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by Matt de Neef
June 27, 2016
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Philippe Gilbert takes his second Belgian national title; Andre Greipel claims his third German national title; Adam Blythe wins British nationals road race; Giacomo Nizzolo crowned Italian champion; Vichot wins the French national road race championships; Jose Joaquin Rojas crowned Spanish champion for the second time; Groenwegen wins the Dutch national road title; More from a big weekend of national championships; Lotto Soudal reveals that Stig Broeckx has severe brain damage; French army thermal camera to be used to detect motors at the Tour de France; Nacer Bouhanni injures hand in late-night hotel altercation; What it feels like to ride 7,000km in three weeks; Behind the scenes at the ZLM Tour with Adam Phelan.
Over in Germany, Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) was dashing to his third national title in Erfurt. The pancake-flat course set things up perfectly for a bunch sprint, and when that final dash came Greipel was able to beat Max Walscheid (Giant-Alpecin) and Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep).
“Despite the nature of the course you can never be sure it will end with a sprint, because the big teams could have other tactics,” Greipel said afterwards. Sibi [Marcel Sieberg] and I had decided to race attentively and join every big breakaway. And we succeeded in doing that. With 45 kilometres to go for example, we were part of a break, but Giant-Alpecin didn’t have a rider in that group and that’s why we didn’t stand a chance.
“Sibi made sure I was positioned perfectly for the sprint. John Degenkolb launched the sprint for his teammate Walscheid, I remained on his wheel. I started sprinting with two hundred metres to go and nobody could pass me. I’ve seen the images and the gap was rather big.”
The win adds to Greipel’s 2013 and 2014 victories. His first race back in German colours will be the Tour de France, starting on Saturday.