Fresh from winning three stages of the 2016 Giro d’Italia, German sprint star André Greipel has signed a deal with the Lotto-Soudal team that will see him remaining on the Belgian WorldTour team until the end of the 2018 season.
Although Greipel is now 33 and older than the majority of his closest sprint rivals, he has shown no signs of slowing down. He has been a reliable signing for Lotto-Soudal who have had a good return on their investment since contracting him in 2011.
Greipel’s three 2016 Giro wins bring his total of Grand Tour stage victories to 20, including 10 at the Tour de France.
Greipel’s close friend and compatriot Marcel Sieberg, 34, has also had his contract extended through to the end of 2018 with the team. The two have ridden on the same squad since both were at High Road in 2008, before switching to Omega Pharma-Lotto (now Lotto-Soudal) in 2011.
“I am really happy the team puts its trust in me for the upcoming two years,” said Greipel. “The contract extension was something both parties really wanted. I feel good in this team and get the necessary support, also from the young riders.
“The team offers opportunities to young talent and those riders can perform even in the big races. Frederik Frison for example does such a great job in chasing down breakaways and Sean De Bie was a great support in the Giro.
“They help me and I can give them tips. At this moment I can’t imagine riding for another team. Sibi [Sieberg] and I are inseparable, we want to keep riding together. He’s in general an important member for the entire team. The next years I want to stay one of the best sprinters in the world and keep conquering victories for Lotto-Soudal.”
Greipel left the Giro d’Italia immediately after winning stage 12 and while leading the points classification. His next focus is the Tour de France in July, where he won four stages last year. He has also earmarked the 2016 world championships road race in Doha, Qatar, in October.
Watch: Show us your scars – André Greipel
Lotto-Soudal manager Marc Sergeant said: “When you look at what André has performed for our team over the past years, also the past twelve months and recently in the Giro, then you can only conclude that he is still an absolute top rider.
“After a difficult time he always fights his way back, he’s a classy person both after winning and losing and the respect he gets from teammates and staff is amazing. Everyone is always prepared to give his all to take André to the sprint in the best possible position.
“Greipel always shows his appreciation and is also prepared to help out other teammates when the course suits them better. I haven’t seen much top riders doing that.”