Tour de France 2012 stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won stage four of the 2012 Tour de France in Rouen on Wednesday after a crash decimated the peloton in the final kilometres.

Greipel and his Lotto-Belisol lead-out train avoided the crash and the German sprinter enjoyed a perfect lead-out to take his first win in the 2012 Tour.

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) placed second, with Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) in third.

Mark Cavendish (Sky) was one of those caught in the finale crash, injuring his left side. He quickly remounted and rolled into the finish. Sky team-mate Bernhard Eisel was also caught, and came away with a cut above his eye.

There was no change to the overall classification, with Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) maintaining his seven-second lead over Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in second and Chavanel in third.  

Stage four live text coverage, as it happened>>

The day’s racing was largely dictated by a three man escape group. Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) attacked after the riders left the neutralised zone in Abbeville, and was followed by Frenchmen David Mouncoutie (Cofidis) and Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun).

The trio built up a lead of over eight minutes at one point, before settling in to a six-seven minute advantage for the majority of the day.

After the inevitable catch, an attack by Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Wouter Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) gained some ground in the final 6km but they too were reeled in by the bunch as the pace was wound up.

Lotto-Belisol took control and Greipel finished it off to perfection.

Sagan’s fifth place means that he extends his lead in the points classification, particularly as Cavendish was unable to contest the finale. Cavendish slips to fourth in the contest for the green jersey.

There were three non-starters for the day’s stage as a result of Tuesday’s crashes: Kanstantin Siutsou (Sky), Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank).

It’s more of the same tomorrow for the riders, another flat stage starting in Rouen and finishing in Saint-Quentin some 196.5km later. Stage five full preview>>

Results

Tour de France 2012, stage four: Abbeville to Rouen, 214.5km


1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 5-18-32

2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD

3. Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano

4. Matt Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge

5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale

6. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank

7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Origca-GreenEdge

8. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM

9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky

10. Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi all same time

Overall classification after stage four

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan

2. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky at 7 sec

3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma QuickStep at same time

4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 10 sec

5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky at 11 sec

6. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 13 sec

7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 17 sec

8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 18 sec

9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at same time

10. Andreas Kloden (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan at 19 sec





The peloton head to the coast





David Moncoutie heads the escape group





Bradley Wiggins and Richie Porte





Mark Cavendish after his crash







Andre Greipel wins stage four

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

Sky down to eight after Siutsou crash

Kittel recovering from illness

Explaining the three kilometre rule

Sky’s embarrassment of riches

Rogers back on form and backing Wiggins in the Tour

Martin to continue in Tour despite fractured wrist

Liquigas coach tips Sagan for future Grand Tour win

Cancellara’s win lifts morale in RadioShack team

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 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 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 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

  • JD

    Bad for Cavendish but not entirely positive for Greipel either – As with Goss’s in the Giro, this victory will always have a hidden asterisk after it in some people’s minds.

    I’m certain Cavendish would agree that this is unfair.