• Andre Greipel is looking to continue his illustrious career with French outfit Arkea-Samsic (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
German sprinter Andre Greipel has outlined stage wins at the Tour de France as his main objective of the season -- if new team Arkea-Samsic can score one of two remaining wild card entries.
Sophie Smith

16 Feb 2019 - 10:11 AM  UPDATED 16 Feb 2019 - 10:14 AM

Greipel joins the Professional Continental squad following 13 seasons in the WorldTour, including eight at incarnations of Lotto Soudal, which he departed at the end of 2018.

The 36-year-old will continue his new chapter with the French-speaking outfit at the Tour of Oman from Saturday, which is bookended with flat stages.

“There are not so many for pure sprinters like me but hopefully we can go away with one,” Greipel said at a pre-race press conference overnight.

The 11-time Tour de France stage winner has been rehearsing his French since joining Arkea-Samsic. He won a stage in his first appearance for the outfit at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo last month.

“So far it’s really good,” he said. “I don’t see a difference between WorldTour level and Europe Tour level. Everybody is ambitious and also quite strong.”

Greipel was the centrepiece of a sprint team at Lotto Soudal, which was effectively dissolved last year to make way for a new guard including Australian fast-man Caleb Ewan.

He transferred solo to Arkea-Samsic, with former teammate and lieutenant Marcel Sieberg now at Bahrain-Merida and Lars Bak at Dimension Data. Adam Hansen penned a late deal to stay-on with the Belgian squad.

“I have a new challenge and I really enjoy every day together with them, to get to know them and race with them,” he said.

Greipel confirms move to Fortuneo-Samsic
After eight winning years at Lotto Soudal, Andre Greipel has confirmed a move to French ProContinental outfit Fortuneo-Samsic.
Greipel and Lotto Soudal break-up confirmed
After eight seasons and much success, Andre Greipel is leaving Lotto-Soudal, the team confirmed in a one sentence official statement.

Greipel, in addition to the Tour de France, also has an eye to the spring classics with his new stable this year including Paris-Roubaix, which he finished seventh in 2017. 

“Hopefully I can perform good in the classics, even [if] we don’t do so many. I did already quite well there [Roubaix] but somehow, I know I can do better than I did,” he said.

“Of course, we are hoping for a wild card for the Tour de France and this will be hopefully my main goal. At the end we don’t make the decision, we just try to stay focused on our job and this is what I’m doing.”

Greipel headlines a team in Oman that also includes Maxime Daniel, Elie Gesbert, Benoit Jarrier, Laurent Pichon, Clement Russo and Robert Wagner.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Brenton Jones (Delko-Marseille Provence), Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) are among the competition for bunch gallops.

Cycling Central will be hosting daily highlights from each stage of the Tour of Oman.