Tour De France 2012: Germany's Andre Greipel Could Surprise Sagan

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Tour De France 2012: Germany's Andre Greipel Could Surprise Sagan
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

André Greipel is a cycling sprint specialist that could potentially upset Peter Sagan in the Tour De France.

Greipel has won Stages 4, 5 and 13.

Fellow sprinters Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Mark Cavendish of Great Britain have snagged wins in the other flat stages of the tour.

Sagan currently wears the green jersey while Cavendish is in fourth, two spots behind Greipel.

In today’s stage, France’s Pierre Fedrigo won, as most other riders took it easy in preparation for the rest day on July 17 and the two mountain stages that are to follow, reports Barry Glendenning of The Guardian.

Greipel finished seventh and Sagan was ninth according to SB Nation Denver.

Greipel needs to take advantage of the upcoming rest day because Sagan is beating him by 102 points in the points classification.

Greipel shared some pace-making duties early on today but seemed content to conserve energy before the more difficult mountain stages that are to come later this week:

Lotto sprinter André Greipel, whose 30th birthday it is today, has already won three stages and probably isn't that bothered about winning another today after having to put in all that effort just trying to keep up in the opening 60 kilometres out of Samatan this morning (via Glendenning of The Guardian).

Preview of Stage 16

Stages 16 and 17 will be crucial for Greipel because the climbing specialists will most likely attempt to make some big breakaways to cut into Wiggins’s lead.  

If a break is made, Greipel needs to stay close to Sagan in the peloton so that the points gap decreases.

After the two climbing stages, there are three more flat stages and a time trial.

Greipel can walk away with the green jersey if he can stay close to Sagan during the climbing stages and snag a win or a top-three finish in the final time trial in Stage 19.

The first flat stage will be the most crucial depending on how tired Greipel is from Stages 16 and 17, how well Sagan does and if Greipel is conditioned to sprint for four days.

It seems extremely unlikely that Greipel will upsets Wiggins, but with a bit of luck, he can take the green jersey from Sagan.

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