Tour de France: Stage 4

Andre Greipel of Lotto has won the fourth stage of the Tour de France in Rouen in a big bunch kick, Cavendish on the floor in big high speed crash 2k from finish

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Previous Stages
| Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 |

Yellow Jersey: Fabian Cancellera | White jersey: Tejay Van Garderen |
| KoM Jersey: Michael Morkov | Green Jersey: Peter Sagan | Team: Sky


Marred by a high speed crash just inside 3k to go which saw Mark Cavendish on the ground, the door to victory was left wide open to Andre Greipel who with the help of his well drilled Lotto team, saw off the challenge from Alessandro Petacchi, Tom Veelers, Matt Goss and Peter Sagan.

Photo: Rob Lampard (velostars)

Result
1. Andre Greipel. Lotto – Belisol Team
2. Alessandro Petacchi. Lampre – ISD
3. Tom Veelers. Argos-Shimano
4. Matthew Goss Orica. – GreenEDGE
5. Peter Sagan Liquigas. – Cannondale
6. Jonathan Cantwell. Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank
7. Daryl Impey. Orica – GreenEDGE
8. Kris Boeckmans. Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen. Sky Procycling
10. Ruben Perez Moreno. Euskaltel – Euskadi

Video Summary of the Stage

No changes to GC

Winners Reaction …

Andre Greipel: “It’s never easy to win a sprint at the Tour de France and today was the same. It was top speed at the end and it was pretty stressful. We managed to avoid the crash because we were already in the front to prepare the lead-out and the guys did a perfect job to keep me up there and away from the dangerous areas. And it worked out perfectly – almost like we did it on Monday [in Tournai] – but today it all went our way.”

“This is a really emotional victory. We have a new team with Lotto-Belisol and this is the first Tour de France for the team and for everyone involved – the riders and also the staff members – it’s pretty emotional to get a win. It’s that way for me as well but I just wish the whole team could come on the podium too.”

“I have the best lead-out guys in the world all around me and they always support me and help me get the last bit out of myself. It was an incredible top speed already with Sieberg, Roelandts, Henderson and myself but I could finish it off and I’m really happy of course.”

Photo: Rob Lampard (velostars)

“The first goal was to win one stage. We’ve reached that goal and everything else will be a bonus. Of course we’ll try for a second one. Crashes are never good and I really hope that everyone is okay.”

The Yellow jersey, Fabian Cancellera spoke about the dangers of the crashing …  “in my opinion, it seemed that a crash could have happened at 30km to go. Something like that is always possible. We were going 60km/h, we had the wind at our back, there were thousands of spectators, there’s a lot of road dividers and the whole peloton was going fast… it was already hectic a long way before the finish.”

“But, the riders know that the closer we get to the end, the more risky it gets – only the smallest thing can happen and riders will fall and crash. I’m lucky and happy that I could get through it all safely. It’s never nice when people crash”.

“There are only milliseconds to think about going left or right, or do you jump over it when a guys falls in front of you? There’s a micro moment to consider what to do but really you have to go where the wave is going.”

“The bunch sometimes is a wave: it goes from one side of the road to the other side and when it’s going so fast and it’s so hectic, it could happen or it could not happen. I don’t say it’s a lottery but when someone just moves a little, the whole peloton moves and eventually there’ll be a crash.”

“In a way, a day like this [which is over five hours of racing] is easier – it certainly is when you go through the data on your SRM files but on the other hand, for the mind it’s not easy. It’s even harder because the parcours is always the same and you’ve already spoken a lot with the guys. You think about eating, you eat. And then, sometimes it can feel like long hours but it’s the Tour, and if you have the [yellow] jersey it’s special.”

“I even had a chance to say hello to the camera and wave to people who are watching all over the world… I have a good friend over in Hawaii who is watching the Tour de France and I got to say hello today. That’s how it is. Every day is different and I try to enjoy it.”

Cav is helped through media after his high speed crash. Photo: Rob Lampard (velostars)

The Race
The winner of the prologue, Fabian Cancellera, spent his 25th day in the lead of the Tour’s general classification and his fourth day in 2012 as the race wound its way down the coast from Abbeville.

