André Greipel of Team Columbia has come back from shoulder surgery to record six wins since May. The German attributes his success to his self-confidence and determination after the sprinter hit a police motorcycle during the third stage of the Tour Down Under in January. He suffered a dislocated shoulder, torn tendons and a chipped bone. It was the 15th time that he had dislocated the shoulder.
Greipel still doesn't know whether he will ride the Tour de France this year, but if he does, he knows he will be only the number two sprinter. "I would very much like to be there, with Mark Cavendish. It worked out well last year in the Giro, so why shouldn't it work at the Tour. He is clearly the number one."
"I told myself the whole time I was off injured that I would come back just as strong as before," he told Cyclingnews. "I was able to do that and the whole team supported me in a great way. That shows that they trust my abilities."
His wins since his comeback include one stage in the 4 Jours de Dunkerque and three in the Bayern Rundfahrt, as well as the one-day races Neuseen Classics and Philadelphia International Championship.
"The win in Dunkerque meant the most to me," Greipel said. "After being out of racing for 14 weeks that is pretty understandable, I think."
The 26-year-old said that his victories are due not only to him, but also to his team. "The team is simply very strong. I only need to ride the last 200 metres."