Greipel close to signing with Omega Pharma-Lotto?

According to the Belgian media, Andre Greipel is on the verge of signing with Omega Pharma-Lotto. The HTC-Columbia rider is said to be taking three other German riders with him.

Greipel has been negotiating with the team since April, the Gazet van Antwerpen said, and they are on the verge of an agreement.

The sprinter would take two German teammates with him, according to the newspaper, with another coming over from a Professional Continental team. Former World time trial champion Bert Grabsch is said to be part of the package, as is Marcel Sieberg. Sieberg, a close personal friend of Greipel, still has a year to go on his contract with HTC-Columbia. He previously broke his contract with Milram to join the American-based team in 2008.

The other German reported to be moving to the Belgian team is Robert Wagner of Skil-Shimano. The sprinter has four wins so far this season, including the overall title in the Ronde van Nord-Holland.

Greipel continues to lead the peloton with 12 victories on the season, but has struggled lately. He opened the season by winning three stages and the overall title in the Tour Down Under, and in April won five of eight stages in the Tour of Turkey. However, he won only one stage in the Giro d'Italia and none in the recently concluded Ster Elektrotoer.

It had earlier been reported in the Belgian media that Omega Pharma-Lotto was ready to sign Milram's Gerald Ciolek, but that story has been denied by both sides.

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