The break at work during a long day in the Tour de France. Photo: Rob Lampard (velostars)

As soon as the flag from dropped, Japanese rider Arashiro attacked to kick off the action for the stage and he was soon joined by Moncoutie and Delaplace and it was a break the peloton had no problem with and so the trio’s lead soon started to grow gaining a maximum of well over eight minutes before the peloton started to ride.

It was that man Jens Voigt, the oldest rider in the peloton, who was helping, with others, to keep the break’s lead manageable on a stage where the sprinters expected to shine. With the temperatures in the low 20s, little wind and blue sky, the conditions were ideal for a bike race, both for riders and spectators and the race between the peloton and the break of three continue hour after hour

As ever, the intermediate sprint, important for riders looking to win the Green jersey saw yet another tussle between Aussie Matt Goss and Mark Cavendish with the World Champion getting over the line before the Greenedge rider. Just behind these two were Renshaw and Sagan, who have also shown an interest in winning the Green jersey that was taken home by Cavendish in 2011.

With 60k to go the weather took a turn for the worse and the sunny skies were replaced by rain and may be the slippery roads led to another crash, this involving GC hopeful Nibali of Liquigas who had two teammates come back for him and they were soon back in the peloton.

Photo: Rob Lampard (velostars)

All was not well in the break though. As tired legs mean some riders not pulling at the front as strong as others, or perhaps they are bluffing to save something for the finale, Arashiro decided let loose some of his aggression again but it was to no avail and the break was soon all together again.

With a sprint finish in the offing, the sprint teams were making their prescience felt and Lotto’s Adam Hansen was driving the chase along that hard, splits soon start to happen. The lead for the break was now only two minutes and Voigt was soon in charge of the chase again and with 20k to go, the lead was down to just over a minute as the peloton waited to pounce.

Some though in the peloton did not want a bunch kick, such as Astana’s hero from stage 3, Andriy Grivko, who went solo for a while. He was soon replaced by Pineau, (Quickstep) and Bouet and BMC’s Phillippe Gilbert. They hunted down the break but failed to make their move stick and were replaced by Dumoulin, Chavanel (again!) and Poels. They took however could not out ride the peloton where a big crash held up Wiggins and Cavendish thankfully for Wiggins just within the 3 mark.

While Cavendish was picking himself up off the ground, Kittell’s team Argos took up the running at the front to be replaced by the now well drilled Lotto team riding for Andre Greipel with Goss tucked up nicely on his wheel. But there was nothing the Aussie could to stop Greipel from taking his second stage in the Tour de France with the German holding off a late charge from Italian Allessandro Petacchi, Tom Veelers, Matt Goss and Peter Sagan.

