Tour de France: Greipel shows his superiority on the Champs-Élysées

'For sure tonight we won’t celebrate with water'

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) described his winning sprint on the Champs-Élysees as the biggest success of his career; as he crowned a hugely successful Tour de France with a fourth sprint win.

Yet again, the German rider was given an excellent lead out by his Lotto Soudal teammates and had the speed and power to surge past Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) in the final metres.

“I’d say it's the biggest success of my career. The Champs-Élysées is the sprinting capital of cycling and I’ve tried for four years to win it,” Greipel said.

“This year it’s been possible and so I’m really happy to win on the Champs-Élysées. Nobody can take away this win from my palmares now. All my family and coaches are part of this success. I had all the team dedicated to helping me in the sprints and I think we were the dominant team. It’s nice when it come together. For sure tonight we won’t celebrate with water.

“I’m looking forward to rest now, this Tour de France has been amazing for Lotto Soudal. There were five sprints and we won four. We can be really proud of that.”

The final kilometres were slightly disrupted by a person standing on the road but Greipel avoided the person and was well protected in the high-speed surge towards the Champs-Élysées finish line.

“We took responsibility to control the attack with Thomas De Gendt doing a lot of work with Lars Bak. Then the other guys took over. We tried to stay controlled and not hit the front too early but in the end it was hard to keep at the front. I went into the final turn a bit far back but had the legs to finish it off.”

Greipel is 33 and has been a professional for a decade but he is convinced he is only getting better and better rather than slowing down.

“As long as I’m a pro or riding my bike, there hasn’t been a year that I haven’t progressed,” he pointed out.

“You are as old as you feel and I feel young, even if I’m a bit older after three weeks of racing. But I’m in good condition and always working hard to challenge myself.”

Greipel promised to return to the Tour de France in 2016 to add further sprint wins but he seemed to accept he may never win the green points jersey.

“We have to get points wherever possible, those are the rules. But Sagan was one of the dominant riders in this year’s Tour de France so it was really hard to go for the green jersey,” he said.  "While Peter is riding a bike it will be pretty hard to get the sprinter's jersey.”

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