Team HTC-Columbia rider Andre Greipel has voiced his displeasure over being skipped for the team lineup for the recently-concluded 2010 Milan-San Remo. The German cyclist was not part of the lineup of riders that HTC-Columbia had fielded to race in the Italian classic last Saturday, instead opting to go with their star sprinter Mark Cavendish.
Greipel sees this as an indication that he is just getting second billing on the team, and the fact that he has indeed outperformed his British teammate so far this season does not help matters any. The German rider has already shown his winning form in several events this year, starting with an early rush of three stage victories, earning the points jersey, and the overall title as the 2010 Tour Down Under champion. From there, Greipel went on to grab a win at the Trofeo Magalluf-Palmanova in the Mallorca Challenge, plus another stage win at the Volta ao Algarve.
Admittedly, Mark Cavendish’s performance thus far does not even come close to matching Greipel’s successes for this season. The British rider had been suffering dental problems and several accidents in races, both of which combined to prevent the star sprinter from getting any significant results in the few races which he was able to join.
It should be quite frustrating to Greipel, then, that his team still decided to bring Cavendish into the Milan-San Remo classic instead of him. HTC-Columbia has also announced that his British teammate will be the protected sprinter for the 2010 Tour de France, which is sure to add to the woes of the German rider.
For his part, Greipel has this to say about being skipped over for the Milan-San Remo: “That was a real blow for me. My riding hasn’t been so bad that I didn’t deserve to start.” Greipel also said in an interview that he did not even take time to watch the race, and instead spent the day out with his family.
In Greipel’s eyes, Cavendish seems to be Team HTC-Columbia’s number one rider right now, and he is already expecting that his name won’t be called again, this time for the Tour de France. However, team manager Ralf Aldag refuses to make any solid statements regarding the matter, saying that it is still too early in the season to worry about the Tour de France.
Aldag also revealed that Greipel is already scheduled to ride in the 2010 Giro d’Italia, as well as three other races, namely the Rund um Köln, the Tour of Turkey, and the Rund um den Finanzplatz Frankfurt.
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