In cycling, a leader is often nothing without his team. This may become apparent in the impending sprint battle on the opening day of the Tour de France, where Lotto-Belisol’s André Greipel will be putting his hopes into the hands of Marcel Sieberg and his seven other teammates.
Sieberg helped Greipel to the German national title last weekend and will hope to do the same again on Saturday. He spoke exclusively to Cyclingnews HD about sticking with Lotto and the team’s Tour ambitions.
CN HD: You recently re-signed with Lotto for two years. What was the reason behind that?
Marcel Sieberg: “I am happy with the team and I really like to ride for Lotto. I can ride the Tour, which is something I didn’t have at HTC, because Cavendish had some riders around him, and also I like the atmosphere in Belgium. We have a nice group around, we are like a big family. It’s nice to work there.”
CN HD: The Tour is almost here, how much focus is on the opening stage and a shot at yellow?
Sieberg: “I think every team, with a sprinter, wants to win the first stage. For us it is really important and also for André, but there are a lot of stages. It would be nice to win the first one, but if we win some other stages then it would be great.”
CN HD: Will the focus be more on stage victories over the green jersey?
Sieberg: “We’ll see, I think the green jersey is always stressful. The rules have changed as well and you have to win points during the stage. We tried it two years ago but it was pretty difficult, because we have Jurgen [van den Broeck] for the GC. We said that maybe we just go for the stages, but you never know. André is also very good on the climbs. We will see, but first we have to win a stage.”
CN HD: Do you think it will be a big battle of the sprint trains this year?
Sieberg: “Yeah, for sure. It was last year, a little bit, but I think every team is building a train now. It will be interesting to see who is the best.”
CN HD: Does Lotto have the best of the sprint trains at the moment?
Sieberg: “This I can’t say but when we have four guys in the final kilometre, I think it is hard to beat us. When it works perfectly, and everyone is going 100%, we showed last year and in the last races that it is not so easy for other teams.”
CN HD: You’ve been working together so long as a team. Will that play a role?
Sieberg: “That and we have the horsepower and experience. At the beginning of the year, QuickStep also had the riders. You bring the horsepower on the road but it’s not just the power you put into the pedal, it’s knowing when to start and reading the situation.”
You can get the full interview with Marcel Sieberg in this week’s issue of Cyclingnews HD, available now on itunes. Issue 61 takes a look at the opening stages of the Tour de France, with route maps, profiles and start lists. Plus reviews of the National Championships of Europe, with in depth analysis and stunning photography.
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