Greipel wins photo finish over Sagan in mid-Tour sprint

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) took his third stage win at the 2012 Tour de France, winning a photo finish over Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) took third in the mass sprint in Le Cap d'Agde.

Bradley Wiggins, who set up the sprint for Boasson Hagen, easily defended his overall lead as he tried to turn provider for his teammate, who has spent much of the race at Wiggins' side.

"It was just the last kilometre, slightly downhill. It was the safest place to be and I wanted to try to repay a friend of mine," Wiggins said.

“Sometimes it is just best to be in the front, it is best to do the effort in first position than further down the peloton in 20th, especially when there are chances of splits in the bunch. You have to pay attention to every single day, even a day like today because of the bends in the last 400 metres. You have to be careful every day until [the final stage in] Paris."

Greipel's team did much of the chase work in the closing part of the race, and the big German rewarded them for their efforts. He had one less rival to face, as Mark Cavendish had been dropped on the day's only ranked climb 23km from the end. The world champion ended up crossing the finish line more than eight minutes down.

“It was very close,” acknowledged Greipel, who turns 30 on Monday. “I was next to last over the climb. But the team worked great and brought me up to the front.”

"This win is a special one with the Mont St Clair [climb] so close to the finish. I managed to hang on in this climb and then Lars Bak took me back in the bunch. It was once again great team work and we deserved this."

Futile breakaway ahead of sprinter's delight

Once again, the day's break formed almost immediately, with Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ), Michael Morkov (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) and Roy Curvers (Argos-Shimano) the first to go. Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun) and Maxime Bouet (AG2R-LaMondiale) joined them and Jerome Pineau (Omega Pharma-QuickStep finally rounded out the group.

Not quite 50km into the stage, they had built up a lead of some nine minutes, which was enough to set off alarms in the peloton. Orica-GreenEdge did much of the work to close the gap.

There was one abandon during the stage, as Tony Gallopin of RadioShack-Nissan gave in to the illness which has plagued him. Peter Velits of Omega Pharma-QuickStep had a run-in with a barrier at the intermeidate sprint, but was able to continue.

There was no drama this time at that sprint. The eight in the break group took the big points, and Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) easily claimed the next points in the field, ahead of Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge).

With about 64km to go, the gap had dropped to two minutes. Pineau tried to pick up the group speed, but in response, Morkov took off alone. He quickly built up a lead of over a minute over the chasers, but it was a long way to go.

Thirty kilometers later, the gap from Morkov to the field had dropped to just over a minute, and the field's speed was high enough to shed riders along the way.

Mountains classification leader Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) was amongst those involved in a crash with 26km to go, but all got up and going again.

Morkov took less than a minute lead up the day's only ranked climb, the category 3 Mont Saint-Clair, with 23km to go. The field caught the remaining chase group on its way up, and eventually Morkov as well.

Cadel Evans of BMC attacked with about 24km to go, out of the field, with Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto) at his side. But once again, Wiggins calmly drove the field up to the Australian and reeled him in.

Evans led the field over the mountain ranking, and into the descent. Various riders tried to get away on the descent but none was allowed to go. The field had become noticeably smaller though, and the sprinters were amongst those who had been dropped.

Alexandre Vinokourov took off out of the group, and with 16 km to go, Michael Albasini of Orica-GreenEdge went after him. The Wiggins group was then joined by more riders from behind. Sky's Cavendish was not amongst them, being caught in a group more than a minute back and losing time every meter. Caught without teammates, no one else was willing to help the World Champion move up, and he had to resign himself to missing out on yet another sprint.

Lotto-Belisol moved up to lead the chase of the two leaders, with Greipel having made the cut into the group. The wind finally came into play, and Lotto pulled away with 4km to go, with a handful of other riders including Wiggins and Sagan with them.

