“Lotto Soudal and Andre Greipel want to inform you that after eight successful years, their collaboration comes to an end.”
With this brief message on social media and on the team's website, Lotto Soudal announced it is not re-signing the German for 2019. sprinter. The terse statement was issued early during stage 15 of the Tour de France to Carcassonne.
Greipel’s contract ends this season and the negotiations for 2019 were rocky. The team had announced its interest in signing Caleb Ewan from Mitchelton-Scott, which would relegate Greipel to the role of second sprinter or even the Australian's lead out man.
In June, Greipel told Cyclingnews that the team had made him an offer but that he was not happy with it. When told that team manager Paul de Geyter had told the website the previous day that no offer had been made, Greipel answered, “Then he was lying.”
More recently, it appeared that the German would stay with the team, as it was reported that the team had made him a satisfactory offer. That no longer seems to be the case.
Greipel’s long-time teammate and best friend Marcel Sieberg is said to have signed with Bahrain-Merida, and there is speculation that Greipel might move there as well. Bahrain-Merida recently nissed out on signing Classics talent Wout van Aert, who has agreed terms with LottoNL-Jumbo for 2020.
In his eight years with the Belgian team, Greipel brought in numerous wins, including 10 stages at the Tour de France. However, his number of wins has decreased over the years, although he has won six times this year.
At this year’s Tour de France, Greipel secured several top five finishes but was relegated from his second place in stage 8 after the race jury ruled he interfered with Team Sunweb’s Nikias Arndt. He ultimately abandoned the race on stage 12.