Arashiro wins the combativity prize and gets a place on the podium

Stage Result

1 Andre Greipel Lotto – Belisol Team 05:18:32
2 Alessandro Petacchi Lampre – ISD @ same time
3 Tom Veelers Argos-Shimano @ same time
4 Matthew Goss Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
5 Peter Sagan Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
6 Jonathan Cantwell Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
7 Daryl Impey Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
8 Kris Boeckmans Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
9 Edvald Boasson Hagen Sky Procycling @ same time
10 Ruben Perez Moreno Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
11 Gregory Henderson Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
12 Jurgen Roelandts Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
13 Dmitriy Fofonov Astana Pro Team @ same time
14 Peter Velits Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
15 R̩my Di Gregorio Cofidis РLe Credit En Ligne @ same time
16 Marcus Burghardt BMC Racing Team @ same time
17 Patrick Gretsch Argos-Shimano @ same time
18 Egoi Martinez De Esteban Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
19 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team @ same time
20 Gorka Izagirre Insausti Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
21 Andr̩as Kl̦den RadioShack РNissan @ same time
22 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
23 Marco Marcato Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
24 Danilo Hondo Lampre – ISD @ same time
25 Jorge Azanza Soto Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
26 Sylvain Chavanel Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
27 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team @ same time
28 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling @ same time
29 Marcel Sieberg Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
30 Roy Curvers Argos-Shimano @ same time
31 Koen De Kort Argos-Shimano @ same time
32 Cyril Gautier Europcar @ same time
33 Pierre Rolland Europcar @ same time
34 Anthony Roux Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
35 Robert Gesink Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
36 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling @ same time
37 Sandy Casar Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
38 Johannes Frohlinger Argos-Shimano @ same time
39 Luis Angel Mate Mardones Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
40 Imanol Erviti Ollo Movistar Team @ same time
41 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios Movistar Team @ same time
42 Jan Ghyselinck Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
43 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
44 Vladimir Gusev Katusha Team @ same time
45 Ryder Hesjedal Garmin – Sharp @ same time
46 Baden Cooke Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
47 Ivan Basso Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
48 Ruben Plaza Molina Movistar Team @ same time
49 Adam Hansen Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
50 Maxim Iglinskiy Astana Pro Team @ same time
51 Mikel Astarloza Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
52 Andriy Grivko Astana Pro Team @ same time
53 Robert Kiserlovski Astana Pro Team @ same time
54 Vincent Jerome Europcar @ same time
55 Nicolas Roche Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
56 Jean-christophe Peraud Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
57 Nick Nuyens Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
58 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Movistar Team @ same time
59 Andrey Kashechkin Astana Pro Team @ same time
60 Maxime Monfort RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
61 Amaël Moinard BMC Racing Team @ same time
62 Dries Devenyns Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
63 Chris Horner RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
64 Frank Schleck RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
65 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa Movistar Team @ same time
66 Kevin De Weert Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
67 Levi Leipheimer Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
68 Kenny Van Hummel Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
69 Romain Zingle Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
70 Rafael Valls Ferri Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
71 Michele Scarponi Lampre – ISD @ same time
72 Daniel Martin Garmin – Sharp @ same time
73 Guillaume Levarlet Saur – Sojasun @ same time
74 Lieuwe Westra Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
75 Giovanni Bernaudeau Europcar @ same time
76 George Hincapie BMC Racing Team @ same time
77 Bert Grabsch Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
78 Maxime Bouet Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
79 Yuriy Krivtsov Lampre – ISD @ same time
80 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo Movistar Team @ same time
81 Mickael Cherel Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
82 Matthieu Ladagnous Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
83 Christophe Riblon Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
84 Chris Anker Sorensen Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
85 Pierrick Fedrigo Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
86 Fabrice Jeandesboz Saur – Sojasun @ same time
87 J̩rome Coppel Saur РSojasun @ same time
88 Jimmy Engoulvent Saur – Sojasun @ same time
89 Jens Voigt RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
90 Nicki Sørensen Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
91 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
92 Christian Knees Sky Procycling @ same time
93 Karsten Kroon Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
94 Anders Lund Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
95 Martin Velits Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
96 Dominik Nerz Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
97 Thibaut Pinot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
98 Arthur Vichot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
99 Yaroslav Popovych RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
100 Maarten Wynants Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
101 Bram Tankink Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
102 Federico Canuti Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
