Greipel wins as Cavendish and Hunter crash

German rider Andre Greipel prevailed in a sprint finish to claim the fourth stage of the Tour De France here Wednesday with Fabian Cancellera holding onto the leader’s yellow jersey.

The closing stages were marked by a multi-bike pile-up less than three kilometres from the line with British sprint king Mark Cavendish and South African Robert Hunter among the casualties.

With the main peloton held up by the crash Lotto rider Greipel took the honours after the 214km ride from Abbeville to the historic Normandy cathedral city of Rouen.

Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi came in second from Dutch rival Tom Veelers.

This was the 29-year-old Greipel’s second stage win in the race after he opened his Tour de France account last year in Carmaux, and his 14th overall of the year.

Hunter tweeted: “Ouch!never good when another bike goes into ur front wheel.Instant ABS.Hit the deck hard,wasn’t keen on sliding so I tried to get up & run:)”

Hunter also tweeted: list of injuries:skin gone in a few more places, back, arms & hips.Back really sore from impact & coughing up some red stuff.#allgoodthough!

Robert Hunter: photo: Joel Dagat, Pool