Andre has truly become the giant of the sprints in this year’s Tour de France taking his third win in the race today from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Le Cap d’Agde over 217km. In a super close battle to the line the German just bettered Green jersey leader Peter Sagan (Liquigas Cannondale) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY).
In a rare sight in the Tour the crowd were treated to Yellow Jersey Bradley Wiggins, setting up the sprint for Boasson Hagen, whilst easily defending his overall lead turning helper 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."
The Lotto Belisol team of Greipel did the lion’s share of the chase to bring the race back together for the sprint, and the big German rewarded them for their efforts. Fully aware that nemesis and World Champion Mark Cavendish had been dropped on the day's only classified 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."