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André Greipel strikes again

The fifteenth stage in the Tour brought the riders from Mende to Valence. Over 183 kilometres, the riders had to cover a sloped course with four ascents. The early breakaway never got much advantage, so the stage ended in a bunch sprint. André Greipel appeared to be the fastest and he obtained his third victory in this Tour de France. Froome maintains the yellow jersey, Gallopin is still ninth in the GC.

 

 

There were nine riders in the breakaway, among them green jersey Sagan and Lotto Soudal rider Lars Bak. Their lead never went above the three minutes and at 30 kilometres before the finish they were caught by the peloton. After that, the peloton prepared itself for a bunch sprint. Cavendish didn’t participate in that sprint because he was in a chasing group behind the peloton since the beginning of the stage, with among others Démare and Sieberg. At the end, Stybar tried to get away, but he was caught in the final kilometre. The expected sprint took place and Greipel was the strongest. It’s his ninth victory at the Tour de France. In that way, he also minors his backlog in the points classification, which is lead by Sagan. He’s 44 points ahead.

André Greipel: “The first 18.5 kilometres were very important for me. If I could survive in the beginning of the stage, I knew that I could sprint for the victory. The biggest task was to stay in the peloton during these tough first kilometres, I really suffered. Afterwards there was a plateau and then there was a downhill. The only obstacle left on the course was a climb of the second category.”

“Lars was in the breakaway. He didn’t help in the front group and  because of the great work of Katusha in the peloton, the breakaway didn’t get much space. Also the teammates did an excellent job and surrounded me very well. Tim Wellens kept me out of the wind and they nicely guided me to the sprint. It was a different sprint today because Greg Henderson and Marcel Sieberg weren’t there, but Jens Debusschere and the others really did a great effort. I can only be thankful for their work.”

“I suffered the whole day and I had some problems with my knee. But with the finish line in sight, I can always give that extra push. I knew that in the final 250 meters, there was a headwind. My timing was just good enough, although Degenkolb and Kristoff came close. At first, we came to the Tour de France for one victory, the fact that we won three stages now is just a dream. This sprint was the toughest of all sprint stages. The last chance will be on the Champs-Elysées, but first we’ll have to deal with the Alps. We will see what Paris brings.”

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