Greipel eyes record Down Under
Andre Greipel will be gunning for a record third triumph at the Tour Down Under after his team Lotto Belisol confirmed his inclusion in the squad for the season opener.
Along with Australian Stuart O'Grady, the German has won the race around Adelaide twice already - in 2008 and 2010.
And his first outing in Lotto Belisol colours - the team having been largely formed out of the Omega Pharma-Lotto squad - in January presents the 29-year-old with the chance to edge ahead of O'Grady.
"Racing in Australia has a special meaning for me, since it is here that I first knocked on the door as a world class sprinter," Greipel said.
"I am looking forward to the stages where we will be able to test our new sprint train with solid riders in who I believe a lot.
"Winning a stage in the Santos Tour Down Under is my first objective for the 2012 season."
Joining Greipel on the journey to Australia will be new signing Greg Henderson who, along with Adam Hansen, will be charged with playing a supporting role for the sprint ace.
"We have selected a team that will be ready to compete for victory in each of the stages," the team's directeur sportif Marc Sergeant said.
"A good start of the season is very important to us and how could we better start the season than with a stage win in the Santos Tour Down Under?".
"The Lotto Belisol squad will be built around our top sprinter André Greipel. Also André has a very warm relationship with the Australians and their Santos Tour Down Under.
"With Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson in the line-up, we have a local Australian and New Zealand rider, each with a specific role to support the team."
Lotto Belisol line-up: