Andre Greipel may not have as many sprint wins this season as usual, but he has done far more for his team, according to Omega Pharma-Lotto teammate Adam Hansen. The Australian praised Greipel's team work and said that the sprint wins would come.
“Andre has been pretty impressive and it's hard to compare a year with results only. The Tour Down Under was hard for the Euro's because of the bad winter they had,” Hansen told Cyclingnews.
Greipel took his first win for the Belgian team at the Volta ao Algarve in February, having been shut out at the TDU this year. He followed that up by riding the Strade Bianchi for the first time and then crashing out of Tirreno-Adriatico.
“So without the best preparation, Andre was at the front of Milan-San Remo pulling and closing the gap for captain Philippe Gilbert, which was impressive for a top sprinter at his first MSR.”
From there, the German headed to Belgium, and the Flemish classics. “And while that was not his normal programme he did what the team asked from him, scoring a good car position based on World Tour points getting Omega Pharma-Lotto right up there in the convoy to support their riders.”
Greipel continued his work for Gilbert and the team at the Tour of Flanders before going to Paris-Roubaix. “He did a great race there, jumping across to the first group and then doing heaps of work, pulling for Jurgen Roelandts as the day's team captain.”
All in all, the Geman has brought in three wins this season, winning stages at Algarve, Driedaagse de Panne, and the Tour of Turkey, but Hansen is not concerned.
“So while he has been a bit quite behind with the results, he still has had impressive form doing things a normal sprinter would not normally do. I think from now on he will get only better doing more specific races to what he is used to and getting back to winning more often,” Hansen said.
Hansen was one of several riders who moved along with Greipel from HTC-Highroad to Omega Pharma-Lotto for the 2012 season.
"There were some changes and I did a bit of a different programme than before, so I'm trying to adjust to that. But it's going well and I'm enjoying it.”
“I like the team, it's different to HTC-Columbia,” he told Cyclingnews. "Every team is different from each other but there is just something that's special to be in a Belgian team.”
“My form is coming along. In Turkey I'm feeling really good and things are coming on in a good way. My main goal is the Tour to support Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Andre. I like the big stage races and that's where I ride my best. So I'm very much looking forward to the Tour.”
Before then, however, he will take on the new German one-day race ProRace Berlin on May 22, followed by the Tour of Belgium and the Tour de Suisse.