Champagne for André Greipel in Reims

André Greipel: “This isn’t only a victory for me, but especially for the team. We were criticized the last days, but as a team we always kept believing in a stage win. Lars Bak did a huge amount of work the last days and then it’s always nice to thank the guys with a victory. We did have to reorganize ourselves a bit. Bart De Clercq isn’t 100% after his crash of a few days ago and also Greg Henderson was an important man in the sprint train. Of course I’m relieved. There was some pressure on my shoulders, but as a sportsman you have to be able to handle that. Today I did, by answering on the bike.”

“The final was hectic. Because of all the roundabouts it was difficult to set up a lead-out. When entering the final kilometer Kwiatkowski surprised with a late attack and everybody looked at each other. Luckily Porsev of Katusha closed the gap for sprinter Kristoff. That was the perfect scenario for me. I started pretty early, but felt I could keep up my tempo.”

“It’s my thirteenth victory of the season. My crash in Ghent-Wevelgem was disappointing, but the preparation for the Tour went well. The condition is good at the moment and that’s the main thing. Now it’s all about surviving the tough stages and in stages where it’s possible I’ll try to have another go.”

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