Newly re-crowned German champion Andre Greipel – who beat John Degenkolb to the national champion’s jersey – has returned to form in perfect time for the Tour de France.
A scintillating start to the season, with six victories before the end of February, certainly marked him as the form rider.
His crash and subsequent injury at Gent-Wevelgem, however, put paid to his fine start as he initially struggled on his return at the Tour of Turkey. The national title is his sixth victory since returning however – and the Gorilla will certainly be a man to look out for in the sprints.
A solitary stage win last time out suggested he simply can not match the pace and power of Cavendish and Kittel, but what he does have at his disposal is a fiercely-strong sprint train – led by Jurgen Roelandts.
At the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Oman, he showed he is capable of sticking with the leading group over the short climbs so again consistency will be key. Third last time out, if Greipel can show the same form he showed at the start of the season, he will certainly be a challenger for Sagan and co to contend with.