Greipel wins fifth stage, Martin still leads Tour

Wed Jul 8, 2015 12:35pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

AMIENS, France (Reuters) - German Andre Greipel was again far too strong for the opposition as he claimed his second win in this year's Tour de France with an impressive sprint in the fifth stage on Wednesday.

German Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.

Lotto Soudal rider Greipel, who holds the green jersey for the points classification, started his effort late in the final straight but easily went past Britain's Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step).

Cavendish, looking far from his past best as he sought to add to his 25 Tour stage wins, again came up short and finished third after taking fourth in Sunday's second stage won by Greipel.

Slovakian Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished a strong second at the end of a 189.5-km ride marred by seven crashes on the slippery roads of northern France."Two victories, it's great," said Greipel.

"The whole team worked well for this sprint. It was the first bunch sprint, it's interesting... with 300 metres I thought I was boxed in but I saw an opening and went for it."

France's Nacer Bouhanni was an early casualty of the pile-ups, abandoning the race when he was caught up in a crash that involved four of his team mates.

The sprint ace, who was looking to win a stage and possibly aiming for the green jersey, was taken to a hospital for checks. His Cofidis team manager said the 24-year-old had not suffered any fracture.   Continued...

Lotto-Soudal rider Andre Greipel of Germany (2ndL) sprints to win the 189.5-km (117.7 miles) 5th stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Arras to Amiens, France, July 8, 2015.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard