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Greipel left legless in Tirreno sprint

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) accepted his first sprint defeat of 2013 with a shrug of his wide shoulders, revealing that the cold and rain during stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico left him legless in the mad dash to Indicatore.

Greipel got an excellent lead-out from his Lotto Belisol teammates, who hit the front in the final two kilometres. However, the 30-year-old German was unable to unleash his usually powerful sprint, finishing seventh behind winner Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge).

"I tried to do my normal sprint but when I stood up, I had to sit down because my legs went 'boom'," he explained after taking a hot shower on the Lotto Belisol team bus.

"I think we all felt the same after five and half hours in the rain. The conditions were pretty tough and I'm still shaking with the cold. Some riders can handle it better but I couldn't today."

Positioning was vital before the sweeping left hand turn with a kilometre to go. Greipel's loyal lead-out men lined out the peloton for him but then he failed to finish off the job.

"We did a good job as a team and everyone was there. I know I can always count on the guys.

"I didn’t have the legs I usually have in a sprint. I'm just a human being and that's the way it is. Tomorrow is another chance and we'll give it another try. Hopefully it will work better."

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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.