103 Vladimir Karpets Movistar Team @ same time
104 Vasil Kiryienka Movistar Team @ same time
105 Fredrik Kessiakoff Astana Pro Team @ same time
106 Lars Ytting Bak Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
107 Sylvester Szmyd Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
108 Kristjan Koren Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
109 Jelle Vanendert Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
110 Yukiya Arashiro Europcar @ same time
111 Anthony Delaplace Saur – Sojasun @ same time
112 Cyril Lemoine Saur – Sojasun @ same time
113 Julien Simon Saur – Sojasun @ same time
114 Amets Txurruka Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
115 J̩rome Pineau Omega Pharma РQuickstep @ same time
116 Simon Gerrans Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
117 Hubert Dupont Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
118 Christian Vande Velde Garmin – Sharp @ same time
119 Fabian Cancellara RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
120 Stuart O’ Grady Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
121 Tejay Van Garderen BMC Racing Team @ same time
122 Alexandre Vinokourov Astana Pro Team @ same time
123 Michael Schar BMC Racing Team @ same time
124 Manuel Quinziato BMC Racing Team @ same time
125 Steven Cummings BMC Racing Team @ same time
126 Gustav Erik Larsson Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
127 Johnny Hoogerland Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
128 Pieter Weening Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
129 Philippe Gilbert BMC Racing Team @ same time
130 Matthew Lloyd Lampre – ISD @ same time
131 Yohann Gène Europcar @ same time
132 Simone Stortoni Lampre – ISD @ same time
133 Thomas Voeckler Europcar @ same time
134 Christophe Kern Europcar @ same time
135 Grega Bole Lampre – ISD @ same time
136 Marco Marzano Lampre – ISD @ same time
137 Blel Kadri Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
138 S̩bastien Minard Ag2R РLa Mondiale @ same time
139 Laurens Ten Dam Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
140 Albert Timmer Argos-Shimano @ same time
141 Davide Vigano Lampre – ISD @ same time
142 Luca Paolini Katusha Team @ same time
143 Nicolas Edet Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
144 Denis Menchov Katusha Team @ same time
145 Oscar Gomez Freire Katusha Team @ same time
146 Joan Horrach Rippoll Katusha Team @ same time
147 Eduard Vorganov Katusha Team @ same time
148 Aleksandr Kuschynski Katusha Team @ same time
149 Yuri Trofimov Katusha Team @ same time
150 Giampaolo Caruso Katusha Team @ same time
151 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
152 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
153 Richie Porte Sky Procycling @ same time
154 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling @ same time
155 David Millar Garmin – Sharp @ same time
156 Michael Morkov Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
157 Julien Fouchard Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
158 Tony Gallopin RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
159 David Zabriskie Garmin – Sharp @ same time
160 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil Rabobank Cycling Team 02:21
161 Tony Martin Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
162 Rob Ruijgh Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
163 Yann Huguet Argos-Shimano @ same time
164 Bauke Mollema Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
165 Matthieu Sprick Argos-Shimano @ same time
166 Rein Taaramäe Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
167 Thomas Danielson Garmin – Sharp @ same time
168 Brett Lancaster Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
169 Alessandro Vanotti Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
170 Francis De Greef Lotto – Belisol Team 03:00
171 Pablo Urtasun Perez Euskaltel – Euskadi 03:03
172 Steven Kruijswijk Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
173 David Moncouti̩ Cofidis РLe Credit En Ligne 03:06
174 S̩bastien Hinault Ag2R РLa Mondiale @ same time
175 Wout Poels Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
176 Samuel Dumoulin Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 03:08
177 Borut Bozic Astana Pro Team @ same time
178 Davide Malacarne Europcar @ same time
179 Jean-marc Marino Saur – Sojasun 03:56
180 Yauheni Hutarovich Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
181 Robert Hunter Garmin – Sharp @ same time
182 Juan Jose Haedo Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
183 Michael Albasini Orica – GreenEDGE 04:13
184 Johan Vansummeren Garmin – Sharp @ same time
185 Tyler Farrar Garmin – Sharp @ same time
186 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui Euskaltel – Euskadi 04:19
187 Daniel Oss Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
188 Mark Cavendish Sky Procycling @ same time
189 Bernhard Eisel Sky Procycling @ same time
190 Marcel Kittel Argos-Shimano 04:58
191 C̩dric Pineau Equipe Cycliste FDJ РBigMat @ same time
192 Brice Feillu Saur – Sojasun @ same time
193 J̩r̩my Roy Equipe Cycliste FDJ РBigMat @ same time
194 Mark Renshaw Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
195 Sebastian Langeveld Orica – GreenEDGE 07:01

Overall

1 Fabian Cancellara RadioShack – Nissan 20:04:02
2 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 00:07
3 Sylvain Chavanel Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
4 Tejay Van Garderen BMC Racing Team 00:10
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen Sky Procycling 00:11
6 Denis Menchov Katusha Team 00:13
7 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team 00:17
8 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale 00:18
9 Ryder Hesjedal Garmin – Sharp @ same time
10 Andr̩as Kl̦den RadioShack РNissan 00:19
11 Bauke Mollema Rabobank Cycling Team 00:21
12 Maxime Monfort RadioShack – Nissan 00:22
13 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team @ same time
14 Rein Taaramäe Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
15 Peter Sagan Liquigas – Cannondale 00:23
16 Jean-christophe Peraud Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
17 Marco Marcato Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
18 Vladimir Gusev Katusha Team 00:24
19 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
20 Wout Poels Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team
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