Andre Greipel has backed Jonas Vingegaard for the Tour de France win.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly at Eurobike in Frankfurt the 11-time Tour stage winner, who turns 40 today, said Tadej Pogacar had shown he was “just a human being”, didn't see a way back for the Slovenian and predicted that the fact Vingegaard has the backup of the powerful (and bigger) Jumbo-Visma team would be the defining factor.
“Pogacar is of course a super strong rider but Vingegaard is also strong and he has the strongest team around him,” said Greipel.
A Vingegaard victory was also clearly the German’s preferred outcome: “I think it’s just good for cycling if someone else wins.”
Greipel, who retired last year after a 15-year pro career and 158 wins, said he is not now involved in cycling other than as an investor in Classified, the makers of the electronic two-speed Powershift hub that replaces the front derailleur.
“Now I watch cycling like anybody else, just as a spectator.”
Does he miss racing? Greipel originally planned to hang up his wheels at the end of the 2022 season. “No, I don’t miss it,” he says firmly. I ride but I don’t know the numbers. You probably know better than me how many kilometres I do.”
However, Greipel had brought his bike with him to Frankfurt - his Israel Start-up Nation Factor team bike from 2021 - and he had been out on it. He also goes running and says he stays injury free “or I wouldn’t do it.”
As an investor and extremely keen advocate of the Classified hub, does he have one fitted to his own bike?
“Yes of course.”
And what about other newer bike tech… wide, tubeless tyres for example?
“Tubeless? Yes. About an hour ago I just changed my tyres because I did too many kilometres on them - about 3,500km. They are Schwalbe Pro One in size 28mm.”
And what’s the future for the Classified hub? Is it really going to kill off the front derailleur and become standard issue in the pro peloton?
“I’m convinced that this is going to be a game changer. This for me is something really exciting. It goes in a different direction from other companies so that’s why I am fully into this system and totally happy to be involved,” he enthuses.
“I saw that something like this existed, I had some contact with the guys from Classified and I asked if I could pass by and just test the system.
“I was totally amazed when I first rode it. It looks so simple but it’s not because otherwise other people would have done the same.”
Are we going to see the Classified hub in the WorldTour? It has already been used by Uno-X, a UCI ProTeam (one division below the top UCI WorldTeams).
“Sooner or later you're going to see Classified in the bunch and everyone will experience it,” he concludes.
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