(AP) - Germany's Andre Greipel led a bunch sprint to win the fourth stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday after a late crash engulfed several riders, including world champion Mark Cavendish of Britain.
Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara avoided the late trouble and retained the overall lead for a fifth day after the 133-mile race along the English Channel from Abbeville to Rouen.
With less than 2 miles left, Cavendish went down in a crash - scraping up his rainbow-colored jersey of world champion. He got back on his bicycle and rode gingerly to finish the stage.
With Cavendish out of the picture, Greipel burst out of the shrunken group of sprinters and sped to the straightaway finish - a split second ahead of Italy's Alessandro Petacchi and Dutch rider Tom Veelers.
Cancellara won the opening-day prologue and has worn the yellow jersey ever since. Overall he leads second-placed Bradley Wiggins of Britain by seven seconds. Defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia was 17 seconds off the pace in 7th place.
[youtube width="600" height="361"]httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bau8i75reA
Stage 4 Results
1. André Greipel - Lotto Belisol Team - 5:18:32
2. Alessandro Petacchi - Lampre - ISD
3. Tom Veelers - Argos-Shimano
4. Matthew Harley Goss - Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
5. Peter Sagan - Liquigas-Cannondale
6. Jonathan Cantwell - Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
7. Daryl Impey - Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
8. Kris Boeckmans - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen - Sky Procycling
10. Ruben Perez Moreno - Euskaltel - Euskadi
General classification after Stage 4
1. Fabian Cancellara - RadioShack-Nissan - 20:04:02
2. Bradley Wiggins - Sky Procycling - 0:00:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel - Omega Pharma-Quickstep
4. Tejay Van Garderen - BMC Racing Team - 0:00:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen - Sky Procycling - 0:00:11
6. Denis Menchov - Katusha Team - 0:00:13
7. Cadel Evans - BMC Racing Team - 0:00:17
8. Vincenzo Nibali - Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:00:18
9. Ryder Hesjedal - Garmin - Sharp
10. Andreas Klöden - RadioShack-Nissan - 0:00:19
Full results here..
Links to news sites...
"Greipel wins fourth stage as Cav misses the train
By Justin Davis (AFP)
ROUEN, France - Germany's Andre Greipel roared with raw emotion after landing his first Tour de France victory this year in a finale devoid of British sprint king Mark Cavendish.
RadioShack's Fabian Cancellera held on to the leader's yellow jersey at the end of the 214 km ride from Abbeville to Rouen, where Greipel, known as the 'Gorilla' for his imposing physique, prevailed in a small bunch finish.
The closing stages were marked by a multi-bike pile-up less than three kilometres from the line with Cavendish among the casualties.
It left a reduced group of fast men racing for the line, with Greipel coming off the wheel of New Zealand teammate Greg Henderson in the final 200 metres to claim the second Tour victory of his career.
Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) was second with Dutchman Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) third." Read more from AFP...
"Greipel takes full advantage after sprint rival Cavendish caught in Tour crash
(CNN) -- Germany's Andre Greipel powered to his first stage victory of this year's Tour de France Wednesday after his arch-rival Mark Cavendish was caught up in a crash near the finish in Rouen.
Greipel took full advantage after being given a perfect lead out by his Lotto teammate Greg Henderson.
The imposing Greipel came off the New Zealander's wheel to easily hold off Italian sprinter Alessandro Pettachi (Lampre) and Dutchman Tom Veelers of the Argos Shimano team.
RadioShack's Fabian Cancellera kept the race leader's yellow jersey at the end of the 214 km stage from Abbeville.
A mass pile-up less than three kilometers left Team Sky's Cavendish with cuts and bruises and ended the hopes of a number of other sprint contenders." Read more from CNN International...
Photos by CorVos
Tomorrow's Stage 5 Route -
[youtube width="600" height="361"]httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PetiKP8pglA