A profile of Andre Greipel as our build-up continues to the Tour de France coming to west Essex and East London

Andre Greipel celebrating one of his stage wins at this year's Tour of Oman. Picture: Action Images

Andre Greipel celebrating one of his stage wins at this year's Tour of Oman. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Group Sports Editor

One of the fascinating sub-plots going into every Tour de France is who will prove themselves the fastest on two wheels.

Ongar’s Mark Cavendish will be aiming to add to his haul of stage victories but he is set to face stiff competition to be the sprint king from the likes of Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan.

Kittel and Sagan will be profiled in the coming days, but the 31-year-old German heads to the start line in Leeds in good form with five stage wins across Europe after missing a month of the season following a crash at Gent-Wevelgem.

Lead sprinter for Lotto-Belisol, the Belgian outfit have confirmed their team for ‘Le Tour’ and Gripel will be supported by his tried and tested lead-out unit of Greg Henderson, Jurgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

A winner of 11 ‘Grand Tour’ stages to date, including five at the Tour de France across the last three editions, Greipel won the German national road race title last year and has twice tasted overall victory in the Tour Down Under.

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