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Greipel wants to be top team sprinter

Andre Greipel has announced he intends to be the top team sprinter next year, wherever he rides, and finally step out of the shadow of teammate and rival sprinter Mark Cavendish. “Next year I will ride in a team where I can realise my ambitions,” he told the latest issue of German magazine Sport-Bild.

But it may not be a new team for him in 2011.  "I feel good at HTC-Columbia and would like to be the number one sprinter there," said Greipel, whose contract with the team runs through this season. The German sprinter wouldn't have much difficulty finding a new team, though. “My wins speak for themselves. I think I am of interest to many teams,” he said.

Greipel has won 11 races this season, more than anyone else in the peloton. He won three of six stages at the Tour Down Under, as well as the points jersey and the overall classification. More recently he won five of the eight stages at the Tour of Turkey, including the opening time trial.

Last season, Greipel won 20 races, second only to Cavendish who won 23. So far this season, Cavendish has only one win to his credit, and has accused Greipel of only winning small races. “If I were allowed to start in larger races, then I would also prove there that I am one of the fastest sprinters in the world,” Greipel said.

Greipel is scheduled to ride the Giro d'Italia next month, but is once again expecting to miss out on a place in the HTC-Columbia team for the Tour de France, a race which he has never ridden. “I am now 27, and can't wait forever,” he said. “At any other team I would be set for the Tour de France.”

It has become increasingly unlikely that HTC-Columbia will keep both Greipel and Cavendish in 2011 and team manager Rolf Aldag has indicated that Cavendish would defintely be around next season.  “We have an agreement with him for next season,” he told the magazine. “But we will do all we can to keep Andre on our team.”

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