Sprint rivals tip André Greipel for Champs-Élysées win

André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) has yet to win in this year's Tour de France but his rivals say he is favourite for Sunday's final stage

André Greipel at the 2017 Tour de France
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Three of the leading sprinters remaining in the Tour de France have labelled André Greipel as the favourite to win the final stage in Paris.

The German sprinter has not won a stage of this year’s Tour yet and is enduring his worst season in terms of wins up until this point of the year since 2007.

But his expected rivals on the Champs-Élysées believe that the Lotto-Soudal man is in the strongest shape to win in the French capital.

Four of the would-be contenders in Paris – Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data), Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) – will not be present, thus giving hope to more sprinters.

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“Greipel will be motivated,” Katusha-Alpecin’s Alexander Kristoff predicted. “He has not won a stage of this Tour yet and he didn’t look bad in the climbs the past days. He will be really set for Sunday.”

Greipel has won the final stage of the Tour twice before, and Dimension Data’s Edvald Boasson Hagen – who has impressively stepped up to the role of team leader in Cavendish’s absence – has singled out the German. He said: “Greipel is always good up there. For sure he will be excited.

“I was close to Kittel when he was here and that was good for my motivation. I’m ready to try and I look forward to doing that.”

Andre Greipel shows us his cycling scars

Another one backing Greipel was Dylan Groenewegen, LottoNL-Jumbo’s designated rider in Paris, who said that there are still a number of riders capable of winning, despite a depleted field of fast men.

“We do have a lot of sprinters still in the race,” the Dutchman said. “Greipel will be there, Boasson-Hagen, [Nacer] Bouhanni, too. These are good riders. Boasson-Hagen is strong and he has showed that here. We will try to beat him.

“Marcel was very strong, he was the best sprinter, but he is home now so it makes it a better chance of victory for a lot of sprinters.”

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and green jersey incumbent Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) were both picked out as potential winners by Kristoff who hopes that he can overcome the injuries he sustained in a crash in the Alps.

“If I did not crash, I would be quite optimistic,” the Norwegian said. “I know that today [stage 19] I will not be there at the finish, but hopefully on Sunday I can feel a bit better.

“I was hoping for way more in this Tour. I came into it with quite good shape, but the crash was the worst thing that could happen.”

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.