The German André Greipel pipped his bitter rival Mark Cavendish to win the 10th stage of the Tour de France.
A few days shy of his 29th birthday, Greipel has claimed his maiden victory at the Tour and he did so in a sprint that didn’t include all the specialists in this discipline. Guys like Tyler Farrar, Denis Galimzyanov and Matt Goss lost contact with the first peloton in the closing kilometers that were animated by the leader of the points classification Philippe Gilbert.
Greipel, who was working for Cavendish at HTC-Highroad until last year but who never got along with the Manxman, outsprinted Cavendish to give his Omega Pharma-Lotto team a welcome victory.
“It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for all year,” said Greipel, who rides for the Omega Pharma-Lotto team. “It’s the most beautiful race in the world and the most famous. To win here is sensational.”
Spanish rider Jose Joaquin Rojas of Spain finished third.
An early breakaway was caught by the peloton with 10km to go. French rider Thomas Voeckler keeps the yellow jersey after nestling safely in the main pack for most of the 158-km route. Defending champion Alberto Contador and his main rivals – Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck and Australia’s Cadel Evans – all finished without losing any time to one another. Contador was riding with a sore right knee.
Video of the final sprint:
Post race interview André Greipel:
Stage 11 preview and who to watch:
With the remaining bunch sprint opportunities coming in Montpellier then Paris, the sprinters’ teams will take a firm grip on this stage. That doesn’t mean breakaways aren’t likely, but those determined to give it a go will have few opportunities to get it right. Timing, and joining the right breakaway group, will be essential. Watch out for Mark Cavensish, André Greipel, Thor Hushovd, Tyler Farrar or Philippe Gilbert for the stage win
Video of Stage 11 route:
Overall standings after Stage 10:
1. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) 42h06min 32sec
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/RAB) at 1:49.
3. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 2:26.
4. Frank Schleck (LUX/LEO) 2:29.
5. Andy Schleck (LUX/LEO) 2:37.
6. Tony Martin (GER/HTC) 2:38.
7. Peter Velits (SVK/HTC) 2:38.
8. Andreas Kloden (GER/RSH) 2:43.
9. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/OLO) 2:55.
10. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/LEO) 3:08.
11. Ivan Basso (ITA/LIQ) 3:36.
12. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 3:37.
13. Nicolas Roche (IRL/ALM) 3:45.
14. Kevin De Weert (BEL/QST) 3:47.
15. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 4:01.
16. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) 4:07.
17. Tom Danielson (USA/GRM) 4:22.
18. Rein Taaramae (EST/COF) 4:52.
19. Christian Vande Velde (USA/GRM) 4:53.
20. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 5:01.
21. Carlos Barredo (ESP/RAB) 5:04.
22. Vladimir Karpets (RUS/KAT) 5:05.
23. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LEO) 5:07.
24. Thor Hushovd (NOR/GRM) 5:13.
25. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 5:14.