After seven weeks on the sidelines, Andre Greipel will make his racing comeback at the 4 Jours de Dunkerque this week. The German, who was forced to sit out the spring Classics after he crashed and broke his collarbone at Milan-San Remo, will be Lotto Soudal’s leader in a race that suits the sprinters.
“Here we go again after 7 weeks no races I will do the #4joursdedunkerque together with my @lotto_soudal team to find back the race mode,” Greipel wrote on Twitter, with a picture of him training with members of his team. “Looking forward to the goals ahead. Thanks for all the support in the last weeks from everyone in my family.”
Prior to his crash at Milan-San Remo, Greipel had been enjoying a strong start to the season, with two stage wins at the Tour Down Under in January and consistent showings at the Abu Dhabi Tour and Paris-Nice. His form appeared to be peaking for the cobbled Classics but he was caught up in a crash at San Remo on the descent of the Poggio when his teammate Jasper De Buyst went down in front of him.
With so much time out, the team are trying to temper their ambitions, but they see it as an opportunity to fine tune their lead-out ahead of some bigger goals further down the line.
“We have to take into account that it is the first race in a while for Andre Greipel. He was not able to race for quite a period of time after his crash in Milan-San Remo,” said Lotto-Soudal directeur sportif Frederik Willems.
“The 4 Jours de Dunkerque is an important race for Andre to build up his shape. The main goal for him is to get back to racing and boost his confidence on the way to the Tour of Belgium and Tour de Suisse and finally building up to the Tour de France. Other riders such as Jasper De Buyst and Marcel Sieberg will also be racing for the first time after the spring Classics.
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