German Andre Greipel claimed the best time in the Tour de France's 13th stage after he was able to hold off Slovakian Peter Sagan in a frantic sprint for the finish line that gave fans a photo finish for the win. Greipel finished the stage with a time of 4:57:59.
Greipel was relieved to get the win for his team, noting his very narrow margin of victory with letour.fr:
It was close until the end. I was dropped on the climb but I was going full gas on the way up and I had to do a sprint at the top to get in a small group and Lars Bak brought me back and then the team chased Vinokourov and Albasini. Then, when Luis Léon Sanchez attacked I thought, ‘Okay, now it's over...' but I was happy that Sky was still there and I could work out how to win this stage because I think my team deserves it.
Greipel has now earned the win in three stages of the Tour, winning stages three and four in addition to 13.
Overall race leader Bradley Wiggins was able to retain his yellow jersey and now holds a 2:05 lead over SKY Procycling teammate Christian Froome on the overall leaderboard.
Wiggins finished 12th in the stage, while Froome wasn't far behind and finished 15th.
Full results for Stage 13 can be found here.
After Stage 13, the overall classification leaderboard looks like this:
|1. Bradley Wiggins||Great Britain||59:32:32||Sky||32|
|2. Christopher Froome||Great Britain||59:34:37||Sky||27|
|3. Vincenzo Nibali||Italy||59:34:55||LIQ||27|
|4. Cadel Evans||Australia||59:35:51||BMC||35|
|5. Jurgen Van Der Broeck||Belgium||59:37:20||LTB||29|
|6. Haimar Zubeldia||Spain||59:38:47||RNT||35|
|7. Tejay van Garderen||United States||59:39:29||BMC||23|
|8. Janez Brajkovic||Slovenia||59:40:02||AST||28|
|9. Pierre Rolland||France||59:41:03||EUC||25|
|10. Thibaut Pinot||France||59:41:23||FDJ||22|
The 217 km stage provided plenty of flat spaces for sprinters to take advantage. However, it was Greipel's ability to stick with the pack on the Mont Saint-Clair climb 14 miles from the finish line that set Greipel apart from other sprinters.
The highlight of the entire stage was definitely the final sprint, as both Greipel and Sagan were neck-and-neck down the stretch. Greipel was able to pull off the victory by half a wheel length. The dramatic finish can be found at the end of the highlight.
Riders will resume the tour with the mountainous 191 km Stage 14 on July 15 at 8 a.m.
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