Greipel wins stage 13 of Tour de France
By Jamey Keaten ,AP
July 16, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
LE CAP D'AGDE, France -- Andre Greipel of Germany led home a photo-finish sprint to win the 13th stage of the Tour de France on Saturday, while Britain's Bradley Wiggins retained the yellow jersey as the race headed south to the Mediterranean.
The windy and flat 217-kilometer (134.8-mile) run with one major climb from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Le Cap d'Agde was tailored for a win by one of the race's sprinters.
The German's ability to get over the super-steep Mont Saint-Clair climb, in the picturesque port town of Sete, about 23 kilometers from the finish helped pave way for the victory. Several other top sprinters — like Britain's Mark Cavendish — struggled up the hill and fell back.
Greipel, who turns 30 on Monday, earned his third stage victory of this Tour after winning the fourth and fifth stages in sprint finishes. Still-photo imagery showed he won by half a wheel's length ahead of Slovakian rider Peter Sagan. Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway was third.
Wiggins trailed close behind in the main pack. Overall, he leads his second-place Sky teammate — and fellow Briton — Christopher Froome by 2 minutes, 5 seconds. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy is third, 2:23 back, and defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia is 3:19 back in fourth.
Saturday's route was known as a transitional stage because it was mostly flat, and guided riders away from their last big test — the Alps — and toward their next, the Pyrenees.
Greipel's Lotto Belisol team did the hard work of leading the pack through a wind-swept ride along the shore in pursuit of breakaway riders Michael Albasini and Alexandre Vinokourov, ultimately catching them.
In a bold move, with less than a kilometer left, Wiggins powered up to the front of the pack with Sky teammate Boasson Hagen on his back wheel, trying to set up the Norwegian for the stage win.