Tour Down Under: Andre Greipel takes 15th career stage victory in Australia with a typical late sprint finish
Friday 24 January 2014
Andre Greipel won his 15th career Tour Down Under stage as he burst to victory in a bunch sprint over the final 600 metres of stage four.
It was a one-two for Lotto Belisol with the German sprinter crossing the line in three hours, 33 minutes and seven seconds, just ahead of Belgian team-mate Jurgen Roelandts, as they led a 55-man peloton over the finish line at Victor Harbour.
The race came together with just over half a kilometre to go after a mini-breakaway featuring Omega Pharma Quick-Step riders Jan Bakelants and Serge Pauwels was caught by the Lotto Belisol chasers.
Once Greipel's lead-out train was in position, there was only going to be one winner as the German claimed his first win of this year's race after narrowly missing out on victory on stage one.
The 31-year-old was delighted to navigate the tough conditions and lauded his team for the assistance.
"We finished first and second and it shows it was a real team effort," Greipel said. "I think this was actually the first opportunity for the sprinters.
"I knew it would be open I knew about the crosswinds so the whole team was in front when we started. We deserved the win."
Australia's Cadel Evans (BMC) retained his 12-second general classification lead over compatriot Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE), with both men finishing with the same time as Greipel.
Three seconds further adrift was Italy's Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) with Australia's Nathan Haas in fourth, 27 seconds behind Evans.
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