Rundfahrt last month. In the Deutschland Tour, though, the 25 year-old is working not for himself but for his more successful teammate Gerald Ciolek. U23 world champion Ciolek has won two stages of the Deutschland Tour, giving him six victories so far this year.
Ciolek thanked all his teammates but specifically mentioned that Greipel "brought me perfectly into position" on Thursday's stage. On the team's website, t-mobile-team.com, Greipel explained how things worked out at the end of the seventh stage. "It was clear that we had to come out of the final curve in the lead, since there were only 600 metres to go to the finish line. We did everything we could. It was dangerous with the wet road and the 180-degree curve, but we did it, as Gerald's win shows. When I dropped off 200 metres before the finish, I knew that no one would catch him."
There is no communication possible in those last few hundred metres, he noted. "The tension is too big, when we are all shooting towards the finish at such a high speed. But I am also a sprinter and know what I have to do."
The two also are sharing a room during the race. "It's easier when you get along personally with each other. But that goes for the whole team. When you see how Andreas [Klier] and Marco [Pinotti] worked hard today to pull back the escapees — that's team spirit. And that's what brings success."