Greipel wins Tour 15th stage, Froome retains lead

Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:00pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

VALENCE, France (Reuters) - Andre Greipel confirmed he was the sprint king at this year's Tour de France when the German outpowered his rivals to win the 15th stage on Sunday.

The Lotto-Soudal rider clinched his third stage win on the Tour this year ahead of his compatriot John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), with Norwegian Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) taking third place at the end of a hilly 183km ride from Mende.

Greipel launched his sprint with about 200 meters left and held off Degenkolb to bag his ninth stage win on the Tour.

Briton Chris Froome retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after staying safe in the bunch all day in an unchanged top 10 in the general classification.

The Team Sky rider leads Colombian Nairo Quintana of Movistar by 3:10 with American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) in third place, 3:32 off the pace.

Froome, who had urine thrown at him by a spectator on Saturday, praised the 'fantastic atmosphere' during the stage.

"None of that silly stuff happened today," said Froome.

"Thousands and thousands of people are the heart and soul of this race. As I said (those people responsible for the incidents) are a minority of people. Today was great, the support on the road was fantastic."   Continued...

Lotto-Soudal rider Andre Greipel of Germany rides during the 183-km (113.71 miles) 15th stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Mende to Valence, France, July 19, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier