Why do they call him that, well it goes back to the early days of when he started to live in Flanders. He first went out with Peter Van Petegem on a cold wet day, he managed to hang on, respect earned he could then go out to learn from the Master. Van Petegem was known to know every stone of the pave, every wind direction, the turns, the pitch of the roads, he basically had an internal map of the West Flanders region ingrained into his very being.
He became the wheel to follow and probably should have won it more. Thankfully Andreas was a good learner and the skills that Peter had he passed on to him. This made him invaluable for Telecom/T-Mobile while there and also for the last two years at Cervelo Test Team. It's a great shame he's never won it, and in the twilight years of his career (although he's still damn fast, and probably could) he's unlikely to win it as his job is to be a road Captain, and I am sure this is a role he will take up again at the new Garmin Cervelo Team.
Now he is the man every rider wants to get behind, to catch his wheel as the peloton knows that this man from Germany knows the pave, the small beautiful lanes better than anyone else. So the question I end with is who will be the man to replace him. Of the current crop of riders my guess would fall with his Team mates. Dan Lloyd is my top tip, a super domestique and pave lover, he represents my first choice as he's as strong as a ox and people like him. Good qualities in a Road Captain. The other two are more long shots, Heinrich Haussler and Tyler Farrar. Both love Flanders, and depending on how far down the rabbit hole they go it will depend on how many stones they know by name.