Andre Greipel will once again race at the Tour Down Under next month, a race he won in 2008, and in which he won one stage last year before crashing out. However the Columbia-HTC rider has modest ambitions for the 2010 edition.
“I want to win one stage,” he told Cyclingnews. “The next season will be very long, so I would like to let it start quietly – but you never lose your speed.” He and his teammates will be flying to Australia on January 2.
Greipel dominated the TDU in 2008, winning four of the six stages and the points classification on his way to the over title. Last year he won the first stage and had to leave the race in the third stage, after he crashed into a race motorcycle. The resulting injuries required surgery and the German did not resume racing until May, but he still went on to win 20 races.
The 27-year-old attended the recent Columbia training camp on Lanzarote for only a few days before flying home for personal reasons. “It was all planned that I could go home earlier – my wife was expecting our second child, and I absolutely wanted to be there for the birth.”
Everything worked out and Greipel was present for the arrival of daughter Luna Malou on December 15. He and his wife Tina also have five-year-old daughter, Anna Sofie.
He was able to keep on training despite baby and weather. The ice, snow and cold that have gripped Germany didn't stop him from getting out. “It doesn't bother me at all to train in cold weather, it is rather the opposite. I rode a lot of mountain bike but it was also possible to get out on the road.”