Team Sky might have won the pre-Tour Down Under criterium, but overcoming Germany’s André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) in the event’s ProTour component is proving a more of a challenge for the British squad. Sky’s Greg Henderson was able to improve on his fifth place from stage one with second on stage two, but it’s the top step of the podium the squad is really hoping for.
"Greipel is pretty fast. If I had the perfect run at him … maybe even start on his wheel and hope that he goes a little early is probably the best chance at the moment," said Henderson after the finish in Hahndorf. "I was catching him at the finish but I was in his slipstream, it wasn’t a drag race."
Henderson believes his best options for overcoming Greipel in sprint finishes will be with a long lead heading into the sprint, as occurred in Sunday afternoon’s criterium, or by stealing Greipel’s approach of running at his competitors from behind. Greipel shared his thoughts on what Team Sky needs in order to overcome his American outfit.
"We have a good lead-out train and we know what we have to do," said Greipel. "I think Sky is strong and they can be successful if they work together. They do work together, but maybe we are a little bit better than them."
Henderson believes his own lead out train is simply too good for him to consider other approaches. "Greipel’s come from behind every time so maybe if I tried that [it could work], but the thing is our lead out is too good at the moment," he said. "There’s no way I’m coming off a lead out that’s so fast. So we’ll keep trying."
Fortunately for Henderson, he should get a few more opportunities to challenge his former teammate before the Tour Down Under finishes on Sunday.