Greipel Beats Rival Cavendish in Stage 10 of Tour de France
Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has won Stage 10 of the 2011 Tour de France.
Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has won Stage 10 of the 2011 Tour de France. The German outlegged rival and former teammate Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) to win the rolling, 158-km ride from Aurillac to Carmaux in 3:31:21. Cavendish finished second, and Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) took third. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) remains the maillot jaune.
The depressing story of crashes continued today. At 11 km, Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM), and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) hit the asphalt. Fortunately, no one was injured.
At 12 km, Julien El Fares (Cofidis), Remy Di Gregorio (Astana), Arthur Vichot and Anthony Delaplace (both from Saur-Sojasun), Sebastien Minard (Ag2r), and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) rolled off of the front. The Europcar-led bunch kept the break on a short leash, and the sextet's advantage maxed out at about four minutes.
The peloton, paced first by Europcar and then by HTC-Highroad, narrowed the gap to 3:40 at 96 km. Lampre and Katusha further whittled the lead to 3:00 with 88 km left and 2:35 with 57 km remaining.
Sky, Katusha, and HTC-Highroad took charge at the front. With 43 km left, 1:20 separated bunch and break. With 20 km left and the fugitives leading the peloton by 0:44, Marcato attacked and Minard joined him.
With 15 km left, Marcato dropped his companion on the Category 4 Cote de Mirandol-Bourgnounac. Behind, Omega Pharma-Lotto paced the peloton up the climb. The bunch caught Marcato one km from the summit.
Voeckler attacked, and Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Dries Devenyns (Quick Step), Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), and Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) joined him. The combustion split the peloton. With 14 km to go, the fugitives led the lead group by 0:10. BMC led the chase.
With six km left, Gilbert was alone in front. HTC-Highroad, however, organized the pursuit that swallowed the Belgian one km later. Blel Kadri (Ag2r) and Rob Rujigh (Vacansoleil-DCM) made solo attacks, but the lead portion of the peloton caught them.
With two km left, David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) took a dig, but the bunch was having none of it. Marcel Sieberg (Omega Pharma-Lotto) led Greipel into the last km, but Cavendish was at second wheel when he made his move with 250 m to go. Greipel took the Manxman's wheel and blasted into the lead with 50 m left. He won by a bike wheel.
Before this season, Greipel and Cavendish raced for HTC-Highroad, and their rivalry developed on the American squad. Cavendish became the team's no. 1 sprinter, which meant that he got support for major races. Greipel won many races, but most of them were minor, and Greipel wanted the opportunity to show his talents at the most important race of all, the Tour de France. Moreover, he wanted to show that he could beat Cavendish, which he had never done. Now, the German sprinter has accomplished his goal.
In the overall, Voeckler leads Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) by 1:49 and Cadel Evans (Team BMC) by 2:26. Stage 11 will not change this state of affairs. The rolling, 167.5-km run from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur could see a breakaway win, but given the straight, 15-km run to the finish, it is at least as likely that the sprinters' teams will control the field enough to give their fast men a chance to win. Who will win? Cavendish? Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and www.roadcycling.mobi to find out!