Greipel finally wins in crash-hit sixth stage

Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:12pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

REIMS France (Reuters) - Andre Greipel emerged from the shadow of fellow German Marcel Kittel to win a crash-hit sixth stage of the Tour de France, a 194-km ride from Arras on Thursday.

Norway's Alexander Kristoff was second and Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin took third place as Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.

"It wasn't a quiet stage at all. On paper it should have been like that but nervousness was always there in the peloton because of the wind," said Nibali.

"In the finale in particular, we could feel it but I was well covered by my team."

Lotto-Belisol rider Greipel, who had a mediocre start to the Tour, struck some 200 meters from the line as the peloton looked disorganized after Kittel, winner of three stages this year, dropped out of contention in the final kilometer.

His Giant-Shimano team first said he suffered a mechanical problem, but sports director Christian Guiberteau said later that Kittel was tired.

"It was a bit difficult for Marcel today. It was not just the aftermath of his fall (on Wednesday), he just did not have the legs today," he explained.

"It's not a mechanical (problem) or a puncture. It was just not his day."   Continued...

Lotto-Belisol team rider Andre Greipel of Germany celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 194 km sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Arras to Reims July 10, 2014.            REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier