Henderson says Lotto is not unbeatable

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Few would have tipped against Andre Greipel on the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, finishing in Lobethal, and the German didn't fail to deliver after another flawless lead out from his Lotto-Belisol train.

We put our full confidence in Andre to deliver. There are no egos, there's nobody thinking they're better, that they're faster. Trying to get results for themselves which I've seen happen in other teams,

The image of Greipel rocketing away from Steele Von Hoff after he was dropped off at 200 metres to go by Greg Henderson, was impressive for the local crowd to behold, the 'Gorilla's' raw strength proving too much for his competitors.

While Greipel's individual ability would see him match world's best on his own, his Lotto team-mates, the train, which includes, Jurgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson have been taking any factor of chance out of the equation.

In Sunday's People's Choice Classic the team delivered a flawless lead out in the final two kilometres, and it was at it again on Tuesday.

Talking post stage Henderson, who has donned the role of 'sprint captain', said there were two simple ingredients to success with Greipel, "power and experience".

"Today we had a very difficult finish to control," said Henderson to Cycling Central.

"It was almost the absolute opposite to Sunday's criterium, two nights ago. But the experience of Sieberg, he just completely out-smarted Mat Hayman, and then Geraint Thomas - Jurgen Roelandts blew him away. Man against man we were better than Sky today.

"On TV you watch it and it looks easy. It's not. It all it starts with Greipel. We put our full confidence in him to deliver. There are no egos, there's nobody thinking they're better, that they're faster. Trying to get results for themselves which I've seen happen in other teams.

"We're all for one cause and then myself, I guide the train, I tell them what side of the road we're going to do it. But these days, we've all been together so long everyone just knows what to do.

"You add those four (Sieberg, Roelandts, Hansen, Greipel) together and we can do a pretty fast last couple of kilometres."

Henderson has now been linked almost inseparably with Greipel for two full seasons, as has much of the train, which for the most part formed after the disbanding of the former Highroad team.

Highroad in its heyday was known the way it turned lead outs into a science, delivering lead sprinters Greipel, Matt Goss and Mark Cavendish to a slew of victories on the WorldTour circuit. Now all at different teams, it's only Greipel that has been able to retain the skeleton of the Highroad setup with him at Lotto, but according to Henderson that doesn't make him unbeatable.

"You can't say that," said Henderson. "We could get beaten tomorrow. If Cavendish is on Greipel's wheel and he has a clean ride it'll be a close sprint. If Kittel is on Greipel's wheel and he's had a clean ride, it'll be a close sprint. That said, it's hard to beat Greipel when he's on a good day."

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