[QODLink]
Cycling
Greipel edges third Tour stage win
Lotto rider claims stage 13 victory edging green jersey Peter Sagan in Le Cap d'Agde as Wiggins retains yellow jersey.
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2012 16:03
Team Skys Bradley Wiggins retains a lead of two minutes five seconds from teammate Chris Froome, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 2mins 23secs behind in third and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) fourth, 3:19 adrift [Reuters]

Germany's Andre Greipel claimed his third victory of this year's Tour de France as Bradley Wiggins of Britain held on to the yellow jersey at the end of the 13th stage.

Greipel, who rides for Lotto, finished just ahead of Slovakian sprint rival Peter Sagan (Liquigas) in a tight finish in which Wiggins astonishingly tried to set up Sky teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Norwegian Boasson Hagen could only finish third on the 217 km stage which began in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.

‘Special’ win

"I'm really happy with this victory," said Greipel, one of the few sprinters able to successfully negotiate the Mont Saint Clair climb whose summit was 20 km from the finish.

"The team did a great job for me today. It's amazing. You can be really happy with just one victory in the Tour de France, but this one is a bit special because of the Mont Saint Clair being there near the finish.

"We deserved this."

Despite a potentially treacherous finale due to crosswinds leading to Cap d'Agde, Wiggins stayed out of danger to retain his 2min 05sec lead over teammate Chris Froome.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) is still third at 2:23 while Australia's defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC) is fourth at 3:19.

Greipel won stages four and five in this year's race and now has four in total, having claimed his maiden Tour stage in 2011. His main sprint rival Mark Cavendish (Sky), the winner of 21 stages but only one this edition, was one of a large bunch of riders left behind on the slopes of the Mont Saint Clair.

Game on

After an eight-man breakaway formed in the opening kilometres, they were allowed to go on and build a maximum lead of nine minutes on the peloton.

But with the stage win and points for the green jersey at stake, and the potential danger to the overall victory contenders, it wasn't long before the peloton upped the pace.

The Orica-GreenEdge team of Australian sprinter Matt Goss hit the front and with 70 km to race the leaders' gap had dropped to just over two minutes. Minutes later, Denmark's Michael Morkov jumped away in the hope of taking his attack all the way to the finish in remembrance of his father, who died six years ago to the day.

But the first slopes of the Saint Clair ended his hopes and the peloton, which had also reeled in his seven companions, soon powered past. Evans surged ahead in a bid to distance Wiggins and his Sky team and, despite failing in his mission, his move caused a split which left a select group at the front.

With 16 km remaining Kazakh veteran Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) launched his attack and, with Goss one of the sprinters dropped, was soon joined by the Australian's teammate Michael Albasini.

Their two-man bid was doomed by the sustained efforts of Greipel's Lotto team.

Although the Belgian outfit came apart in the closing kilometre when Wiggins made a rare appearance to lead out Boasson Hagen, Greipel finished the job off in style thanks to a timely lift of his front wheel at the finish.

Even Sagan, who has also won three stages, had to applaud.

"He lifted his bike faster than me, but that's the way it is. He deserved it," said Sagan.

553

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.