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German champion Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
German makes first appearance in four years
André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) will return to the Giro d’Italia in 2014, his first appearance in the corsa rosa for four years. Speaking at Lotto Belisol's training camp in Mallorca, he revealed that he will tackle both the Giro and Tour de France next season.
"I'm not afraid of two consecutive grand tours. I absorb stage races quite well," Greipel said, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
Greipel has two stage victories from his two previous Giro appearances. He won ahead of his then-Highroad teammate Mark Cavendish in Locarno in 2008, and followed up with a victory in Brescia two years later.
The German never raced the Tour during his time with Highroad, however, with Cavendish preferred as the team's sprinter. Greipel has since skipped the Giro during his first three years with Lotto and centred his season on the Tour, where he has won five stages in three attempts.
After racing both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in recent season, Greipel looks set to follow a less demanding programme in the spring in order to save himself for the Giro and Tour, although two one-day races well-suited to the sprinters remain high on his list of priorities.
"I think I'll lighten my race programme in the spring," Greipel said. "But I still dream of winning a classic like Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne or Gent-Wevelgem."
Greipel will again begin his season at the Tour Down Under, which begins on January 19.