Silence Lotto's Philippe Gilbert needed just one second to steal the overall victory in the Ster Elektrotoer from Milram's Niki Terpstra, but he took one more for good measure through intermediate sprint bonuses to secure the win on the final stage.
Columbia-Highroad's André Greipel sprinted to his third stage win of the tour, ahead of Italian Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) and Roberto Ferrari (LPR Brakes).
"It is the second stage race I've won" said Gilbert, a one-day race specialist who last won a multi-day race in 2004, the Paris - Corrèze, while racing for Française des Jeux.
Gilbert took third in both intermediate sprints to edge out Terpstra in the overall classification. The two were tied on time coming into the final stage.
"The tactic worked perfectly. We wanted to go for the bonus seconds, and were able to do so at the first intermediate sprint."
"We tried everything to keep Niki Terpstra in the yellow jersey. The team was very strong. Unfortunately it wasn't enough in the end, and everything went against us,“ said Milram directeur sportif Ralf Grabsch. "Gilbert is a well-known rider and simply had the luck to pick up one second each at two intermediate sprints. Our team has nothing to blame itself for."
Greipel confirmed himself as the dominant sprinter of the race, but Napolitano brought the final stage to a photo finish. The jury decided the win in favour of the German, who has won 10 out of 18 races so far this year after having his early season cut short by a crash in the Tour Down Under.
“It’s often the way when riders have had a bad injury like André, when they come back they’re hungrier for the wins and at a better level than if they’d been racing for longer," said directeur sportif Allan Peiper.