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Greipel: the gentleman sprinter of his generation

Stephen Farrand
February 19, 23:10,
February 19, 23:12
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 20, 2014
Tour of Oman
Andre Greipel in the bunch

Andre Greipel in the bunch

  • Andre Greipel in the bunch
  • Tour of Oman stage 1 winner Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol)
  • Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) in red
  • All smiles for stage 1 winner Andrei Greipel (Lotto Belisol) as the German champion heads to the podium

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German accepts defeat on day two in Oman

Andre Greipel carefully checked his bike after reaching his Lotto Belisol team car following stage two of the Tour of Oman. The German national champion had won the opening stage and pulled on the first red race leader's jersey. But 24 hours later, the sprinter's wheel had turned the other way and he finished a disappointed 25th.

Greipel asked the team mechanic to check his front chain ring, revealing he had dropped his chain in the final part of the race and so had lost any chance of success in the sprint. He suggested that the problem could have been caused by hitting a pot hole in the road. Whatever the reason, Greipel missed out on the sprint and lost the race leader's red jersey to Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge).

He was clearly not happy but brushed off major disappointment.

"What can you do? That's racing. You either have the right luck, the right moment to win, or you don't," he said, using simple sprinter's philosophy.

"It was a bit of a mess with the block headwind. There were riders everywhere and there was nowhere for me to go after I had my problem."

Before the stage Greipel made a special effort to offer his condolences to the riders of the IAM Cycling team following the death of Kristof Goddaert. He stood just behind the IAM Cycling riders during the minute's silence before the start of the stage.

"He was a nice guy but we have to keep on going, even if it's hard…" he told Cyclingnews, summing up many people's thoughts at the Tour of Oman.

He later tweeted: "@Lotto_Belisol boys gave the best on a day when the head was not feeling like racing. We win and lose together. Congrats @Kristoff87."

It was yet another example why Greipel, despite his nickname of the Gorilla, is arguably the gentleman sprinter of his generation.

Dewulf 5 months ago
Yep - and it's his character like this that makes me a fan of his. It's just as important as the way he competes (which I also like for some reason). Noticed last year at the Tour he was starting to get a bit more like the others when he didn't win (starting to blame the team management etc), but there you have it - the pressure at the Tour is huge - it can make even a gentleman like Greipel or Cadel act like someone else.
TANK91 5 months ago
Did you see the youtube clip of Evans lol when someone hit his hurt shoulder he was like a woman GET OFF ME it was hilarious
anthonyz 5 months ago
Not sure how your comment is relevant, but yes, that was hilarious.
Wheelsucker11 5 months ago
What do you expect when everyone knew he had hurt his shoulder in a previous fall and then some peanut of a journalist grabs his injured shoulder. The journo is lucky he didn't get head butted.
Tony M 5 months ago
As I recall Cadel had just finished a race having ridden with a fractured collar bone.He and the shoulder were feeling tender when the interviewer physically tried to get his attention.
TheFred 5 months ago
"Greipel asked the team mechanic to check his front chain ring, revealing he had dropped his chain in the final part of the race" "Front" chain ring? What is that? Is it different than a chain ring? Are they sometimes on top, on the side, or back? And "dropped"? Does that mean slipped from big to small or fell off to the right of the big ring or inside the small or between the small and big? I guess I shouldn't nitpick, but if one's chain comes off in a sprint, you'll likely crash. And if it comes off prior to the sprint, it takes just a few pedal revs (2-3 seconds) to get it back on.
TheBean 5 months ago
2-3 seconds is more than enough time to lose position in a finale, as well as momentum (inertia).
Jesus from Cancun 5 months ago
Yeah, it takes 3 seconds get the chain back on the ring when you are riding with your friends. Try doing that on a top level peloton at 65 km an hour, and you are 30 positions behind.
TheFred 5 months ago
Not really. If he threw his brakes on, sure. But merely losing engagement of the chain for a couple seconds would only cost a position or three, not more. I've been there, done that. But it all depends on what is happening at the time. At the wrong moment, a chain slipping off the big ring would probably cost a crash. At another moment, a position or two. And that's my point, the article was very unclear about what happened.
Wheelsucker11 5 months ago
It sounds more like a front derailleur being knocked out of alignment, hence the chain slipping off the front chain ring. Greipel also mentioned that once he lost his position that he couldn't regain it due to the block headwind and riders going everywhere. I guess you somehow missed reading that part? It's easy being an armchair expert.