Greipel wins fifth stage Tour France

AMIENS, July 8

Andre Greipel continued German domination as he won his second stage of the Tour de France in a sprint finish at the end of Wednesday’s 189.5km run from Arras to Amiens.

Greipel overhauled Briton Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff of Norway while holding off the fast-finishing Slovak Peter Sagan. Having won Sunday’s second stage as well, Greipel kept his hold on the green points jersey and also maintained German hegemony of Tour sprints following the success of Marcel Kittel the previous two years — winning four stages in each.

Last year Germans won four of the first six stages before finishing with seven out of 21 in total, and this was the third German victory in five days as well as the second in a row following Tony Martin’s on Tuesday. Greipel timed his charge to the line to perfection, coming up behind Cavendish, as the Briton overtook Kristoff, to power clear and reach the line just before Sagan, arriving like a bullet, crossed in second. Cavendish was third and once again missed out on a 26th Tour stage victory.

It was a relatively calm day for the overall contenders despite a number of crashes that resulted in New Zealand’s Jack Bauer and French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni leaving the race. Martin kept the leader’s yellow jersey he took off 2013 champion Chris Froome on Tuesday, the latter remaining second overall at 12sec with Tejay Van Garderen third at 25sec.

Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali is still just over a minute and half behind Froome with Nairo Quintana even further back at almost 2min. But two-time former winner Alberto Contador is eighth overall at 48sec and 36sec behind Froome.