Greipel excited for Tour de France return

Andre Greipel hopes to add to his 11 Tour de France stage wins in 2019 after his new team – Arkea Samsic – were handed a wildcard for this year's event.

Greipel stepped down from the elite level of cycling to join the French team ahead of the new season, his contract with Lotto Soudal having come to an end.

The German's departure after eight years with the team was confirmed last July during stage 15 of the Tour, a race Greipel had already withdrawn from.

Moving down to the second tier threatened to deny him a chance to return to the Tour, but he will be at the start in Brussels in July.

"I learnt the news on the bike. It's great news for us. The Tour has always been a dream. Last year I was disappointed," he told Arkea Samsic's website. 

"I'm happy to be able to go back to the world's most beautiful race to give everything and get a good result."

Sprinter Greipel won three stages in the 2012 edition of the race and went one better in 2015, when he finished second in the points classification behind Peter Sagan.

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