Stomach virus slows Greipel ahead of German championships

Andre Greipel's Tour de France preparation hit a slight roadblock last week when the reigning German road race champion contracted a stomach virus that kept him from training for several days, although his team doctor says Greipel should be on target when the French Grand Tour starts in Düsseldorf on July 1.

"A virus is always unfortunate, but meanwhile things are going well with him," Lotto Soudal team doctor Servaas Bingé told Sporza.

"He has been sick for a number of days, so we have to adjust his program," Bingé said. "Last week he has ridden again as a build-up. His shape will be as it should be in the Tour."

Greipel has 11 career stage wins in the Tour de France including his sole win last year on the Champs-Elysees. So far this season he's won four races, including the recent stage 2 at the Giro d'Italia. His other wins came in stages at Paris-Nice and the Volta ao Algarve, and his season opener at the one-day Trofeo Porreres in Spain. Greipel came close to wearing the maglia rosa after winning the Giro's second stage, and he'd obviously like nothing better than to where the yellow jersey after the first road stage from Düsseldorf to Liège.

Greipel's pre-Tour program also includes this weekend's German national championships, where the reigning champion is scheduled to vie for his fourth title to add to wins in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Bingé indicated Greipel will be on the start line. 

"It's to be expected and see how it's going to go, but Andre is perfectly professional and he's going to take responsibility," Bingé told Sporza. "If he has a chance, he'll be there to go for it."


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