Griepel's difficult start to the season

T-Mobile's Andre Greipel has only been a pro for a few months, but that short time has been full of ups and downs. His biggest success this year were as a lead-out man for Olaf Pollack in the Tour of California, where Pollack won the last two stages.

But when he got back home, things started going bad. "It wasn't the 30 degree temperature difference between California and here that laid me low," he told the Schweriner Volkszeitung, "but the air-conditioning on the long flight home." The result: bronchitis, which was so severe it cost him his place in Tirenno-Adriatico.

Now fully recovered, Greipel headed off to the Belgian races, where he didn't find any happiness, either. A crash in Dwaars door Vlaanderen cost him a good placing, but things got worse after a crash yesterday in de Panne, which saw him sent him to hospital with a concussion and bruises on the left side of his body.

According to T-Mobile, the good news is that his helmet protected him well and he can probably start light training again today.

Courtesy Susan Westemeyer

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