André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) is becoming more relaxed and composed in the sprints, a snowball effect that’s helping him win more. Today, the German took his second sprint win in the Tour de France when the fifth stage finished in Saint-Quentin.

“He was smart enough to let the other ones [Matt Goss of team Orica] start early. That’s what I mean, he has confidence,” General manager, Marc Sergeant told Cycling Weekly. “Otherwise, you panic and start sprinting. How he lets two or three riders pass. Amazing how he won.”

Greipel nearly crashed at two kilometres out with Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp). He had to unclip from his pedals, but regained his composure.

Cavendish failed to show in the sprint after yesterday’s crash in Rouen. He faded when Goss started his sprint and left it to Greipel. Greipel won over Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) and Goss.

“It’s experience from my team-mates,” Greipel said in the press conference.

His team led for most of the day. Sky took over, but Lotto finished the job. Only a brief interruption by Goss and Orica team-mate Daryl Impey seem to cause havoc.

“Henderson was a bit tired and we needed to time it right,” Greipel added. “I was lucky Goss passed me and I could use him. I saved some power there.”

Of the three sprint wins so far, World Champion Cavendish won one and Greipel two. This was the first of the two ahead of Cavendish.

“For the press and public, it is a bonus, but in our minds, we just go off our strength and focus on the win,” Sergeant said.

“I don’t know why everyone thinks that I can’t beat him,” Greipel added. “I beat him in the last months. I have the best team around me, so why can’t I beat him. On Monday I was tired, yesterday he crashed.”

Greipel now has three Tour stage wins compared to Cavendish’s 21. He has three or possibly four more chances to win in this Tour, the last being when the race ends in Paris on July 22.

“It’s only his second Tour, which also makes a big difference. He has full confidence of the whole team,” Sergeant said. “I think that we’ve built up pretty good with him, not in Dauphine or Switzerland [stage races], but in lower profile races to have the opportunity to test and really go for the perfection. What we saw in Belgium, in Tournai, yesterday and today – that’s close to perfection.”

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

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Explaining the three kilometre rule

Sky’s embarrassment of riches

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Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



Tour 2012: Who will win?



Tour de France 2012 provisional start list



Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports



Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades



Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes



Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne



Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory



Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt



Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs



Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials



CW’s Tour de France podcasts



Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs



Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries



Stage five by Graham Watson



Stage four by Graham Watson



Stage three by Graham Watson



Stage two by Andy Jones



Stage two by Graham Watson



Stage one by Graham Watson



Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones



Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler



Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour de France 2012: Team presentation



Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage



Stage five live coverage



Stage four live coverage



Stage three live coverage



Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish



Brief history of the Tour de France



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

 

  • SPR

    Greipel seems to be the only man not willing to roll over and accept that Cav is the number one sprinter, and good for him – Cav is a legend but there needs to be some competition for the fans.

  • JD

    Come off it – everyone knows a fit Cavendish would beat Greipel on almost every occasion. As he did quite convincingly the other day.

    But it’s not the German’s fault that Cavendish looks off the pace nor that the man some suspect is faster, Kittel, is also out.