It came as it must, and with 2.5km, the two leaders were caught. Almost immediately Luis Leon Sanchez of Rabobank jumped and was joined by Matthieu Sprick (Argos-Shimano) in a massive bid for some revenge after the hideous first half of the race for both teams. But the pair were chased down by the maillot jaune himself as Wiggins led the field, opening the sprint for Boasson Hagen. Greipel still had something left and he and Sagan went to the line in a photo finish.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team4:57:59
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 1 - Cell 2
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 3 - Cell 2
5Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 5 - Cell 2
7Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 8 - Cell 2
10Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISDRow 9 - Cell 2
11Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 10 - Cell 2
12Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 13 - Cell 2
15Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 14 - Cell 2
16Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-NissanRow 17 - Cell 2
19Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La MondialeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos-ShimanoRow 20 - Cell 2
22Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-NissanRow 21 - Cell 2
23Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 24 - Cell 2
26Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-NissanRow 25 - Cell 2
27Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 26 - Cell 2
28Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-NissanRow 29 - Cell 2
31Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 30 - Cell 2
32Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 32 - Cell 2
34Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 33 - Cell 2
35Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 37 - Cell 2
39Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - SharpRow 38 - Cell 2
40Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-NissanRow 39 - Cell 2
41Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 41 - Cell 2
43Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling0:00:09
45Alexandr Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:00:46
46Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:08
47Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:19
48Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:01:45
49Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 48 - Cell 2
50Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team0:02:29
51Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:08:03
52Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:08:36
53Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-NissanRow 53 - Cell 2
55Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 54 - Cell 2
56Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 55 - Cell 2
57Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 56 - Cell 2
58Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-ShimanoRow 58 - Cell 2
60Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big MatRow 59 - Cell 2
61Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 61 - Cell 2
63Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 62 - Cell 2
64Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 63 - Cell 2
65Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 64 - Cell 2
66Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 65 - Cell 2
67Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 66 - Cell 2
68Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team EuropcarRow 68 - Cell 2
70Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 69 - Cell 2
71Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 70 - Cell 2
72Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 71 - Cell 2
73Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 72 - Cell 2
74Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-NissanRow 74 - Cell 2
76Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 75 - Cell 2
77Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 76 - Cell 2
78Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 77 - Cell 2
79Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 78 - Cell 2
80Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos-Shimano0:11:11
82Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:12:31
83Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
87Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 86 - Cell 2
88Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 87 - Cell 2
89Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 88 - Cell 2
90Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 89 - Cell 2
91Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
94Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - SharpRow 96 - Cell 2
98Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 99 - Cell 2
101Christian Knees (Ger) Sky ProcyclingRow 100 - Cell 2
102Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 101 - Cell 2
103Yohann Gene (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 102 - Cell 2
104Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky ProcyclingRow 103 - Cell 2
105Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 104 - Cell 2
106Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 105 - Cell 2
107Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 106 - Cell 2
108Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 107 - Cell 2
109Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos-ShimanoRow 109 - Cell 2
111Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 110 - Cell 2
112Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-ShimanoRow 111 - Cell 2
113Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 112 - Cell 2
114Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 113 - Cell 2
115Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team0:14:04
116Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 115 - Cell 2
117Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-ShimanoRow 116 - Cell 2
118Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 117 - Cell 2
119Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 118 - Cell 2
120Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 119 - Cell 2
121Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 120 - Cell 2
122Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
123Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 122 - Cell 2
124Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 123 - Cell 2
125Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 125 - Cell 2
127Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 126 - Cell 2
128Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 127 - Cell 2
129Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 128 - Cell 2
130Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
131Juan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
132Nick Nuyens (Bel) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 131 - Cell 2
133David Millar (GBr) Garmin - SharpRow 132 - Cell 2
134Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 133 - Cell 2
135Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 134 - Cell 2
136Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 135 - Cell 2
137Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 136 - Cell 2
138Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 137 - Cell 2
139Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 138 - Cell 2
140Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 139 - Cell 2
141Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing TeamRow 140 - Cell 2
142Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
143Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - SharpRow 142 - Cell 2
144Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 143 - Cell 2
145Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISDRow 144 - Cell 2
146Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
147Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 146 - Cell 2
148Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 147 - Cell 2
149Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 148 - Cell 2
150Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 149 - Cell 2
151David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - SharpRow 150 - Cell 2
152Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 151 - Cell 2
153Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin - SharpRow 152 - Cell 2
154Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 153 - Cell 2
155Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 154 - Cell 2
156Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 155 - Cell 2
157Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 156 - Cell 2
158Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar TeamRow 157 - Cell 2
159Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 158 - Cell 2
160Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 159 - Cell 2
161Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 160 - Cell 2
162Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 161 - Cell 2
163Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar0:14:12
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-NissanRow 163 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team45pts
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale35Row 1 - Cell 3
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling30Row 2 - Cell 3
4Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale26Row 3 - Cell 3
5Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team22Row 4 - Cell 3
6Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun20Row 5 - Cell 3
7Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team18Row 6 - Cell 3
8Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team16Row 7 - Cell 3
9Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep14Row 8 - Cell 3
10Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD12Row 9 - Cell 3
11Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale10Row 10 - Cell 3
12Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling8Row 11 - Cell 3
13Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team6Row 12 - Cell 3
14Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep4Row 13 - Cell 3
15Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling2Row 14 - Cell 3
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Intermediate Sprint - Mas-De-Londres, km. 126.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi20pts
2Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos-Shimano17Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep15Row 2 - Cell 3
4Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat13Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale7Row 8 - Cell 3
10André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 - Mont Saint-Clair (Cat. 3) km. 194.0
#Rider Name (Country) Team