High Road is prepared for a tough tactical battle in the Tour of Georgia, says team sports director Allan Peiper.
“With the decisive stage to the Brasstown Bald climb coming late in the race, and the team time trial preceding that, teams will have to keep their options open for as long as possible. We’ll be looking to do our best throughout.”
“The route structure will make for a complex and interesting race, tactically. If the climb came early on in the race and the team time trial second, it would be possible to try to ensure things stayed together on Brasstown and then aim to take control of the GC at the time trial. But that won’t be possible. Having Brasstown so late on, effectively freezes everything up beforehand.”
“We’ve got two sprinters in our Georgia line-up as well – Greg Henderson and Andre Greipel. I’m not sure how many other top sprinters will be there. So that probably means we will be working with other GC teams to keep things under control in the flatter stages, too, to try and ensure a bunch sprint where we can.”
“Greg got seventh in the Scheldeprijs [won by Mark Cavendish] when his objective there was to work for Mark so he’s clearly got good form.”
Greipel is now over the illness that laid him low during the Classics. Following his four stage wins and overall victory in the Tour Down Under, Georgia is another opportunity for the German ProTour leader to improve on a 2008 season which has already proved to be an enormous success.
For the overall, High Road will be looking to Thomas Lovkvist and Kanstantin Siutzou to make their mark on the Brasstown Bald stage.
“They’re both good climbers. Craig Lewis could well be a key player on that stage too.
The team time trial stage is yet another target for High Road.
“Bert was fourth in the World Time Trial Champs last year and together with George, Greg and Andre, Thomas and Kanstantin we’ve got some very experienced time triallers.”
“All in all, it’s a very well-rounded, well-balanced squad. For a stage race as challenging as Georgia, you certainly need that.”
High Road for Tour of Georgia: John Devine (USA); Bert Grabsch (Ger); André Greipel (Ger); Greg Henderson (NZL); George Hincapie (USA); Craig Lewis (USA); Thomas Lövkvist (Swe); Kanstantin Sivtzov (Byl).
For more information on Team High Road visit www.highroadsports.com