André Greipel: WorldTour relegation system ‘completely bulls**t’

André Greipel: WorldTour relegation system ‘completely bulls**t’

André Greipel should be relieved to not be on the books of Israel-Premier Tech, his ultimate crew of his prolonged skilled profession, this yr. The identical goes for Lotto-Soudal, the squad the place he spent eight seasons. This isn’t as a result of he’s bored with biking – he nonetheless loves it – or as a result of he does not have the shape, however due to the pressures on this pair of groups in 2022.Each are concerned in a relegation scrap as WorldTour licences come up for renewal and face the prospect of dropping all the way down to the ProTeam degree the place spots on the prime races should not assured. As this text was printed, each Israel and Lotto stay within the crimson zone, attempting to find UCI factors in an try to safe their future within the WorldTour.”I believe this entire factors system is completely bulls**t as a result of you’ve groups who’ve been in biking for 20, 30 years, investing in biking,” the German tells Biking Weekly. “It is simply unfair to place them in a state of affairs like this. Additionally Lotto makes loads of occasions in Belgium. It is simply not good to see a crew like this battling for one thing like this.”Together with his 158 profession wins over 1319 race days – a win each eight races – one imagines that none of his former groups (which additionally embody Arkéa-Samsic, one of many groups attempting to find promotion) could be in bother in the event that they nonetheless had a completely match “Gorilla” on their books.He provides: “Whenever you’re nonetheless attempting to get the factors now you probably did one thing improper, as a result of it is three years and the error occurred already.”In contrast to different former prime degree professionals, notably Bernard Hinault, Greipel has not shied away from using his bike in his retirement years. In reality, he appears to revel within the exercise; he’s talking to Biking Weekly on the first International Bike Pageant, the place he appeared to benefit from the biking as a lot as anybody. At one level, he cycled previous this writer on an 8% climb utilizing one leg, and appeared to be proud of the eye from these followers who had been allowed to satisfy their legend at shut quarters.”I actually take pleasure in it,” he says. “Efficiency sport is behind me, so now I am simply doing what I actually love. I’ve by no means had the chance to take pleasure in occasions like this, so I am simply having fun with being part of it.”I really must calm myself down, as a result of I simply take pleasure in using my bike,” he explains. “It is a life-style for me. After I trip now, a bit an excessive amount of. I already begin to really feel that my situation is getting too good. So I’ve to actually tempo myself.Regardless of nonetheless being near the extent he was at in his ultimate yr as knowledgeable, Greipel doesn’t sound like he misses the top-level sport he was so profitable in.”When you’ve already a bit distance from the game, it is simpler as a result of I get up in my mattress each weekend,” he explains. “I am simply pleased with what I achieved. Now I simply hold going, residing the approach to life of motorbike using. Being at occasions like this additionally exhibits me how lovely the game is. “I attempt to do the half like a traditional bike week that I did in my skilled life,” he says. “Simply to maintain my coronary heart match. It is essential as a result of I do not need to be struggling with coronary heart issues on the finish of my life.”André Greipel wins the final race of his profession final yr(Picture credit score: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Photographs)Greipel may not be bored with biking the exercise, and he is not bored {of professional} biking the game both, simply not taking part. He is one in all us now.”I am watching biking now as a fan,” he explains. “I’ve the gap already.  Final yr I used to be nonetheless within the combine within the sprints, however I am completely fantastic with it. It was my resolution to cease as a result of I nonetheless had a contract this yr, however I used to be simply fantastic with stopping final yr.”He’ll go to the Tour de France, the primary time since 2010 that he will not be racing it. This time, he will probably be there as a fan. Not even a VIP, within the village at the beginning or the end; no free champagne for the 158-time winner.As a substitute, he’ll take the ferry throughout to Copenhagen from north Germany for the Grand Départ together with his household, the place he’ll watch from the roadside. As he succinctly places it: “I will probably be going to Copenhagen as a result of it is a good looking metropolis, and we’ll watch the race from the fence.”Biking has come a good distance from the HTC Highroad days of the late 00s when Greipel was first racking up win upon win. On the Giro d’Italia, Mathieu van der Poel succeeded on seemingly all terrain, whereas finally yr’s Tour Wout van Aert received on Mont Ventoux and in a time trial earlier than out-sprinting one of the best on the Champs-Élysées.”The races are getting tougher, all the time type of hilly days as effectively,” he says. “Someway you could be a great climber to recover from the hills. I believe the climbs are simply getting quicker and quicker and the race is getting quicker and quicker. It is simply exhausting typically to get the sprinters there. It is exhausting for individuals in my weight group.”The favourites for the inexperienced jersey are now not pure quick males, like himself or Mark Cavendish, however all-rounders like Van Aert. That is bolstered by a Tour that doesn’t have many flat days for bunch sprints.”From what I’ve seen, there should not so many alternatives, particularly whenever you see the start of the Tour,” Greipel explains. “Okay, it is flat, however you’ve loads of small roads, and wind. Then the Roubaix stage. It is going to be tremendous attention-grabbing, however there should not as many alternatives like earlier than.”Not that this issues to Greipel, he will probably be on the roadside with 1000’s of others, cheering them on. He is completely satisfied in retirement.André Greipel was talking to Biking Weekly on the inaugural International Bike Pageant in Saalbach, Austria, the place he hosted plenty of group rides and talks about his tales profession for a whole lot of biking followers. The competition was created by Play Sports activities Community to convey highway, gravel and mountain bike riders collectively for 4 days of talks, expertise classes, rides and interactive occasions with iconic riders and types. Ticket gross sales for 2023 will probably be introduced in the end.

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