On a wet and windy stage 5 of the Tour de France, André Greipel reaffirmed his prowess as one of the fastest and canniest sprinters in the peloton. The Lotto-Soudal rider left his sprint late to come around Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) to finish ahead of the surging Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo).
It was Greipel's second win at this year's Tour, after he won stage 2 in Zelande on Sunday. It was also his eighth career Tour de France stage win.
Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) finished safely in the front group to become the first rider to defend yellow in this year's race.
André Greipel after winning his eighth career Tour de France stage
"Marcel Sieberg and Lars Bak, they brought me to the front. Marcel Sieberg did the work of three and it was quite an amazing job. Normally with 300m to go I would be finished but somehow I got out of it and managed to launch my sprint."
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) remains third overall
"It was incredible. Everybody though it was going to be the relaxed day of the Tour. The wind and the rain made it anything but relaxed. Luckily I have one of the strongest teams here. All the guys just sat on the front all day, I never had to leave third position. It cost a bit of energy but it’s worth it to stay ahead of the split and the crashes.
"If you relax for one second in the Tour, you’re going to lose it, so from kilometre one until we get to the finish line it's full focus. The time you get to relax are the two rest days and in between the stages.
"Everyone is happy, everyone is really strong and in perfect condition and everyone is really confident in what the mission is here, so I think we are in a really good place."
Tyler Farrar caught up in a late crash
"I fell on the pile with everybody else. It was so slippery that I didn’t see how it happened, but all of the sudden there were guys on the ground everywhere, and I was one of them.
"The plan had been to go for me in the sprint today, but I kind of got bashed in the leg a little bit. I didn’t trust myself after that so we swapped the plan and went for Eddie (Boasson Hagen) today.
"I think we hit the front a little early today maybe. But our momentum carried us there and I thought, ‘Well, if nothing else it will keep us out of the scrum and out of trouble."
Team Sky's Ian Stannard explains the weather was not quiet right to cause major splits in the peloton
"The rain on and off, and the roads were quite slippy," Stannard said to Eurosport. "The wind was really there, but we didn't go long enough in one direction to do anything. It was a real stressful day. It was probably more tiring than a full crosswind day.
"These stages... you have to race them day by day, take what you can and lose what you can't."
GC Watch - little change on sprint stage
There was no change among the top overall contenders, as most made the front group. The only exceptions were Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo), Richie Porte (Sky), and Haimar Zubeldia (Trek). Pierre Rolland (Europcar) was the only mover, shooting up 20 spots into 40th place after making the front group.
|2||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||0:00:12|
|3||Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team||0:00:25|
|7||Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:00:46|
|8||Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo||0:00:48|
|11||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin||0:01:19|
|12||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing||0:01:44|
|13||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:01:50|
|14||Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||0:01:51|
|16||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||0:02:03|
|17||Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team||0:02:08|
|18||Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha||0:02:12|
|19||Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:02:19|
|20||Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||0:02:51|
|21||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:03:06|
|30||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr||0:06:30|
|40||Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar (+20)||0:10:14|