When André Greipel began his 2012 season with a bang in Australia, taking out the Down Under Classic in Adelaide in emphatic form, his explanation to reporters was: "We didn't sleep in the winter." Now, heading into 2013, Greipel has begun his training for the new season.
The Lotto Belisol sprinter calls 2012 his "best ever" season in an interview published by biciciclismo.com.
After his win in the Down Under Classic, Greipel, with new sprint train in tow won three stages at the Tour Down Under before winning a further two next up in Oman. A stage at the Presidential Tour of Turkey was ticked off, before a dominant showing at the Ronde van België - strategically important for the team. Wins in Luxembourg, Berlin and Ster ZLM Toer followed before Greipel claimed three stages at the Tour de France in his debut at the grand boucle.
The 30-year-old wasn't at the Tour presentation last month in Paris but he has taken note of the seven suspected sprint stages on offer in 2013.
"There is speculation about a bunch sprint in the first stage, so the winner could win the yellow jersey, but considering the difficulty of the Criterium International, which also takes place in Corsica, it is not clear that they will finish with a sprint," said Greipel. "But if so, of course we will be present."
Greipel's winning run continued all the way through September, a feat that he is quite proud of.
"I'm very satisfied because my victories are well distributed throughout the year," he explained. "As a team, we were present at all times and we take our responsibility for each race. Now we need to set new goals. Since last week I've started to build towards 2013."
Greipel's training schedule begins with cyclo-cross and mountain bike before concentrating on teamwork with his lead out train in December.
He explained that he took some time away from the bike, enjoying a family holiday in the Maldives. It was an important time for Greipel who said he felt the revelations of the past, with the culmination of the USADA report into Lance Armstrong and his associates, somewhat overshadowed the current era.
"[It] makes me sad that people do not distinguish between riders. For those who work hard, both individually and as a team, it's not fair for them to be faced all the time with stories that have nothing to do with them. I know from my own perspective that I take my sport very seriously and work hard to achieve my goals. To keep things as transparent as possible I even reveal my training data."