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by Shane Stokes
March 18, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Halvorsen wins Handzame Classic in bunch sprint; Candid Kittel: German sprinter opens up about Milan-San Remo non-selection, Cavendish; Injured Gaviria still in line for San Remo ride, Boonen hopes Colombian will shine; Cycling Anti Doping Foundation looking into Edmondston/Team Sky matter; Greipel bypasses Milan-San Remo to be ready for Northern Classics; Bennett pledges backing for Sagan: ‘A win for Bora-hasgrohe on the Via Roma would be amazing’; Girdlestone’s recovery continues to exceed expectations; BMC Racing Team names Van Garderen as Catalunya captain; Cycling statistics – discover the tallest, shortest, lightest and heaviest riders in the WorldTour peloton; Crowdfunding campaign for cycling craft beer exceeds expectations; Greg van Avermaet – Winner
André Greipel’s Lotto-Soudal team has explained the German sprinter’s absence from its squad for Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, saying that he has a different programme in order to be ready for later events.
“André is riding Catalunya to prepare Flanders, Scheldeprijs and Roubaix,” a spokesman told CyclingTips on Friday.
Greipel has clocked up three wins thus far this year. He is more versatile than many sprinters, but has not translated that into personal success in the race. His best placing out of five participations was 24th in 2014. He last rode the event in 2015.
Greipel has tended to play a team role in the Northern Classics, going in early breaks in order to take pressure off his team. He was 15th in the Tour of Flanders in 2015, and placed third in last season’s Scheldeprijs.
His Lotto-Soudal team will lead with Jürgen Roelandts in Saturday’s event. He was third last year.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday,” he said. “It’s one of the most beautiful races during the season. Milan-Sanremo is on my top three list of favourite races. I know I have a chance to set a good result.”
“The ideal scenario to win Saturday is a little bit like last year, when I became third. I hope there’s no headwind, so there will be more attacks on the Poggio and we’ll go with a smaller group to the finish. At that moment it’s up to me to react and jump on the wheels. The chance to win is always bigger this way.”
“If there is a tough headwind it’s impossible to stay out of the clutches of the peloton. You would have to win the group sprint which is automatically more difficult for me. It could be that the race explodes on the Cipressa but I think it will be decided on the Poggio. I’m focussing on myself and I’m looking at no one else. The competition is too big to focus on them.”
The Belgian will be joined by Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, Tomasz Marczynski, Marcel Sieberg and Tim Wellens.