From the man himself came the words “I’ve lost all my instincts to make the right decisions”. They were the words of Andre Greipel giving his analysis to Het Nieuwsblad on his loss in form that has left him winless through a grand tour for the first time since 2008 and not picking his form up any time soon by the looks. Former teammate Greg Henderson knows Greipel better than most and gave us his thoughts.
The statistics speak for themselves. Andre Greipel has some 150 race wins to his name. Since 2012, the year Greg Henderson joined him as teammate at Lotto Soudal, the Gorilla as he is affectionately known has won no fewer than 10 races per season including at least one stage of every Grand Tour he has entered.
This year, however, has seen Greipel win just four races, and for the first time since 2008 he has missed a stage win in a Grand Tour. Greipel’s best in the Tour de France was second on the Champs-Elysees, with three third places. Currently at the BinckBank Tour, Greipel has finished no higher than 9th in the Dutch sprint finishes, instead choosing to turn his attention to a breakaway in stage 4.
So what’s going wrong? Well according to Greg Henderson it’s not a question of form. “I know for a fact his form hasn’t dropped because I get every training and race file sent to Coach Hendy to look at,” Henderson told us. “It’s only his confidence now that has taken a knock. That’s all.
Instinct is exactly that…instinct. You don’t lose that. It’ll come back as soon as his confidence is back.”
The German sprinter’s position is far from a permanent stance as far as Henderson is concerned, and can be remedied quite simply. “I told him the best way to gain confidence is lead from the front,” Henderson said. “Open the sprint early and get some clean air. Go the opposite side of the sprint and open and feel that power and speed again.”
Alternatively there is one other potential solution, and while we might be biased, we can’t help but think that solution two makes a bit of sense. “His instinct could be aka Greg Henderson. We did work very well together.”