Greipel returns for Team Columbia at Tour Down Under

German sprinter joined by Michael Rogers in Adelaide

Former overall event winners Andre Greipel and Michael Rogers are in the Team Columbia-HTC line-up announced on Friday for the 2010 Tour Down Under, race officials said.

Race Director Mike Turtur said Greipel (2008 champion) and Australian time trial champion Rogers (2002 winner) would be riding for the powerful Team Columbia-HTC at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide from January 17-24.

German sprinter Greipel spent months on the sidelines after crashing during the third stage of this year's Tour, dislocating his shoulder and suffering a deep cut on his elbow, which required minor surgery.

"After Greipel's mishap at the race this year we are pleased he will be back," Turtur said.

"History shows that our race is a great start to Greipel's season. In 2008 he took overall victory and this year started with a stage win in the 2009 Tour Down Under, and continued winning form all season, with four stage wins at the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) and a total of 20 victories."

Joining the Columbia outfit in Adelaide and making their team debut at the Tour Down Under are Australian Matt Goss (formerly Saxo Bank) and New Zealand track specialist Hayden Roulston (formerly with Cervelo Test Team).

"Hayden will be an asset to the team, having won the silver medal in the men's 4000m individual pursuit and a bronze medal in the men's 4000m team pursuit at the 2008 Beijing Olympics," Turtur said.

Team Columbia won more races than any other team in professional cycling this year, winning 16 stages of the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España -- twice as many as the next best team Cervelo.

Team Columbia's line-up for the 2010 Tour Down Under will be: Andre Greipel (Ger), Michael Rogers (Aus), Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Mark Renshaw (Aus), Matthew Goss (Aus), Marcel Sieberg (Ger) And Hayden Roulston (NZl).

© AFP 2009

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